The increasing use of "text speak" by pupils in English lessons is to be addressed as part of wider moves to put basic literacy at the heart of the school curriculum.

Under the Scottish Government's Curriculum for Excellence, reading, writing and spelling are to be embedded in all lessons - rather than just English - and close attention will be paid to spelling, comprehension and punctuation.

Because pupils spend a significant proportion of their time blogging or using webcasts, podcasts and social networking internet sites, the new emphasis on literacy is intended to teach when it is acceptable to use abbreviated forms of English such as text speak.

Literacy programmes will also teach children to think about the potential dangers of using different media and to consider the consequences of their actions online.

The move follows current concerns that around one-quarter of the primary school population go on to secondary school without achieving basic literacy requirements - some 15,000 pupils every year.

In 2003 inspectors found only one in three second-year pupils in secondary school had reached required standards in writing, while there is also evidence of increasing use of text speak in exams. In addition, employers and higher education institutions have reported concerns about the standards of basic numeracy and literacy of school-leavers, with claims money has to be spent on "remedial" training.

The greater emphasis on literacy was first suggested by the curriculum review group in November 2006 and has now been accepted by the Scottish Government and published as part of the expected draft outcomes of the Curriculum for Excellence - the current reform of what is taught in schools.

Maureen Watt, minister for schools and skills, said: "We communicate through e-mail and text messaging and social networking. In a rapidly changing world, there will be added focus on learning about effective communication in all forms of media and learning about literacy must also help pupils to identify which form of communication work best in different situations."

Iain Ferguson, CBI Scotland's policy executive, welcomed the publication. "For too long Scottish businesses have had to invest an unacceptably high proportion of their training budgets to what is effectively remedial training, including improving workers' literacy," he added.

However, Hugh O'Donnell, education spokesman for the Scottish Liberal Democrats, dismissed the proposals.

"The Scottish curriculum already includes teaching young people when it is appropriate to use formal English instead of slang or text speak. It is not a new initiative."

Rhona Brankin, education spokeswoman for Scottish Labour, was also critical, saying: "Ministers said they wanted to pay attention to basics such as spelling, comprehension and punctuation, but the guidelines make absolutely no mention of these.

"I also note with concern that nowhere does it mention the importance of being able to read.

"The danger is these outcomes are so vague it takes us no further forward in tackling some of the significant issues we face in terms of basic literacy skills in Scotland."

The literacy draft outcomes, to be published tomorrow, are pointers for teachers on what children should be learning and also demonstrate how lessons can be linked.