Evaluating the Impact of the delivery of Synthetic Phonics Teaching on the Acquisition of Upper and Lowercase Recognition Skills of Omani Third Graders

Noora Al-Sukaiti, Ali Al-Bulushi

Abstract


Letter name knowledge is regarded as being among the soundest indicators of later reading skill and an imperfectly established alphabetic knowledge is a well-known predictor of future reading challenges. Hence, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a synthetic approach to phonics, specifically Jolly Phonics (JP), to determine its contribution to Omani third graders’ acquisition of uppercase (UC) and lowercase (LC) recognition. The study sample consisted of 117 Omani male and female third graders in two cycle one schools in Al-Dhahira Governorate in the Sultanate of Oman during the academic year 2019/2020. The study employed a quantitative descriptive research design, in which data was collected using an UC and LC letter recognition test. The findings revealed that the although the third graders in this study’s sample have on average achieved the JP programme’s objective in terms of UC and LC letter recognition skills, not all students have achieved the minimum required level in this literacy skill; whereby 43.6% of the students were below the minimum required level and the remaining 56.4% of students were at or above the minimum required level. Besides, there was a statistically significant difference between third graders’ scores in UC letter recognition and LC recognition in favour of UC letters. The study concluded with a set of recommendations for the MOE and English teachers, in order to develop the delivery of synthetic phonics teaching as a literacy-enhancing approach, namely JP, in the Omani context. To the best of the researchers’ knowledge, this study is important for being the first to evaluate the impact of the delivery of synthetic phonics teaching (i.e. JP programme) on the acquisition of upper and lowercase recognition skills among Omani EFL third graders since the programme’s implementation in 2014.

Keywords


Jolly Phonics, Letter-name Knowledge, Literacy, Lowercase, Synthetic Phonics, Uppercase

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.10n.3p.41

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