Relationship between phonological awareness and reading ability in selected Primary Schools in Solwezi District
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The purpose of the study was to establish the relationship between phonological awareness knowledge and reading ability in a transparent orthography. A sample comprising of 105 participants (15 teachers and 90 pupils) was drawn from three schools in Solwezi District, North Western Province. The participants were randomly (pupils) and purposively (teachers) selected for the study. The study used a mixed method and employed the Concurrent Triangulation Design. Information was obtained from participants using interviews guides, classroom observations check lists and tests in reading and phonological awareness. In order to achieve the study objectives, tests were administered in phonological awareness and reading in Kiikaonde to establish the relationship between phonological awareness knowledge and reading ability. Interviews with teachers and classroom observations were conducted to find out the components of phonological awareness being taught in schools and the strategies being used to teach phonological awareness skills. Interviews with teachers were also conducted to find out if teachers had received training in phonological awareness either in college or in service workshops. Both qualitative and quantitative data analyses were used. Qualitative data was analysed using thematic analysis while quantitative data was analysed using Excel, 2010 where both descriptive and inferential statistics was used. The study revealed that there was a significant and positive correlation between phonological awareness knowledge and reading ability more so in grade two than grade one learners. The study also revealed that blending, substitution and sound identification (isolation) were the components of phonological awareness that teachers were teaching during literacy lessons. The study also revealed that teachers were using teacher centred strategies when teaching phonological awareness during literacy lessons. It was also revealed in the study that teachers had not received training in phonological awareness during pre- service training but some had received this training in Continuous Professional Development Meetings. Based on the findings, the study recommends that the teaching of phonological awareness should be incorporated in the syllabus being followed by primary teacher training colleges. Secondly, Continuous Professional Development Meetings such as Teacher Group Meetings should be strengthened in schools so that teachers are trained to use a variety of teaching strategies when teaching.
University of Zambia
- Education