THE EFFICACY OF PHONICS APPROACHES TO ENHANCE THE BASIC READING SKILLS OF PUBLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN IN HAWASSA
Keywords:Analytic Phonics Basic Reading, Decoding Phonics, Synthetic Phonics
This study aimed at investigating the efficacy of phonics approaches—synthetic and analytic—to enhance grade one children’s basic reading skills in an EFL context. The targeted population for quasi-experimental design consisted of approximately sixty children from a randomly selected government primary school in Hawassa. They took part in the experiments without any special arrangements that disrupted the regular sessions. Accordingly, two randomly selected sections-each of them consisting of thirty students—were assigned to the treatment/synthetic group and the control/analytic group, respectively. A mixed research design that relied more on quantitative data was used. The major instruments employed for data collection included reading tests, observation, and interviews. The reading tests were administered before and after the interventions. The observations were meant to check the implementation of the phonics approaches under study based on the guidelines provided for teachers. The interviews were used to elicit the teachers’ reflections on their perceptions and experiences before and after the interventions. The four weeks of training, including the orientation given to teachers and the evaluation sessions that were carried out in the first and fourth weeks of the experiment, The outcomes of the research revealed that the synthetic and analytic phonics approaches had a positive effect on raising the children's basic reading and decoding skills. They were identical in terms of their effect on the basic reading skills of first-grade children. It was also learned from the observations that teachers generally implemented the interventions with slight variations that had little effect on the children’s reading attainment. The teachers witnessed that the experiments enhanced the achievement of children in basic reading and decoding skills.