An examination of reading skills acquired by grade 2 learners in cinyanja under the revised curriculum in Lusaka District

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Mutale, Josephine C.
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University of Zambia
The purpose of this study was to examine reading skills acquired by grade two learners in Cinyanja under the revised curriculum in Lusaka district. The study was conducted to find out if instructional method in Primary Literacy Programme (PLP) which focuses more on phonics approach resulted in improved reading skills before learners begin to read in English language in grade three. In the study differences between schools and between boys and girls were made. Similarities of findings were also made with previous studies conducted among grade 2 learners by Read To Succeed Project. The research was a longitudinal study. Research utilized mixed methods employing a convergent parallel design in examining the levels of reading skills among grade 2 learners in Cinyanja which included letter-sound knowledge, word reading, oral passage reading and listening comprehension and learner stimulus for answering test questions. The teacher interview guide was used to collect additional information from the teachers. Samples of study were 98 grade two learners randomly selected from 6 randomly selected schools and 6 teachers representing the population under study. Data were analyzed by using SPSS version 20. Paired and independent t-tests and one way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and LSD post-hoc tests were used for statistical analysis. Comparative interpretation and explanations for histograms and graphs and statistical descriptions of results were given on the four variables. Results showed that levels of reading improved from the first test conducted at the end of grade 1 to the second test conducted at the beginning of grade 2 and from the test conducted at the end of term two of grade 2. The levels of reading were not the same in all schools. The difference between boys and girls was observed in only test 1 where girls obtained significantly higher mean scores than boys. In tests 2 and 3 in grade two, girls obtained higher mean scores than boys but results were not significant. Learners taught by teachers who had inadequate materials for teaching PLP obtained higher mean scores than those taught by teachers who had adequate materials. It is recommended that the programme should be given more support by provision of appropriate, relevant and interesting stories, more training of teachers in instructional methods and close monitoring of the programme. The study also recommends that further research in other familiar languages and in use of other interventions is required to support teachers in teaching phonics.
Master of Education in Literacy and Learning
Chewa dialect--Grammar , Cinyanja language (Zambezi)--Study and teaching