TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
Background to the Study
Statement of the Problem
Purpose of the Study
Significance of the Study
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
Concept of Literacy
Concept of Speaking
Concept of Shared Reading
Concept of Audiovisual Materials
Concept of Dramatization
Sample and Sampling Technique
Data Collection Procedure
Week Two – Shared Reading Activities
Week Three – The Use of Audiovisual Materials
Week Four – Dramatization of familiar activities
Week Five – Dramatization of stories
Week Six: Revision
Method of Data Analysis
CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION OF DATA
Pre Observation on Pupils’ Fluency of Speech
Post Observation on Pupils’ Fluency of Speech
Comparing Pre-tests and Post tests
Discussion of research questions
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
Summary of the study
MORNING SESSION QUESTIONS (PRE-TEST)
MORNING SESSION QUESTIONS (POST-TEST)
The study took place at SP School, Winneba in the Central Region of Ghana, where I had my internship.
The purpose of the study was to identify the causes of poor speaking skills among pupils and to suggest developmentally appropriate language activities that can help improve upon their listening and speaking skills. The study involved 47 pupils.
After taking pupils through the implementation of the interventions in accordance with the research objectives, I realized that, there was tremendous change in the performance of pupils when discussion, storytelling and dramatization were used as intervention strategies.
Pupils’ participation and interest in oral communication improved overwhelmingly within the duration of the interventions. In view of this, it was recommended that in as much as possible, teachers should use developmentally appropriate language activities in teaching children listening and speaking in the targeted language.
The researcher also recommended that, the ministry of education and all stake holders should try as much as possible to equip the Early Childhood Care and Development centers with adequate and appropriate teaching and learning materials to enhance the speaking skills of children.
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
This chapter covers the background of the study, the statement of the problem, the purpose of the study, the objectives, research questions, the significance of the study and the delimitation.
Background to the Study
Language development is a critical part of children’s overall development. It supports the child’s ability to communicate, express and understand feelings. It also supports thinking and problem-solving, developing and maintaining relationships. Learning to understand, use and enjoy language is the critical first step in literacy, and the basis for learning to read and write.
There are four skills in teaching and learning English: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Those skills are related to each other and cannot be independent; therefore, learners need to master all of the four skills. This is supported by Uma and Ponnambala (2001) who state that mastering language skills will determine the students’ communicative competence in the target language. One of productive skills which is very important to be mastered by English learners is the development of speaking skills.
Speaking is one of the important parts in English skills that should be mastered by students besides reading, writing and listening. The functions of speaking skills are to express an idea, feeling, and thought. Speaking is one of the language arts of talk as communication interaction with someone, and it is very difficult to master it. Speaking skill has a close relationship with listening skill, in speaking act, the students must be listening and then speak up, because speaking is not only remembering and memorizing the sentences in written but speaking is spontaneous to show the pupil’s idea orally.
According to Chaney (1998:3), “speaking is the process of building and sharing meaning through the use of verbal and nonverbal symbols in a variety of contexts. Speaking is a crucial part of language learning and teaching.” It means students should be able to communicate with the others to get or to share information and/or to express what they feel. The goal of communicative competence is to make the students to speak up. “The classroom activities that are used in teaching speaking have to make students to talk to each other in pairs or groups. They should be more active to stimulate discussion and information trading transaction. During my internship programme at SP School, I observed that kindergarten two pupils have difficulties in speaking fluently. Early childhood educators should provide pupils with sufficient opportunities to improve their oral competence. Shared reading, audiovisual materials and dramatization are such opportunities that caregivers and teachers can use. They are crucial to child development, and help to strengthen neural pathways and make learning of all kinds possible (Machodo, 1985).
Statement of the Problem
Speaking skills is an essential part of learning and one of the important skills in our everyday life. We utilize it not only in the classroom setting but anywhere we find ourselves. Pupils of St. Paul’s Methodist Preparatory School lack fluency in communicating hence exhibit poor speaking skills in class. Not being able to utilize proper oral skills goes a long way in affecting the individual socially, emotionally and academically. It is with this that the researcher has decided to use shared reading, audiovisual materials and dramatization to help improve the speaking skills of pupils
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is intended to use shared reading, audiovisual materials such as television and compact disk players and dramatization to assist kindergarten two pupils of St. Paul’s Methodist Preparatory School improve on their speaking skills.
The objectives of the study are;
- The use of shared reading to help pupils improve on their speaking skills.
- The use of audiovisual materials such as television and compact disk player with a compact disk to help pupils improve on their speaking skills.
- The use of dramatization to help pupils improve on their speaking skills.
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study;
- Can the use of shared reading help in improving the speaking skills of pupils?
- Will the use of audiovisual materials such as television and compact disk player help in improving the speaking skills of pupils?
- How can the use of dramatization help in improving the speaking skills of pupils?
Significance of the Study
The results of this study will benefit the pupils, the researcher, teachers of Kindergarten pupils, parents, Ghana Education Service, other researches to mention but a few in the following ways;
- With regards to children, as parents and teachers put into practice the results of this research, it will help them improve on their speaking skills hence communicating with ease and fluency.
- With regards to the researcher, the result of the study will help the researcher to acquire more knowledge and skills.
- In the case of parent and teachers, they will be exposed to the different ways of helping children to help improve on their speaking skills.
- In the case of the Ghana Education service (GES), they can use the result of this study to organize in-service training for other teachers in the field to help them solve similar situations in their various schools.
- This research will add to the existing literature on how pupils speaking skills can be improved through the use of shared reading, audiovisual materials and dramatization.
The researcher could have considered different areas of literacy development such as reading and writing skills but the researcher based his research work on speaking skills of children and how shared reading, audiovisual materials and dramatization can be used to improve the speaking skills among KG 2 pupils of SP School at Winneba.
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
This chapter presents the literature review of the study which was deduced from the themes of the research questions. These were discussed under the theoretical frame work which covered;
- Concept of literacy
- Concept of speaking
- Concept of shared reading
- Concept of audiovisual materials
- Concept of dramatization
Concept of Literacy
Literacy is traditionally meant as the ability to read and write. The modern term's meaning has been expanded to include the ability to use language, numbers, images, computers, and other basic means to understand, communicate, gain useful knowledge, solve mathematical problems and use the dominant symbol systems of a culture. The key to literacy is reading development, a progression of skills that begins with the ability to understand spoken words and decode written words, and culminates in the deep understanding of text. Reading development involves a range of complex language underpinnings including awareness of speech sounds (phonology), spelling patterns (orthography), word meaning (semantics), grammar (syntax) and patterns of word formation (morphology), all of which provide a necessary platform for reading fluency and comprehension.
Once these skills are acquired, the reader can attain full language literacy, which includes the abilities to apply to printed material critical analysis, inference and synthesis; to write with accuracy and coherence; and to use information and insights from text as the basis for informed decisions and creative thought. The inability to do so is called illiteracy.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) defines literacy as the "ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society".
Literacy data published by UNESCO displays that since 1950; the adult literacy rate at the world level has increased by 5 percentage points every decade on average, from 55.7 per cent in 1950 to 86.2 per cent in 2015. However, for four decades, the population growth was so rapid that the number of illiterate adults kept increasing, rising from 700 million in 1950 to 878 million in 1990. Since then, the number has fallen markedly to 745 million in 2015, although it remains higher than in 1950 despite decades of universal education policies, literacy interventions and the spread of print material and information and communications technology (ICT). However, these trends have been far from uniform across regions.
Since the 1980s, some have argued that literacy is ideological, which means that literacy always exists in a context, in tandem with the values associated with that context.
A basic literacy standard in many places is the ability to read the newspaper. Increasingly, communication in commerce and in general requires the ability to use computers and other digital technologies. Since the 1990s, when the Internet came into wide use in the United States, some have asserted that the definition of literacy should include the ability to use tools such as web browsers, word processing programs, and text messages. Similar expanded skill sets have been called multimedia literacy, computer literacy, information literacy, and technological literacy.
Literacy is critical in helping us make sense of our world. From the time we wake up to the time we go to sleep, we are constantly making meaning of the world around us.
Literacy has traditionally been thought of as reading and writing. Although these are essential components of literacy, today our understanding of literacy encompasses much more. Alberta Education defines literacy as the ability, confidence and willingness to engage with language to acquire, construct and communicate meaningfully in all aspects of daily living. Language is explained as a socially and culturally constructed system of communication.
- Literacy with Young Children
From the moment a child is born, his or her literacy journey begins. Children’s literacy abilities are nurtured through their families and communities. Examples are the infant smiling or crying to communicate their needs to a parent, the toddler forming their first words, a young child interpreting the symbols around them, a preschooler singing a song, and a parent and child laughing over a story.
- Literacy with School-age Children
As children enter the school system, there is a strong focus on the development of reading and writing skills. Children engage in learning opportunities that have them interacting with many different forms of text, in print and digital forms, using words, visuals and graphics. Students begin to learn the rules of language how to acquire information, evaluate it, and know how to construct meaning from various kinds of text and how to communicate effectively.
As students move through the school system, they continue to refine all of their foundational skills as they explore a wider variety of texts and technologies. The vast amounts of information that are available through both print and the internet and the ability to communicate with wide and varied audiences around the globe have expanded the ways pupils read and communicate. Literacy today also means preparing to be critical and ethical consumers of information.
- Where Does Literacy Instruction Take Place?
Literacy development does not take place in just the Language Arts/ Literacy classroom. It is a shared responsibility among all educators. Although specific knowledge and skills are taught primarily in Literacy, every subject area teacher is responsible for further developing, strengthening and enhancing literacy. Every subject area has its own unique literacy demands. Content area teachers know their subject matter and their programs of study. They are aware of the literacy requirements of their subject and understand that it is through literacy that meaning is made within their subject area content. The pupils need to be taught how to read different kinds of text, write and express themselves in the formats associated with each subject, and use content-specific vocabulary.
Literacy development occurs not only in school but in every aspect of daily life. We interact with others when we have a conversation. We read maps, advertisements, newspapers, recipes, manuals and websites. We analyze and interpret vast amount of media information. We write poems, songs, reports, blogs, and emails. Literacy opens the door to the world.
Learners in countries which English is used as a second language experience problems to communicate through English (Nalasco & Arther, 1988). Millie and Villella (2009) claim that in learning the first language, people first listen and then talk before they can read and write.
Therefore, they suggest that the same sequence should be followed in learning the additional language. In addition, Kurniash (2011) explains that to learn a language in order to use it as a means of communication, the pupils need to deal with the four language skills that is listening, speaking, reading and writing. By mastering these elements, the learners are expected to be able to integrate them in communication acts.
Attaining proficiency in the four language skills is not an isolated process; each language process enhances learners’ ability to use others. Listening to other people use language enhances learners’ ability to speak. In contrast, reading helps students develop skills for communicating through writing. Reading also enables students to develop a sense for the structure of the language and grammar and increases their vocabulary. Eventually, writing helps in developing phonic knowledge and enhances reading fluency, because young children always associate written language with oral language they have mastered. The discussion of the four language skills in the following sections does not mean that they are isolated.
Below is the detailed explanation of the four skills of literacy;
Speaking is the most common form of communication, due to several reasons but listening is the first to master in order to be proficient in language.
- First, no one can say a word before listening to it. The teacher must take into account that the level of language input (listening) must be higher than the level of language production (speaking). Smith (1975:98-99) emphasize, “good listeners often speak more exactly and more creatively than poor listeners, they have more words at their command.”
- Second, in a conversation, one can respond accurately only after listening precisely.
- Third, listening constitutes half of the communication process.
- Fourth, learners get the majority information through listening.
- Finally, learners spend more than half the time they are in the classroom by listening. The teacher plays an important role to achieve the aims related to listening.
Reading enables learners to access information from many written texts and also contributes to one self-realization and the development of his personal social adjustment. The factors involved in reading include sub-reading skills such as word recognition, skimming, scanning, sentence comprehension and background knowledge (Kim, 2002). Koizumi &In’nami (2013) and Johnson (2008:12) claim that limiting opportunities to engage in real reading experiences is one of the surest ways to retard learners’ reading progress and limit their intellectual development.
Majority of speaking activities should be designed to enable learners to participate with adequate verbal response. However, in the last levels for an example grade six, teachers are encouraged to begin to manipulate language and express themselves in a much more personal way (Kurniash, 2011:76).
It is always preceded by rich, broad and meaningful programme in oral expression, sensible and interesting reading activities (Johnson, 2008:7). According to Koizumi &In’nami (2013:910) and Gordon (2010:96), second language literacy experts recommend that literacy instruction should start early in the classroom, before learners develop full proficiency in a second language.
Concept of Speaking
Speaking is an “activity requiring the integration of many subsystems, these factors combine to make speaking (a second or foreign language) a formidable task for language learners, yet for many people, speaking is seen as the central skill” (Bailey and Savage 1994: 6-7).
- The most critical aspect of speaking is that it is always accomplished via interaction with at least one other speaker and this is one reason why many of us were shocked and disappointed when we used our second or foreign language for the first time in real interaction: We had not been prepared for spontaneous communication and could not cope with all of its simultaneous demands.
- There are numerous daily life situations where people need speaking, such as talking to someone face to face, communicating through the phone, answering questions, asking for directions, in shops, meetings or chatting with their friends, to name a few. People spend great deal of their time interacting with more people and, each of these situations requires a different register according to the formality of the moment.
- We speak for many reasons- to be sociable, because we want something, because we want other people to do something, to do something for someone else, to respond to someone else, to express our feelings or opinion about something, to exchange information, to refer to an action or event in the past, present, or future, the possibility of something happening, and so on (Lindsay and Knight, 2006: 58).
- However, human communication is a complex process. People need communication when they want to say something, transmit information or need to speak. Speakers use communication when they want to express or inform someone about something. They use language according to their purpose and it is necessary for there to be a listener and a speaker for effective communication. (Harmer, 2007: 46).
Concept of Shared Reading
Description: Shared Reading is an interactive reading experience that occurs when students join in or share the reading of a big book or other enlarged text while guided and supported by a teacher or other experienced reader. Students observe an expert reading the text with fluency and expression. The text must be large enough for all the students to see clearly, so they can share in the reading of the text. It is through Shared Reading that the reading process and reading strategies that readers use are demonstrated. In Shared Reading, children participate in reading, learn critical concepts of how print works, which in turn goes a long way of helping children develop their oral skills as they learn from the educator reading with fluency (Fountas & Pinnell, 1996).
- Some of the benefits of Shared Reading
- Helps in teaching frequently used vocabulary.
- Allow pupils to enjoy materials that they may not be able to read on their own.
- Helps novice readers learn about the relationship between oral language and printed language.
- Assists students in learning where to look and/or focus their attention.
- Supports students as they gain awareness of symbols and print conventions, while constructing meaning from text read.
- Setting and Resources
A sense of community is developed when the time is taken to arrange for a small group of pupils, or when appropriate, the whole class, to gather in an area near a big book, chart/easel, wall story, or text written on the chalkboard, so that all participants can easily see the enlarged text and engage in the experience comfortably. Having a few items on hand during a shared reading will allow the teacher or other experienced reader greater flexibility during the experience. Some items may include; a chalk board, a pointing stick (with a rubber tip for safety when possible), a highlighter marker, wall chart.
The pointer may be used in guiding the reading, pointing to the words as they read, though it is important that the teacher or other experienced reader model reading with phrased fluency. Avoid the tendency to read word by word. In rereading of familiar text, students may be called upon to use the pointer during reading or to point out specific words being studied.
- Highlight with a yellow marker or highlighter pen the repetitive words, repetitive phrases, or frequently occurring words that the students already know. This can be accomplished with the students or prepared ahead of time.
- Have students read the highlighted words or phrases after the second or third reading, while the teacher reads the other words.
- Types of Reading Materials
Shared Reading provides an excellent opportunity for teachers to model the integrated use of the cueing systems and strategies for reading that can be applied to the improvement of speaking skills. New concepts and strategies are best introduced during shared reading before guided practice or independent reading takes place. The shared reading experience also provides the opportunity for the teacher to help improve on the speaking skills of children as the children hear the teacher reading with fluency. Pupils listening to this have their vocabularies expanded and help them to express themselves whenever they are expected to use their oral skills (Taberski, 2000).
Following are examples of the variety of print materials that can be used for Shared Reading:
- Wall charts
- Morning message
- Classroom news
- Language experience stories
- Shared Reading Process
A shared reading session may be conducted in many ways, depending on the needs of the pupils and the teaching objectives determined by the teacher.
Shared reading with strong teacher support and guided reading with less teacher support are two ways the teacher can give students practice and immediate feedback, as they develop the skills and strategies necessary for successful decoding and comprehension. This section will provide a brief description of how to conduct a shared reading session. This description will be divided into three reading sections: Before, during, and after reading.
In shared reading, the teacher introduces the story, talking about the title, cover, and title page. It is a good time to engage the students in what they see in the cover picture, and what they think it tells them about the story to be read. Do not neglect the back cover of the book, as it often provides an interesting picture clue to what will happen in the story. During the introduction, the teacher conducts a picture walk through the book, briefly pointing out specific character actions or events, asking probing questions to engage the students in thinking about the pictures and story and also creating opportunities for the children to express themselves orally, but not telling the story.
The very first reading is generally for enjoyment. The teacher points to each word as it is read. Students are asked to follow along “with their eyes.” Read the text as naturally as possible, phrased and fluent, though you may choose to slow the pace just a little for students to join in. Model realistic reactions to the text and use appropriate voice intonation. Again, the teacher may pause from time to time asking students to predict a word, phrase or to make predictions about what is happening. The number one essence of this activity, is to make sure the children are following and also with the objective which is improving the speaking skills of children in mind, children are expected to utilize their oral skills here for the educator to know of the progress of the class.
During the reading, the teacher may ask students to confirm their predictions by asking “Were you right/correct?”
After reading, the teacher can take students back to the point of making predictions, whether at the word or story level, and ask how they knew they were right or how they knew if their prediction wasn’t quite correct.
Giving students this chance to talk about their thinking is very powerful and ensures their full participation. The teacher asks open-ended questions and helps students build connections to the text by activating students’ prior knowledge to the theme or main idea of the book. The second and subsequent readings allow for the students to chime in with now familiar words and phrases. In some cases, students and teachers can take turns reading (e.g., the teacher reads the left side and students read the right side).