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Title: The effectiveness of a computer software program for developing phonemic awareness and decoding skills for low-literate adult learners of English
Authors: Filimban, Enas Mustafa H
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This study examined the effectiveness of technology-enhanced learning in the form of newly developed software, the Digital Literacy Instructor, which was designed in four languages (Dutch, English, Finnish, and German) to develop reading skills for low-educated second language learners just beginning to read for the first time, but in a second language. Second language learners in the Netherlands, Finland, Germany, and Austria were involved in the Digital Literacy (DigLin) Instructor project, and in the UK the present thesis also tracked 11 adult migrants (aged between 25 to 56 years) from a range of different language backgrounds (speakers of Arabic, Tigrinya, Punjab, Dari, and Russian) who spent seven months using this computer-assisted reading program. In addition to their regular teaching at a local further education college, they used the seven DigLin exercises in 15 sets to help them identify grapheme-phoneme correspondences to gain basic reading skills. An additional five adult migrant learners received no such extra tuition but attended only their regular classes. All 16 learners were at different sub-A1 and A1 reading levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for language, and some of the learners were low- or non-literate in their first language. Pre- and post-tests measured their development of reading with four tasks: the phonological awareness which included three tasks (phonemic awareness, rhyme awareness, and onset awareness) and the single word reading task. The results showed that the 11 who used the DigLin software made significantly more gains in phonological awareness and word reading than those who did not use it. Moreover, those who were lower-level readers at the start gained more from the DigLin training than the higher-level readers. Qualitative data revealed further variations in their use of DigLin when its usage was not connected to their level of literacy at the start, or on whether they had existing native-language literacy.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

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