1.1 Background to the Study
Language by nature is an intricacy of learnings and relearnings which extends a communicative sphere. It wanders off the borders of linguistics even to involve almost every cognitive capability of man who is the only wielder of it. In it’s learning, it involves four skills namely listening and speaking on the one hand and reading and writing on the other. While listening and speaking are the most basic and hence, the most important language skills, reading and writing require the most attention and conscious learning process. For Akwanya,
Reading is another very important context of encounter with language. As in listening, encounter with language in reading involves a range of attitudes, from reading, say, a newspaper to reading a poem. There is a shift whereby one becomes a participant in an activity (Akwanya, 119)
The reading skill is acquired, quite ironically, through it’s practice. However, in the face of a poor reading habit, teachers tend to focus on the material and make the child reread the passages severally so that what is achieved is a memorization of a particular passage. The implication is that such a teacher is forgetting that the reading skill involves layers and layers of activities and intricacies that might be the source of the reading problems.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
There is a list of things that could conspire to deter a fluent learning of reading as a language skill. From a pathological lack of concentration to a full blown case of dyslexia. Often when a teacher is faced with this; a child who is having challenges reading or who had a total aversion towards the exercise and the skill, it is often very frustrating for the teacher. This is majorly owing to the fact that the entire educational process is predicted upon this skill without which the learning process is fatally stalled even in the highly potential child. And each peculiar case requires a specific set of strategies to combat it with. This is the problem that has called the present research work into being: to explore the use of phonics and word recognition strategies in improving poor reading skills
1.3 Research Questions
The practical questions of this research work include:
- Can phonic and other word recognition strategies be used in improving poor reading skills.
- To what extend can they be relied upon in combating poor reading skills.
- Are their specific strategies for particular reading inabilities or does it just depend on whichever works on the child in question.
1.4 Objectives of the Study
Purposes of this research work include filling up a practical gap in the educational process. The entire aims and objectives of formal education which deductively aims at eradicating illiteracy is often defeated by the inability to instill in a child this skill without which he cannot be lettered. This research work aims at mapping out the various phonic and word recognition techniques that can be employed in the improvement of a bad reading skill. Like we mentioned in the background, it usually isn’t result oriented making the child repeat the reading material. For instance, sometimes merely making them go through the sample reading material and recognizing the words and attempting to distinguish them phonetically from others before reading the material through will help improve a child reading skill.
1.5 Significance of the Study
This research work is aimed at providing alternative and working panacea to poor reading skills. Therefore, every institutions of basic learning will find it of great importance. Governmental school boards in their bid to draft an updated curriculum and module can go through this research work and appropriate its finding into their own work. Not to say the least, teacher’s trainee programmes.
1.6 Research Hypothesis
The research we have taken up here is based on a hypothesis: that lasting and several options are open to teachers in tackling poor reading skills through the use of phonic and other word recognition techniques. It is also assumed here that these options can be tailored to each definite cause of the mentioned lacks.
1.7 Scope of the Study
Lack of a fluent reading skill is found usually among children and illiterate adults. However, this research work would focus broadly on the manifestations of this inability in children with little lights now and again on adults. This is as the case is much more diverse in children than in adults. At any event, the phonic strategies discussed here are predicated upon the learning dispositions of children than those of adults.
This work is divided into five chapters with the following chapter examining previously carried out researches on related topics and briefly addressing their inadequacies which this present research work hopes to correct. The third chapter would tailor down the methodology of the research while chapter four discusses the various strategies properly.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
Time and a controlled subjects for a good study are the recognizable limitations experienced in the course of this research work. The want of space is also another.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Phonics is the scientific study of sounds. It is the method of teaching learners of a language how to read and pronounce words correctly from correct pronunciation of letters to letter groups up to the syllabic level. It tries to show learners how to associate the graphical representation of letters and words with the sound version of those words.
Technically, reading is one of the four language skills where a language user tries to derive meaning or codes of meaning from a graphical representation of thought. The aim of this skill is to communicate through the written medium or merely to gain and understanding of thought preserved in the written form.