Synthetic Phonics for ESL Children in Hong Kong

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Text of Synthetic Phonics for ESL Children in Hong Kong

  • 1.

2. 3.

  • Pupils have learnt the following words from different parts and stages of their English curriculum:
    • Chair, chess, chip, change, child, children, chocolate
    • Rich, beach, match, catch, much
  • Teacher guides pupils to deduce the relationship between the ch and the sound it represents.

4.

  • Pupils have learnt the following words from different parts and stages of their English curriculum:
    • say, bay, lay, tray, day, may, way
  • Teacher guides pupils to deduce the relationship between the spelling -ay and the pronunciation it represents.

5. 6.

  • Phonics teaching depends on pupils vocabulary learning; and
  • Vocabulary learning is generally slow because it has to be contextualised, according to the official English Language curriculum.
  • Difficult to organise a phonics syllabus.

7.

  • Rate of phonics learning hindered by vocabulary learning; therefore slow.
  • Phonics learning becomes haphazard. Pupils knowledge of phonics does not develop systematically.
  • In recent years, more and more secondary schools have found it necessary to re-teach phonics from S.1.

8. 9.

  • Direct teaching of sound-spelling relationships (i.e.,graphemes , eg., a, e, i, o, u, ee, ay, ea, ow, f, ce, sh, th, wh, ).
  • Pupils are given training in blending graphemes into syllables/words, and segmenting syllables/words into graphemes.

10.

  • Pupils have been taught the vowel grapheme ay, and the consonant graphemes m, b, s.
  • They are then taught how to blend these graphemes to produce may, bay, say.
  • Later, when they are taught further graphemes such as d, g, tr, h, l, r, they will be able to sound out: day, gay, tray, hay, lay, etc., from the spelling, and to spell them out from the pronunciation.

11.

  • If pupils have been taught the grapheme ch, and some common vowel (and consonant) graphemes, they will be able to sound out:
    • chip, cheap, cheese, choose, chat, chin, chart, chum, cheer (even if some of these words are new to them);
    • and spell them from their pronunication.

12.

  • Synthetic phonics isacceleratedphonics.
  • Pupils spelling greatly improves.
  • Pupils reading is also accelerated, since they can sound out words in story books, many of which are already in their listening-speaking vocabulary.

13. 14.

  • In the first term of 2008-09, with the full support of OUP, an independent study was carried out at 3 primary schools in HK. The study covered all the P.1 pupils at the 3 primary schools.
  • The research question: Does synthetic phonicsworkfor these P.1 children?
  • This study was the first of its kind in Asia.

15.

  • A pre-experimental design research adopted.
  • Pupils given a pre-test on 2 phonics skills in September 2008.
  • They then followed a three-month programme on synthetic phonics (Stage 1 of OUPsRead, Write, Inc . course). P.1 English teachers at the 3 schools supported by OUP ELT experts and synthetic phonics trainers.
  • Pupils given a post-test on same 2 phonics skills in January 2009.

16.

  • The pre-test and post-test had same content and measured 2 phonics skills:
    • ability to recognise correct spellings of unfamliar words heard; and
    • ability to sound out unfamiliar words from their spellings
  • All words used are one-syllable, nonsense words, to control for previous knowledge, and words learnt during the course.

17.

  • Test 1: Recognising correct spellings of nonsense words (8 items)
    • Pre-test:6.15
    • Post-test:7.07
  • Test 2: Sounding out nonsense words (4 items)
    • Pre-test:0.85
    • Post-test:2.43