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  • TABLE OF CONTENT PageChapter 1Introduction 1–3Statement of Research Problem 3–4Research Objectives 5Research Questions 5Operational Definition 6–8Significance of the Study 8Limitation of the Study 8Chapter 2Literature Review 9 – 19Chapter 3Methodology 20Research Design 20 – 21Sample and Participants 21Instrumentation 22 – 23Data Analysis 23ReferenceAppendices
  • THE INFLUENCE OF INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORTS AND TEACHING PRACTICES ON YEAR TWO STUDENTS’ READING SKILL A Comparative Study in Whole Language and Phonics Classes INTRODUCTION1.1 Introduction In most ESL classrooms, recent changes in reading instruction have included a movement away from the traditional skill-based approach to what has been termed reading through ‘phonics’. However, many question the effectiveness in the traditional approach as compared to the new and hip approach which is practiced worldwide as being termed as the ‘whole language approach. In Malaysia, the government has introduced this type of approach in the new syllabus of English Language for the new curriculum, the KSSR. Starting from the Year 1, the pupils will be exposed to the systematic reading instruction as opposed to the past curriculum which firmly anchored to the skill-based approach. Previously, the syllabus in English Language for primary school divided into four major skills of a language which are listening, speaking, reading and writing. However, the introductory of the new curriculum back in 2011, the KSSR, proposed that English language teaching and learning should be diverted from examination-oriented skills and more focus should be paid to the communicative and authentic skills in the language. So, the government introduced the new approach to the language which diverted away from the chalk and talk lessons to a more sound system approach in order to gain basic literacy.
  • It is however a ‘back-to-basic-approach and conventional method’ whereby thephonics is outlined as basic principles in learning to read as compared to thewhole-language that is considered as revolutionary. It also includes all the skillsneeded in a language (listening and speaking, reading, writing) plus the languageart as a guideline in teaching and learning in primary schools. The assessment ofthe subject is no longer summative, but a school-based assessment isintroduced. The students are assessed and evaluated through their six years ofprimary schooling based on a banding system. Although English languageteachers who have been practitioners of this whole-language approach in KBSRfor the past years, this may seem a bit odd in a way of adapting phonics andbasal reading to their teaching. The common element of these reading approaches however is still anearly focus on teaching of English grapheme-phoneme correspondence to readand write alphabetically (decoding and encoding). Thus, for most ESL teachers,early and systematic emphasis on decoding leads to better achievement thanless systematic phonics instruction. Although most studies on beginning readingprovide strong evidence that explicit teaching of phonics improves wordidentification in reading (Adam,1990; Chall, 1967), they say little about thedifferences in ways of learning phonics under the various kinds of readinginstruction (Thompson, Johnston, 1993). The question whether researchsupports a ‘phonics first’ approach to the teaching of reading is especially hard toanswer since it is partly a matter of values and opinions (McKenna, Stahl,Reinking,1994). Various lines of research demonstrate that children do not need
  • intensive phonics instruction to develop the functional command of letter or sound patterns that they need as readers (Weaver,1990). Proponents of whole language make it clear that phonics instruction is required (Goodman,1992; Newman, Church, 1990), but distinguish between embedding phonics instruction in whole language lessons and teaching isolated skills, as has been typical in traditional approaches. It is assumed that embedded phonics instruction in the context of reading authentic literature and invented spelling may be as effective as other forms of phonics instruction (Freppon, Dahl, 1991). The component of written language is much affected to the exposure of the development of recognition and spelling. This exposure happens in all language classes including the whole language classes. However, it may be differences in the challenge of the material read by the children that lead to variability in the use of various strategies and achievement (Beck, McCaslin,1978). “The types of words which appear in beginning reading texts may well exert a more powerful influence in shaping children’s word identification strategies than the method of reading instruction” as being pointed out by Juel & Roper-Schneider (1985).1.2 Statement of Research Problem For years, people have been searching for the best approach to teach children to read. Traditionally, the use of phonics is a popular approach among the teachers to teach reading by associating letters or graphemes with the sounds. However, many questions on the effectiveness as learning to read with phonics have
  • ignored the literary element of reading (Puerro, Michelle, 1997). The way thechildren learn to read will contribute on their cognitive development especially inreading and writing. A general assumption is made that the way in which childrenlearn the written language differs according to the way the teacher presents it. Normally, reading skill is evaluated as one of the language skill inMalaysian school English language syllabus. Not much attention was given to thematerials such as stories as they did not being recorded as a formal evaluation.Teachers should not be blamed as the pressure to pass the examination isgreater as compared to be a successful reader. Therefore, this has failed todevelop a reading-habit nation especially in the youngsters. As this study is a replicate of a study that has been done previously byPuerro and Michelle, 1997, the aim of the study is to observe the effects onwhole-language approach and basal-reading approach to improve reading skill.First, this study aims to see through analysis of the errors, the children’sconceptual understanding of the oral and written units and the relation betweenthose units. The second purpose is to interpret the children’s representations ofthe written language in light of the instructional differences between the twoclasses.
  • 1.3 Research Objective This study is intended to see whether by adopting a social construction perspective on literacy can make visible instructional influence on learning to read. It is a comparative study which compares the Year 2 acquisition of literacy in two different instructional settings. Reading development is observed both in traditional setting of phonics classroom and in a whole language classroom. The research aims to find out: 1. What strategies teachers can use to help students further develop phonics skills and apply them actively in their learning; 2. Whether the development of phonics skills can enhance students’ confidence and competence in reading as well as spelling.1.4 Research Questions This study will be guided by the following research questions; i. Will students in phonics classroom show higher achievement in reading as compared to the students in whole language classroom? ii. How do our students respond to phonics learning?
  • iii. How do teachers perceive phonics learning after two years’ experience in adapting the pendulum swing of diverting the instructional methods in teaching reading, from a whole-language approach in KBSR syllabus to sound system and phonics approach in KSSR?1.5 Operational Definition 1.5.1 Whole-language approach The whole-language approach advocates the holistic teaching of reading throughout the language curriculum and emphasis the importance of a print-rich environment (Hempenstall, 1996). The teaching of letter-sound correspondences with blending skills relatively little direct instructions, being taught explicitly and happens during higher level reading skills. This assumes that children who learn language in whole-language approach acquire the knowledge and language skills through their reading for meaning experience with relatively little explicit teaching. The term "whole language" does not refer only to providing interesting comprehensible texts and helping children understand less comprehensible texts. It involves instilling a love of literature, problem-solving and critical thinking, collaboration, authenticity, personalized learning, and much more (Goodman, Bird, and Goodman, 1991). In terms of the process of literacy development, however, the Comprehension Hypothesis is a central part of whole language. Reading pedagogy, according to the Comprehension Hypothesis, focuses on providing students with interesting, comprehensible texts, and the job of the
  • teacher is to help children read these texts, that is, help make themcomprehensible. The direct teaching of "skills" is helpful only when it makes textsmore comprehensible. More precisely, comprehension of messages is necessaryfor language acquisition and literacy development, but it is not sufficient. It iscertainly possible to comprehend a text or message and not acquire anything.We acquire when we understand messages that contain aspects of languagethat we have not yet acquired but are developmentally ready.1.5.2 Phonics According to Chitravelu et al. (1995) in ELT Methodology: Principles andPractice, phonics is a system of teaching children to read by paying specialattention to help children to see the relationships between English graphemesand their sounds, and blending them together to make out meaningful words.Through the phonics approach, children will first learn the isolated sound of eachgrapheme and then they put the sound together to form the whole words. Thetheory underlying in this approach comprised that the language is being learnt isphonemically regularly. Once the children learned the phonemic elements, theycan obtain the sound of the words by blending the sounds in sequence. Andonce they had attained the sound of the word, they will get to understand themeaning of it.
  • 1.5.3 KSSR KSSR stands for Kurrikulum Standard Sekolah Rendah which started to be implemented in Malaysian school as the new syllabus replacing KBSR. Ministry of Education Malaysia has introduced the standardized English Language Curriculum for Primary Schools (Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Rendah), which will be implemented phase by phase starting from 2011. The new curriculum emphasizes on holistic development of the students which encompasses new elements such as grooming of creativity and innovation, entrepreneurship, and integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). In English language, the underlying principle to teach reading is ‘back-to- basic’ skill which introduces the phonics skills in teaching reading skill.1.6 Significance of the Study The results of this study will be beneficial for many reasons. Most teachers will be able to use these results to refine their lesson plans by adapting the new curriculum syllabus (KSSR) into their teaching. Furthermore, the teachers will utilize the results to make modifications to the reading instructional strategies used in their classrooms.
  • 1.7 Limitation of the Study Since the observations collected will be limited to small sample population and related to two contrasted instructional approaches, the hasty generalization should be aware of. Maybe the classes will be observed in different angle and views as to observe the reading and writing lessons. Perhaps the differences between the two settings should be highlighted as they may contribute to the result. CHAPTER 22.0 Literature Review 2.1 Phonological Awareness The phonological awareness can be defined as having “….an awareness of sounds in spoken (not written) words that is revealed by such abilities as rhyming, matching initial consonants, and counting the number of phonemes in spoken words” (Stahl & Murray, 1994, p.221). Furthermore, the phonological awareness of oral language is seen as the vital key to the development of reading because it helps for “…quick access to oral vocabulary in lexical memory because it is stored in phonological forms…” (Koda, 2005, p.33). On the other hand, it can be argued that the ESL learners may be prompted to certain phonological awareness in their first language (L1) that may not exist in English language. A research conducted by Lesaux & Siegel (2003) opposed the
  • belief by suggesting that learner’s phonological awareness in their L1 does positively affect reading acquisition in the ESL. Thus, in addition to a sufficient vocabulary base, phonological awareness (in learners’ L1 or L2) can be distinguished as an essential component to the development and acquisition of reading skill. The Figure 1 shows the interactive model of reading acknowledges that reading skill acquires the interaction of both bottom-up processes, such as decoding skills (including phonological and orthographic awareness) and top- down processes (knowledge of context and culture) as a way for one to be able to read effectively. Contextual knowledge Social and Cultural knowledgeGrapheme Input Working Memory Interpretation Input Vocabulary knowledge Orthographic knowledge Phonological knowledge Figure 1: Interactive Model of Reading Adapted from: Rumelhart (1985)
  • There is a belief that stated most children will learn to read no matter whatmethod of instruction is used (Baumell, 2003). However, if children are strugglingwith this literacy skill since the early age, the negative impact will affect the othercognitive skills in listening, speaking and writing. Reading has long beenconsidered as the essential skill that children need to learn. Once the childrenacquire the reading skill, they will be able to obtain any information from anyreading materials as well as to enjoy the literature read. Thus, there have beendebates over the best method to teach children the reading skill. Figure 2discusses the reading instruction which can be referred to three types oflanguage instruction: 1. Whole language approach; 2. Whole word approach; 3.Phonics-based approach. Figure 2: Reading Instruction Approaches Adapted from: Sumanpreet Purewal (2008)2.2 Whole-language Approach
  • For the past years, phonics skill has been taught as the guideline to teachreading. However, the alternate method, the whole language approach has beenaccepted as the new effective trend. The debates are ongoing on which methodson the efficacy on both approaches. On one end of the continuum, there are proponents of the whole languageapproach who claim that “…children who learn to read are those who are read to,and the stories and books they hear are chosen for their interest and appeal, andnot for the sequence and scope of vocabulary and language structures” (Piper,2003, p.272). The idea suggests that learners should learn to read by making themeaning of the language rather than on decoding skills. The underlying premiseof the whole language approach is that “language is actually learned from whole to part. We first use whole utterances in familiar situations. Then later we see and develop parts, and begin to experiment with their relationship to each other and to the meaning of the whole. The whole is always more than the sum of the parts and the value of any part can only be learned within the whole utterance in a real speech event” (Goodman, 1986, p.19). This perspective shows how whole language approach is correspondedwith how language is acquired. The whole language approach therefore suggeststhat learners would be able to acquire meaning from the text as well asimplementing the higher-level processing skills such as ‘prediction’, wherereading is perceived as a ‘psycholinguistic guessing game’ (Sumanpreet, 2008).
  • Krashen (1985) identifies whole language approach as The ComprehensionHypothesis (a.k.a Input Hypothesis). The hypothesis claims that the developmentof literacy and language occurs in only one way which is when childrenunderstand the messages conveyed. The proponents of the whole languageapproach state that this approach is preferable as it integrates every languagecomponents (speaking, listening, reading and writing) into the teaching of readingtherefore this will improve the comprehension skill (Holland & Hall, 1989). Thewhole language classroom also requires the rich in print and print-orientedactivities environment. However, Goodman et al. (1991) state that the term ofwhole language classroom should not be focusing on providing interestingcomprehensible texts but it also involves instilling a love of literature, problemsolving and critical thinking, collaboration, authenticity, personalized learning, andmuch more. The whole language proponents also claim that phonetic decoding skills areessential for fluent reading as the skills are learned through reading experience(Smith, 1988). They believe that when children can relate experience to reading,reading becomes more personal (Pickering, 1989). This shows that the wholelanguage proponents believe that phonetic decoding skills should be acquire byearly readers but in an explicit ways rather than teaching the phonetics skill as anisolated skill. On the other hand, Wood (1984) reported that more negative effects than thepositive were found in order to support this method of teaching reading subskills.Wood also stated that not much research out there to indicate the sound
  • empirical evidence to validate wither the specific skills supported or the sequenceof their instruction in modern basal programs. A study conducted by Holland (1989), presented a comparative analysis ofthe effect of both basal and whole language approaches on the readingachievement of first grade students. The result of the study by analyzing ofvariance indicated that there were no statistically significant differences inreading achievement between the traditional approaches of phonics with thewhole language approach. Another study regarding the approach was conductedby Shapiro (1988) that found the comparison of vocabulary generated by thechildren with the phonetics skill basic indicated that high frequency vocabularywas nearly identical. But the low frequency words that were used by the childrenwere judged to be more current. And the misspellings demonstrated as an overgeneralization of phonics principles. Shapiro concluded that the whole languageapproach does not limit children’s exposure to systematic repetition of importantvocabulary. Stahl and Miller (1989) claimed that whole language approaches might beeffective for teaching functional features of reading such as print concepts andexpectations about reading. In order to help students master the word recognitionskills as prerequisite to effective comprehension requires a more direct approach.So, the use of whole language activities are fundamentally important in teachingreading skills such as the use of context for monitoring and predictive purposes,vocabulary enrichment to support printed words for meaning, discussion thatwould encourage reading for comprehension, integration of reading, writing and
  • spelling. Relatively, Bracey (1992) suggests that the teaching of reading shouldbe a balanced approach which integrates both instructional methods. Thus, oneof the major limitations of the whole language approach is the assumption that all‘good’ readers rely on the meaning-making process when reading; however, theuse of context is used by both skilled and beginning readers but in different ways(Sumanpreet, 2008).2.3 Phonics Approach On the other end of the continuum, a phonics-based approach focusesmainly on the teaching of decoding skills, isolated in a systematic manner.Phonics instruction teaches letter-sound associations and how to use theseassociations to read words. When provided systematically, phonics instructionhelps children learn to read more effectively than does non-systematic instructionor instruction without phonics. Phonics benefits reading, spelling, andcomprehension in many readers, and effects persist even after instruction ends(Ehri et al., 2001). Phonics is an extremely important component of literacyinstruction because English is fundamentally an alphabetic code (Moats, 2000;Venezky,1999); spoken language is rendered into a written form using letters torepresent the sounds in words. Phonics, along with other strategies, is used torecognize words. Ehri (Ehri & McCormick, 1988; Ehri & Sweet, 1991) suggestedfour strategies that a reader might use to recognize a word: (1) predicting—usingcontext and linguistic knowledge to make a likely guess; (2) decoding—converting individual letters and patterns of letters into sounds and blendingthese sounds; (3) analogy—using word parts including morphemes to analyze
  • the structure of a word; and (4) recall—retrieving a known word from memory.Decoding and analogy strategies both require knowledge of phonics. We believe that there are three very important points to make about wordrecognition and phonics. First, phonics, like any other word-recognition tool, isused to assist the reader in obtaining an approximate pronunciation for a writtenword that, when checked for a match with his or her store of known spokenwords and the context, gets the reader one step closer to the meaning(Anderson, Hiebert, Scott, & Wilkinson, 1985). Second, phonics is a means to anend and not an end unto itself. Third, a sight strategy eventually predominates asreaders become more and more skilled. Chall discovered that children that learn to read by using the phonicsapproach showed greater achievement in word recognition as well as readingcomprehension (Chall, 1967). Flesch (1981) supported the finding by claimingthat children who learn “phonics first” can read more words at the end of their firstgrade as compared to the “look and say” learners. Flesch further explained thatthose children who learn to read by the latter method rely much on the picturesand context clues so that they don’t learn the mechanics of learning to read as itis often a guessing game (Flesch, 1981). Elridge and Baird (1996) state that aphonemic awareness approach was claimed to be superior to the wholelanguage, as the whole language readers who are taught to read words andstories begin with the same steps of children who learn to read by using thephonics based approach. Lapp and Flood (1997) observed that most teachersagree that children’s acquisition of phonics skills is a vital part of learning to read.
  • They concur that “children who start slowly in acquiring decoding skills rarelybecome strong readers” (Lapp & Flood, 1997, p.698). However, the question often arises on the effectiveness of using thedecoding skills in reading because its lacks of meaningful literature. According toFlesch (1955), through phonics ones can learn the “natural system of learninghow to read”. For years, researches have shown that people learned to read bymemorizing letters and sounds with much ease by phonics approach. As timegoes by, the teaching of reading word by word had claimed to become tedious,boring and primitive. It resembled the time when people had to memorizepictures and symbols for words (Flesch, 1955). According to Weaver (1994) andKrashen (1996), the comprehension hypothesis does not forbid the directinstruction of phonics. They pointed out that proponents of phonics merelysupport the teaching of just the straight-forward phonics rules, and expectchildren to “induce” the more complex rules. This can be seen as the position ofthose sometimes considered to be anti-phonics. There is this argument by Fox (1986), stating that learning systematicphonics is definitely not enough and there has been relationship between readingand meaning-making. However, phonics is seen as a helpful tool to achieveeffectiveness in learning to read. Thus, a relevant experimental research findingsuggests that phonics knowledge is a prerequisite to early reader accurateidentification of written words (Chall, 1983; Share & Stanovich, 1995). A studyhas been conducted by Griffith (1992) to find out the effect of phonemicawareness on the literacy development of first grade children in a phonics class
  • or a whole language class. Phonemic awareness is the meta linguistics abilitythat allows children to reflect the features on spoken language (Griffith, 1992). Acorrelational study by Juel (1988) identified the phonemic awareness as apowerful predictor of reading achievement in first grade. So, the instruction thatassists both phoneme awareness and decoding skill is vitally important inteaching reading. Overall, it is important to take a balanced approach to phonicsinstruction, teaching children letter-sound associations as well as lettersequences and rhymes, and helping children to use guides from the words thatthey already know to decode new words. Teachers’ personality also plays an important role in children’s knowledgeconstruction. Many have argued that children’s failure to acquire the reading skillmight be evidence that the instruction was lacking (Calfee, 1982). Children learnin various ways, not only from the direct instructions given by the teachers in theclassroom, but through their observation on how teacher relates with their peers(Brazee, 1986). De Walt (1988) states that the main issue most likely will be thatteachers and administers need to work together that the reading program is tocater the needs in helping teachers to carry out effective reading instruction. DeWalt also suggests that the focus should be placed on training the teachers toeffectively deliver and guide the methods used. The encouragement andchallenge to students’ ideas through the use of variety of materials which canencourage children to become active and interested learners will be beneficial inhelping them to acquire the reading skill (De Walt,1988). In this sense, instructionshould focus on immersing students in language. Teachers can employ the use
  • of the story books to engage students in active discussions in the hope thatlearning will be more meaningful for students. Schools are often evaluated on how well students perform on thestandardized tests. Thus, teachers may feel pressured to teach the test andstressed out to find a reading program that will produce high achievement inreading. Education express concern over declining reading achievement scores(Chall, 1983). Though research on phonics approach versus whole languageapproach has been plentiful, but the results from study to study can be conflictingand contradictory. This has caused a great pressure placed on teachers andadministers for having high standardized test scores. As time goes by, Malaysia’s education system undergoes big changes. In1983, Kurikulum Baru Sekolah Rendah (KBSR) was introduced and made somechanges to the education system. 10 years later, its name was changed toKurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Rendah (KBSR). Now, a new curriculum wasintroduced a year ago, 2011 to replace KBSR: Kurikulum Standard SekolahRendah (KSSR). KSSR was introduced to reorganize and upgrade the currentcurriculum. Changes can be clearly seen in the aspect of key areas, curriculumdocumentation, curriculum design, curriculum organization, curriculum content,elements and focus. In KSSR, we can clearly see the big change in this syllabusis that phonics is emphasized as a new method to teach reading which isdifferent from a whole language approach that was used in KBSR. In modules ofreading of KSSR, the whole module is focused on phonics while in KBSR,phonics is taught under the language content known as ‘sound system’. For ten
  • years, we have been comfortable with the Whole Language approach under KBSR. Now, through KSSR, most probably we are about to see the pendulum swings to the other side. CHAPTER 33.0 Methodology Before further discussion on the methods used for this study, it is important to emphasize that this study is a comparative study. This study compares Year 2’s (second graders) acquisition of literacy in reading skill in two different instructional settings. One teacher uses the whole language approach by integrating the language skills in the classroom. While another teacher applies the phonics based approach as the instruction in the classroom.
  • In collecting data for this research, the research instruments are divided into two categories which are (i) qualitative data and (ii) quantitative data. The methods to collect qualitative data are interview and observation while the method in collecting data for quantitative data is a formal assessment on student’s phonics skills and reading aloud are built into the oral examination in both terms.3.1 Research Design An interview and a reading test (Appendix 1) on the students’ mastery of sounds, their confidence in sounding out words and their competence in reading aloud are conducted at the beginning of the first semester of schooling to find out the students’ confidence level and how much they know. The same test will be conducted again at the end of the second term to measure the students’ change in performance and confidence level. Some open-ended questions will be asked to seek students’ view on the learning process and their experience in learning to read in English language. Students’ oral presentation during the teaching and learning process will be recorded and transcribed as the evidence of learning and improvement. The observations will be conducted during the process of teaching to check and not down students’ progress, their problems and evaluate the instructional strategies.
  • Beside observations and interviews, formal assessment on students’ phonics skills and reading aloud will be conducted to inform about the students’ progress in developing phonics skills.3.2 Sample and Participants of the Study Sample consisted of 40 Year 2 students, members of two different classes situated in a same school, located in sub-urban area in Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Both of the settings come from nearly identical in terms of socio-economic and ethnic background. Groups of 20 students are formed in each class. At the beginning of the school year, the two group formed are similar in the age (the average is 7) and language skills (in each class the teacher are asked to select children with average levels). As being mentioned before, the essential difference is only the instructional methods. The teachers devoted between 4 to 5 hours per week of teaching English language in primary school. Group 1 i. Receive traditional-approach instruction with a focus on symbol-sound relationships from the beginning of the school year ii. Using the 26 basic graphemes in English writing Group 2
  • i. Receive a whole-language approach by using literature and writing experiences with incidental attention to phonics ii. Using the phonemes in both the vowels and consonants of English language3.3 Instrumentation The observation is the main research instrument for the study. A Classroom Jolly Phonics Observation Checklist in Appendix 2 is used as the guideline. The checklist then will be summarized, compared and interpreted. The field notes taken at each classroom observation will also be one of the instrumentation in guiding this study. A pre-test or a diagnostic oral test will be conducted at the beginning of the first term to find out students’ confidence level and their knowledge on using phonics skills to read. The same test will be conducted again towards the end of the school term to observe improvement and progression level. Interviews with the teachers will be conducted and coded into few constructs, their teaching styles, and strategies, methods used within the classrooms, reading materials used and a basic overview of the schedule for the reading curriculum for the year. The interviews are audiotaped, transcribed and interpreted.3.4 Data Analysis The study requires quantitative and qualitative data analyses. Classroom observation and interviews are compiled. Each observation will be summarized and compared in order to draw appropriate conclusions and interpretations. The interviews transcripts are group and coded to strengthen the basis of argument. The score of the tests will be recorded and compared to measure the change of behavior and progression.
  • REFERENCESLaurence Pasa (2001). The Influence of Instructional Supports and Teaching Practices On First Grade Reading and Writing. Netherlands. Kluwer Academic PublisherStephen Krashen (2000). Has Whole Language Failed? University of Southern CaliforniaChall, J. (1967). Learning to read: The great debate. New York: McGraw-HillGoodman, K. (1982). Language, literacy and learning. London: Routledge Kagan PaulHolland, K. and Hall, L. (1989). Reading achievement in first grade classrooms: A comparison of basal and whole language approaches. Reading Improvement 26:323-329Krashen, S. (1985). The Input Hypothesis. Beverly Hills: LaredoSmith F. (1975). Comprehension and learning. Katonah, NY: OwenWeaver, C. (1994). Reading Process and Practice. Portsmouth, NH: HeinemannJuel, C., & Roper-Schneider, D. (1985). The Influence of basal readers on first grade reading. Reading Research Quarterly, 20, 134-152Lapp, D., & Flood J. (1997). Where’s the phonics? Making a case (again) for integrated code instruction. The Reading Teacher, 50, 696-700Share, D. L., & Stanovich, K. E. (1995). Cognitive processes in early reading development: Accommodating individual differences into a mode of acquisition. Issues in Education, 1,1-57
  • Curriculum Development Council (1997). Syllabuses for primary schools: English Language (Primary 1-6). Hong Kong: the Education DepartmentMiller, W. (2000). Strategies for developing emergent literacy. Boston: McGraw Hill Higher EducationPurewal, S. (2008). Synthetic phonics and the literacy development of second language young learners. University of Leeds. UKCurtis, J. (1997). Phonics vs. whole language: Which is better? Retrieved from, S. S. (2000). Helping your child learn to read: Phonics and words. Retrieved from, J. (2000). Learning to read – research informs us. Schwab Retrieved June 11, 2012, from
  • Appendix 1 Jo Jo has a new bicycle, It has a red seat…and a yellow bell… And a green horn…and blue wheels. Jo Jo cleans her bicycle… And rides it around the garden. Teacher’s comment (student’s confidence, attitude, strengths, weaknesses, skills applied) Duration : minutes Running words : Errors : Self corrections : Error rate :
  • Appendix 3Interview Questions 1. What strategies have the teachers used in teaching reading skill? 2. Which strategies are effective? Why? 3. What have you learnt in phonics approach learning? 4. When do you apply the phonics skills?