Beyond ABC : investigating current rationales and systems for the teaching of early reading to young learners of English
Rixon, Shelagh (2011) Beyond ABC : investigating current rationales and systems for the teaching of early reading to young learners of English. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b2581999~S1
The premise of this thesis is that the role of the first steps in reading in courses for
Young Learners of English (YL) at the beginner stage is a neglected area, with
anomalies centred around the fact that ‘words on the page ’are often treated as if
they were facilitative from the outset for language work in areas such as speaking
while very little support is offered to children as to how to decode these words.
Chapter 1 (Introduction) traces the rapid spread of YL teaching worldwide and
considers the preparation of teachers for their roles. Materials are discussed as an
important source of support and structure for teachers and a case is made for a focus
in the main study on systems and rationales for early reading found among teachers
themselves or evidenced in published materials.
Chapter 2 (Literature Review) discusses relevant issues for systematic support for YL
in their first steps in reading English. Areas discussed are: Teacher Cognition,
Sociocultural inductions to reading, Orthographic Depth, Phonology, research on
reading development across languages and influences in the YL world of established
early reading methods for English native-speaking children.
Chapter 3 (Research Methodology) justifies the decision to investigate the area via
two main studies: (1) questionnaires and in-depth interviews with EYL professionals
and (2) close analysis of course materials. It is argued that the qualitative stance of
the former is not in conflict with the more objective and quantitative handling of
course material data since both are appropriate ways of focusing on the same issue.
A third, small-scale, study of the publishing experiences of curriculum experts and
materials writers is justified and described.
Chapter 4 (Findings) reports and integrates the findings of both main studies and
summarizes the findings from the study with curriculum experts and materials writers.
Main findings are that EYL professionals tend not to put linguistic considerations high
in their priorities for decision-making and that materials analyzed had an underlay in
the Alphabetic Principle but were dominated by ‘ABC’ ordering of Reading-Focal
items and included activities which tended not to promote pattern-seeking or other
behaviour likely to lead to ‘self-teaching’.
Chapter 5 (Discussion) discusses the significance of the findings of the two main
studies and uses the results of the third study to add balance to the materials
analysis study. Limitations of, and reflections on, the research are discussed.
Chapter 6 (Conclusions) draws implications for professional education, pedagogy
and materials illustrated by examples in the Appendices. Claims are made for the
contributions of the study that (1) it opens up discussion on an area of YL teaching
which has been neglected both in the research literature and in practical materials
creation (2) through the use of in-depth interviews it allows a voice for EYL
professionals which has not been heard before (3) the concepts of Reading-Focal
versus Vehicular language in YL course materials are claimed as new and useful,
leading directly (4) to procedures and analysis tools which can be used with any set
of YL materials. Directions for further research building on this thesis are indicated.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Reading (Primary), Reading -- Aids and devices, English language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers|
|Official Date:||December 2011|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Centre for Applied Linguistics|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Gardner, Sheena ; Richards, Keith, 1952- ; Smith, Richard C., 1961-|
|Extent:||357 leaves : ill.|
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