Facial reconstruction

Search LJMU Research Online

Browse Repository | Browse E-Theses

THE TEACHING OF EARLY READING IN ENGLISH USING THE PHONICS APPROACH IN MALAYSIAN PRIMARY SCHOOLS: TEACHER BELIEFS, KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICES

Shafee, A (2020) THE TEACHING OF EARLY READING IN ENGLISH USING THE PHONICS APPROACH IN MALAYSIAN PRIMARY SCHOOLS: TEACHER BELIEFS, KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICES. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

[img]
Preview
Text
2019AzyanShafeePhD 5.3.2020.pdf - Published Version

Download (4MB) | Preview

Abstract

The aim of this study was to understand and explore how the relationship between teacher beliefs and practices is developed in the teaching of early reading of English as a second language in Malaysia. It also investigated how the presence of knowledge as a mediator may influence this relationship. The study took place against the backdrop of Malaysian curriculum reform (Malaysia Education Blueprint) which promoted a phonics approach in early reading. In order to achieve this, a mixed methods approach to investigate four research questions was adopted. For Phase 1, the study utilised a survey to elicit the beliefs, knowledge and practices from a large number of primary school English teachers (n=123). From the survey’s findings, it was found that teachers’ beliefs of how English reading should be taught were mixed. They continued to favour the whole language approach as part of their pedagogy and at the same time acknowledged the phonics approach for contributing to early reading proficiency. In terms of their pedagogical content knowledge of the phonics approach, the results showed that this was somewhat lacking. The results also indicated that the teachers’ demographic backgrounds (age, years of teaching experience, education level, gender and types of schools in which they taught) did not influence their beliefs and knowledge. For Phase 2, an ethnographic study was conducted in two different schools (urban and rural) with four teacher participants (n=4) involving interviews and classroom observations. The interview data were presented and analysed adopting a case study approach since individual teachers each had different stories to tell. Using Borg’s (2006) framework as an analytical tool, the findings indicated that different teachers reacted to the curriculum changes differently based on their life experiences, their professional coursework experiences, and contextual factors. Despite having encountered the phonics approach indirectly in their previous life experiences through their children and previous job employment, part of their beliefs remains unchanged. What makes the teachers use the phonics approach, though they would seem to resent the implementation, are the statutory changes to practices. In this case, the presence of LINUS assessment as part of the curriculum change plays a vital role to make sure the teachers have no option but to try and adapt the phonics approach as part of their practices. Although teachers were positive about the use of phonics approach and did include it in their teaching of reading, there were misconceptions about how phonics pedagogy should be carried out, and the key principles of the approach advocated in the research literature were missing in the observed classrooms. The observations revealed that phonics seemed to be an ‘add-on’ strategy to a whole language approach rather than being explicitly taught with appropriate content, examples and materials. This is not surprising given the teachers lacked the pedagogical knowledge of the approach and received limited guidance to navigate the new syllabus. The analysis of the Year 1 English textbook suggested that it was also another cause of inconsistent phonics practice as it lacks appropriate phonics content in order to support teachers’ teaching and pupils’ learning of English reading. The study revealed that the relationship between teachers’ beliefs and practices are complex but should not be ignored as the discrepancy of what teachers believe and how they enact their beliefs can affect the degree of curriculum success. The findings imply that teachers need much more pedagogical guidance and professional development to deepen their pedagogical content knowledge and curriculum implementation. Such support, however, should also complement teachers’ attitudes and beliefs in order to avoid superficial implementation.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: language teacher cognition; teachers beliefs, knowledge and practices; the teaching of English reading; phonics approach
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Divisions: Education
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2020 12:49
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2020 12:49
DOI or Identification number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00012416
Supervisors: Peiser, G and Stanley, G
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12416

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item