This study aimed to assess the pre-service teachers' knowledge of and ability to use text messaging, and assist their use of this technology in the classroom teaching context. Data were gathered by means of a questionnaire and text message exercises. Fifty-three pre-service teachers participated in the study. It was found that although different tasks required different contributions of word numbers to complete the text messages, the percentages of text abbreviations were the same in all text messages. It was also found that participants who used more text abbreviations in their text messages had more correct scores in translating text abbreviations into Standard English. Moreover, participants who rated themselves higher in their self-rated writing and reading abilities used more text abbreviations in their text messages. Teacher educators may find this paper useful in understanding pre-service teachers' knowledge and ability to use text messages, with a further view to developing professional training sessions for improving their abilities in using text messaging technologies effectively in their teaching.