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The effects of rime analogy training on word reading for efl sixth graders
Huang, Shiu Yu
Yin, Yuen Mei
Huang, Shiu Yu
low proficiency students
|Issue Date:||2013-09-04 14:54:52 (UTC+8)|
The purpose of this study is to explore the effects of rime analogy training on sixth graders with respect to their decoding skills, attitudinal changes towards reading English words, and perceived difficulties with word reading. The present study comprised 2 phases: the first being a small-scale pilot study, the second a formal study. The pilot functioned as a preparatory work for the formal study. In the pilot, the testing materials, instruments, and activities of the training were tested and revised to be more suitable for the formal study. From the students’ responses, the researcher obtained some insights about their thinking process and learning difficulties and this allowed for designing a more complete interview for the formal study.
In the formal study, there was an experimental group and a control group, each comprised of 25 sixth graders from two classes in one elementary school in Tao Yuan county. The experimental group received rime analogy training. The teaching materials were selected from the participants’ textbooks word bank, from the second grade to the fifth grade, as a basis for making analogy. The control group was taught with the same materials but received phonics instruction that focused only on grapheme-phoneme correspondences rules. Both groups received two 10-minute training sessions a week for 10 weeks, and were administered the same pre-and post-test (generalization test) to assess decoding skills, and a pre-and post-training questionnaire on attitudes toward reading English words. After the training, six participants from each group were further interviewed to understand their thinking process and perceived difficulties.
The findings are as follows. In terms of the decoding skills, the post generalization test showed that no significant statistical difference was found between the two groups. In light of the attitudinal changes, only within-group comparisons of the experimental group were significantly different. In view of perceived difficulties, the interviews revealed that the difficulties in the control group were more complicated than those in the experimental group. The most noteworthy finding is that the lowest-proficiency participants in the experimental group not only outperformed their counterparts in the control group in decoding skills, but also demonstrated far more positive attitudinal changes after the training.
The findings provide supporting evidence for the value of rime analogy training in promoting students’ decoding abilities and positively changing students’ learning attitudes. The nature of students’ perceived difficulties is also discussed, in respect of which several pedagogical implications and suggestions for future studies are outlined.
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