Te Arapiki Ako
"Towards better teaching & learning"

Background information

Comment on this item  
Add to your favourites
Remove from your favourites
Add a note on this item
Recommend to a friend
Comment on this item
Send to printer
Request a reminder of this item
Cancel a reminder of this item
Share |
Last updated 26 October 2012 15:28 by NZTecAdmin

Research evidence supports the critical role of phonological and phonemic awareness in learning to read in an alphabetic writing system.20 A level of phonological awareness, however, is critical to developing decoding skills. Although the great majority of research in this area has involved children, the few studies done with adult beginning readers seem to indicate that learners of all ages take the same steps through phonemic awareness towards reading.21

Adults who are non-readers may have no phonemic awareness.22 Further, limited phonemic awareness is typical of adults with poor reading skills internationally.23 Learners in these groups can hear the words but they may not be aware of the individual sounds (phonemes) within them.24

Once again, the research with adults (and, in particular, with ESOL adults) is limited. One study with 26 ESOL adults who had little or no formal education showed significant improvement in phonological awareness and decoding after a year of instruction in phonological awareness.25

If an ESOL learner has phonological awareness in their mother tongue, this ability will not automatically transfer to phonological awareness in the English language.26 Learners need to develop phonological awareness in their second (or third or fourth) languages also. This need is particularly strong for learners from non-European language backgrounds. Children can acquire phonological awareness in a second language in a similar way to their acquisition of the first language, but most adults do not have this facility and will require explicit instruction.27 See the suggestions for instruction in ‘Knowing what to do’.

20 See, for example, Kruidenier, 2002; National Reading Panel, 2000.

21 Shaywitz, 2003; Durgunoglu and Onëy, 2002.

22 Kruidenier, 2002; DelliCarpini, 2006.

23 A dams et al, 1998, p 20.

24 Kruidenier, 2002.

25 DelliCarpini, 2006.

26 Durgunoglu and Onëy 2002.

27 Lightbown and Spada, 1992.



If you have any comments please contact us.

Search this section

Knowing the Demands Knowing the Learner Knowing the What to Do

News feeds

Subscribe to newsletter