An evaluation of instructional strategies pre-school teachers use to present readiness activities to prepare pre-schoolers for grade one reading in Kabompo and Solwezi Districts of the North Western Province of Zambia
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This study was an evaluation of instructional strategies pre-school teachers used to present Reading Readiness Activities (RRA) to prepare pre-schoolers for Grade One reading in selected Pre – schools in Kabompo and Solwezi Districts of the North Western Province of Zambia. The study employed Frarrukh (2011) “Teaching evaluation model”. This evaluation model demanded that we among other things establish whether or not the teachers applied subject content and pedagogy appropriately to enhance pupils’ abilities to learn how to read. The population of the study comprised all pre-school teachers teaching reception classes and pre-schoolers in the reception classes. The research had a sample of eight pre-school teachers and 60 pre-schoolers. The main research instruments used in the study were: Semi Structured Interview Guides and Reading Readiness Activities Lesson Observation Guides. Qualitative data was analyzed thematically according to the research questions. The results of the study revealed that pre-school teachers were limited and biased in terms of RRA presented to pre-schoolers; identification of alphabet letter names and oral language development were top on the list of activities teachers presented to prepare pre-schoolers for Grade one reading. The study further showed that the use of differentiated instructional strategies to teach learners with varying abilities lacked. Besides, the use of English as the language of literacy instruction did not prove effective to all pre-schoolers. Some pupils resorted to code switching and mixing; communication strategies that teachers discouraged. Furthermore, the study showed that out of a sample of eight teachers, only four had pre-school teaching professional qualifications. On the basis of the findings advanced above, it has been recommended that the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (MESVTEE) should provide continuing professional development to pre-school teachers on reading readiness teaching methods and strategies. This should also be top priority on the agenda for teacher education colleges offering ECCED. Secondly, MESVTEE and Curriculum Development Centre (CDC) should develop appropriate Language and Literacy teaching learning materials for use in pre-schoolers. In order to explore the frontiers of knowledge further, the researcher suggests that a comparative study should be conducted to assess the performance in reading in a Grade one class between pupils with and those without a pre-school background.