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English teachers' experiences with developing initial literacy in English as a foreign language in the third grade

Julija Kokalj (2019) English teachers' experiences with developing initial literacy in English as a foreign language in the third grade. MSc thesis.

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    In Slovene schools, the early years of child’s schooling are focused on developing literacy in their mother tongue. From the first grade onward, pupils are systematically taught how to read and write in Slovene, which is the first language for most of them. At first, they start with cultivating early literacy skills, such as phonemic awareness and graphomotor skills. Later on, they learn each letter of Slovene alphabet, develop an understanding of how letters are connected to the sounds of the Slovene language, practice the shapes of letters and, eventually, learn how to connect the letters into a word. Simultaneously, the majority of first graders start to learn English as a foreign language. In the first years of their English class, they mostly develop listening and speaking skills, since English is a foreign language for them and its words and sounds are unfamiliar to them. Consequently, pupils have the time to get used to the language, learn to recognize it, differ it from other languages, and gradually gain some English vocabulary. By the end of the third grade, teachers start to incorporate activities that will help their pupils develop their reading and writing skills in English as well. By that time, they already know the Slovene alphabet, they understand the letter-sound relationship of the Slovene language and they can read fluently in it more or less. In the research part of the master’s thesis, we wanted to find out how Slovene teachers who teach English in the third-grade plan and teach reading and writing skills in English. A questionnaire was constructed for the purpose of the research. The teachers answered the questions about the literacy approach they use most often, which activities they plan when teaching reading and writing, and which materials they use. The research showed that most of the teachers follow the »look-and-say« approach which means they teach pupils to recognize words as a whole. Some of the teachers combine that with the phonic approach and develop pupils' phonemic awareness and understanding of the letter-sound relation. However, there are fewer teachers doing that. Most of them search for their teaching materials or make them by themselves. Class books and activity books are rarely used during teaching reading and writing in English in the third grade.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: foreign language teaching, early literacy, reading and writing in English, literacy approaches
    Number of Pages: 54
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Mateja Dagarin FojkarMentor
    Link to COBISS: https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/peflj/12649289
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 6063
    Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2019 10:53
    Last Modified: 21 Oct 2019 10:53
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/6063

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