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Title: Synthetic phonics as a tool for improving the reading skills of Nigerian pupils
Authors: Eshiet, Olubusola Inyang
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This study explored whether the synthetic phonics method can improve the reading skills of beginning readers in primary schools in Nigeria using a case study action design underpinned by the sociocultural theory of the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) . The official policy on education prescribes English as the language of instruction from the fourth year of school up to the highest educational level in Nigeria. However, research shows that by the fourth year of school, pupils are not equipped with sufficient skills in reading the English language. This poor foundation in the language of instruction has the tendency to affect the academic performance of students for much of their school years resulting in increasing rates of illiteracy in the country. 226 pupils, 9 teachers and 9 schools were included in the study which used intervention and control groups. The teachers for the synthetic phonics group were trained. All pupils were pre-tested before teaching began in the classes. The synthetic phonics classes were taught using the intervention method while the control classes were taught using the traditional method. The synthetic phonics class rooms were regularly observed. After the intervention, the groups were post-tested. Focus groups discussions were conducted with the teachers and interviews with pupils in the synthetic phonics groups. The study found that pupils were more eager to learn in the collaborative and engaging environment offered by the synthetic phonics programme. Also, teachers were more confident to teach English language and they found the synthetic phonics programme very useful and easy to use. Moreover, there was a significant difference in the improveme nt in the reading skills of the pupils in the synthetic phonics groups compared to the pupils in the control groups. The study concluded that synthetic phonics is a possible tool for improving the reading skills of Nigerian pupils
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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