1.1 Background of the study
The importance of reading among pupils in any society cannot be overemphasized as it is the key to academic, social and economic progression of children. For a society to grow, the teaching of reading especially using phonic and syllables must be effective. A reading society is likely to succeed in sustainable development as its citizenry will participate in decision making and economic development with an informed mind (Ahamefuna :2000).A lot of countries all over the world have one way or the other been compelled by circumstance to adopt English as a national language. English language became the only alternative as a national language in Ghana unifying tool due to there long relationship with the British our formal colonial masters (Ambless: 1990). It occupies the central position in the educational enterprise and it impacts neither positive nor negative is felt in all other disciplines. Apart from formal education, English language enables us to communicate effectively with other users of the language throughout the world. English language is the medium of instruction and it is used in our Ghanaian schools from lower primary to the university level. The language serves as the medium for learning, understand, gaining competence in all subjects in school curriculum. It has been the foundation for all academic work. The English language has become a lingua Franca and the official language of the press as well as commerce. It is against this background that learner’s inability to pronounce English words correctly made the researcher became interested in investigating why learners of basic four pupils cannot pronounce English words correctly. It has taken the first in international communication and for carrying out business transaction world wide. It is not easily known that much of the English language teaching that goes on in the classroom do not teach learners to speak the language learners rather learn word and sentences in a root manner and therefore are not able to use the language as it is done in real life situations. This is because the language items are not demonstrated in real life situation to learners to enable them to know how to use them in every day expressions. Gurvey, P.(1970:17-19) explains that nearly all the languages most learners try to master, is the surface of sounds, and dictionary meaning which means, the language is not heard and studied as a language which fulfills social or contextual needs. Most of the school going children finds it extremely difficult to express themselves effectively with others, master the English language and use phonic and syllabic methods. This is not because they do not have the ideas of what to say but how to say it has brought the barrier in communication.
1.2 Statement of the problem
These are the problems of the study:
- Most pupils find it difficult to read using phonic and syllabic method.
- The gap between slow and fast learners seemingly, keeps on widening without much being done to bridge it.
- There is a problem of poor pronunciation of words among pupils and this is based on the pronunciation (reading) of individual works.
- Both teachers and pupils find it difficult to use phonic and syllabic techniques of teaching pronunciation incorporated with the use of various instructional materials to address the pronunciation needs of pupils.
1.3 Objectives of the study
The main aim of this study is to discover ways in which the reading difficulties of pupils using phonic and syllabic method will be reduced. Other specific objectives are:
2. To bring about changes in the Childs level of competence in skills and attitudes towards to achieve this by introducing pupils to phonic method of English pronunciation.
3. To help pupils through the use of syllabic method of pronouncing English words.
4. To use adequate and appropriate teaching materials in teaching pronunciation.
5. To introduce pupils to the use of whole sentences method to strengthen pronunciation skills.
1.4 Research questions
- What are the teachers’ backgrounds regarding children with reading difficulties?
2. What are the teachers’ realities regarding children with reading difficulties?
3. How do the teachers identify learners with reading difficulties? 4. 4. How do they plan their teaching to support these learners?
5. How do they support these learners in the classroom during the lesson?
6. How can the use of adequate and appropriate teaching and learning materials help pupils to improve upon English pronunciation?
7. How can the use of phonic approach helps pupils to identify and pronounce English words correctly?
8. To what extent will use of syllabic methods of teaching help to salvage the pronunciation skills of pupil?
9. What is the cause of poor pronunciation of words among basic four pupils?
10. How many times English pronunciation is taught in a week?
1.5 Research hypotheses
1.6 Significance of the study
The study will also enable teachers to exhibit a sense of initiative situation that can help remedy some of the problems of pronunciation of words among basic four pupils. The researcher hoped that the outcome of the study would urge other teachers and educationists to deliver deep into the subject and come out with other appropriate suggestion to the educational planners as well as other fellow teachers in general. Again the study could also be of great value to policy makers and curriculum developers in designing modern instructional strategies and approaches for adoption by birth teachers and prospective teachers as acomplement to the traditional methods of instruction.
1.7 Scope/Limitations of the study
This study is on improving the reading difficulties of pupils using phonic and syllabic method.
Limitations of study
- 1. Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
- 2. Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 Definition of terms
Phonic:a method of teaching reading and spelling based upon the phonetic interpretation of ordinary spelling.It is related to speech sounds.
Syllable:One or more letters representing a unit of spoken language consisting of a single uninterrupted sound.
Syllabic method: It is a method of breaking words into syllabus. For instance, individual-in-di-vi-dual etc.