We are testing a new beta website for gov.scot go to new site

The Effects of Synthetic Phonics Teaching on Reading and Spelling Attainment

Listen

THE EFFECTS OF SYNTHETIC PHONICS TEACHING ON READING AND SPELLING ATTAINMENT

CHAPTER FOUR PRIMARY 2 TO PRIMARY 7

WORD READING, SPELLING AND READING COMPREHENSION IN BOYS VERSES GIRLS

4.1 The purpose of these analyses was to examine the extent to which the synthetic phonics programme had boosted literacy skills over what would be expected for chronological age from Primary 2 to Primary 7, whether the gains in literacy skill increased or decreased over time after the end of the programme, and whether there were any differences between boys and girls in literacy skills.

WORD READING FROM PRIMARY 2 TO PRIMARY 7

4.2 A three way analysis of variance was carried out, there being one between subjects factor of sex (boys versus girls) and two within subjects factors, time (Primary 2 to Primary 7) and word reading advantage (the extent to which reading exceeded chronological age). In this analysis there were 105 boys and 97 girls. See Table 4.1 for means and standard deviations, and Figure 4.1.

4.3 A main effect of sex was found, F(1,200)=5.8, p<.02. There was also a main effect of time, F(5,1000)=1911.81, p<.001, and a main effect of word reading advantage, F(1,1000)=229.20, p<.001, with reading age exceeding chronological age. There were also second order interactions between word reading advantage and sex, F(1,1000)=4.0, p<.05, and word reading advantage and time, F(5,1000)=68.1, p<.001. However, these were subsumed by a third order interaction between word reading advantage, time, and sex, F(5,1000)=2.56, p<.03. Newman Keuls post hoc tests showed that word reading was ahead of chronological age at all ages. It was also found that boys and girls performed the same in word reading at Primary 2, but thereafter the boys read better than the girls.

4.4 Scheffe tests were carried out to compare pairs of means. These analyses showed that for both boys and girls, the advantage for reading age over chronological age was greater at Primary 7 than all previous years, showing that the increment in reading skills for chronological age was still increasing 6 years after the programme had ended. It was also found that in Primaries 6 and 7, the boys showed a significantly greater advantage of reading age over chronological age than the girls. By the end of the study the children were reading 3.5 years ahead of chronological age, with the boys reading around 11 months ahead of the girls.

Table 4.1
Mean word reading ages, chronological ages and word reading advantage (extent to which word reading exceeds chronological age) in years for boys (B) and girls (G), Primary 2 to Primary 7 (standard deviations in brackets).

Primary 2

Primary 3

Primary 4

Primary 5

Primary 6

Primary 7

BGBGBGBGBGBG

Word reading age

7.7
(1.1)

7.5
(1.1)

9.5
(1.9)

8.9
(1.9)

10.6
(1.9)

10.1
(1.9)

11.9
(2.1)

11.5
(2.1)

13.4
(3.0)

12.4
(3.0)

15.6
(3.2)

14.7
(3.2)

Chrono-logical age

6.7
(0.3)

6.6
(0.3)

7.8
(0.3)

7.7
(0.3)

8.8
(0.3)

8.7
(0.3)

9.7
(0.3)

9.6
(0.3)

10.8
(0.3)

10.7
(0.3)

11.7
(0.4)

11.6
(0.4)

Word reading advantage

1.0

0.9

1.7

1.2

1.8

1.4

2.2

1.9

2.6

1.7

3.9

3.1

FIGURE 4.1

Figure 4.1 Comparison of word reading from Primary 2 to Primary 7, boys versus girls

SPELLING FROM PRIMARY 2 TO PRIMARY 7

4.5 A three way analysis of variance was carried out, there being one between subjects factor of sex (boys versus girls) and two within subjects factors, time (Primary 2 to Primary 7) and spelling advantage (the extent to which spelling exceeded chronological age). In this analysis there were 95 boys and 84 girls. See Table 4.2 for means and standard deviations, and Figure 4.2.

4.6 There was no main effect of sex, F(1,177)=2.06, N.S. There was a main effect of spelling advantage, F(1,885)=87.13, p<.001, with spelling age exceeding chronological age, and of time, F(5,885)=2523.35, p<.001. However, these factors also interacted with each other, F(5, 885)=27.47, p<.001, and with sex, F(5,885)= 2.56, p<.026. Newman Keuls tests on the sex by spelling advantage by time interaction showed that spelling was ahead of chronological age at all ages for both boys and girls, but that the boys spelt better than the girls in Primaries 4, 6 and 7. The advantage for boys was small in Primaries 4 and 6, but by Primary 7 they were spelling 8.6 months ahead of the girls. Scheffe post hoc tests were carried out to compare the advantage in spelling age over chronological age across time. These analyses showed that the advantage at Primary 7 was greater than it had been in all previous years for both boys and girls, showing that the effect had increased with time. No other factors interacted.

Table 4.2
Mean word spelling ages, chronological ages and spelling advantage (extent to which spelling exceeds chronological age) in years for boys (B) and girls (G), Primary 2 to Primary 7 (standard deviations in brackets).

Primary 2

Primary 3

Primary 4

Primary 5

Primary 6

Primary 7

BGBGBGBGBGBG

Spelling age

7.6
(0.8)

7.7
(0.8)

8.6
(1.0)

8.5
(1.0)

9.7
(1.2)

9.4
(1.2)

10.5
(1.4)

10.3
(1.4)

11.4
(1.4)

11.2
(1.4)

13.8
(3.2)

13.0
(3.2)

Chrono-logical age

6.7
(0.3)

6.6
(0.3)

7.8
(0.3)

7.7
(0.3)

8.8
(0.3)

8.7
(0.3)

9.7
(0.3)

9.6
(0.3)

10.8
(0.3)

10.7
(0.3)

11.7
(0.4)

11.6
(0.4)

Spelling advantage

0.9

1.1

0.8

0.8

0.9

0.7

0.8

0.7

0.6

0.5

2.1

1.4

FIGURE 4.2

Figure 4.2 Comparison of spelling from Primary 2 to Primary 7, boys versus girls

READING COMPREHENSION FROM PRIMARY 2 to PRIMARY 7

4.7 A three way analysis of variance was carried out, there being one between subjects factor of sex (boys versus girls) and two within subjects factors, time (Primary 2 to Primary 7) and reading comprehension advantage (the extent to which reading comprehension exceeded chronological age). In this analysis there were 89 boys and 88 girls. See Table 4.3 for means and standard deviations, and Figure 4.3.

4.8 There was no main effect of sex, F(1,175)=1.47, N.S. There was a main effect of reading comprehension advantage, F(1,875)= 16.65, p<.001, with reading comprehension age exceeding chronological age, and of time F(5,875)= 22874.00, p<.001. However, these factors also interacted, F(5,875)=195.01, p<.001. Newman Keuls tests showed that reading comprehension was ahead of chronological age at all age levels. Scheffe tests showed that the reading comprehension advantage was greater at Primary 2 than at Primary 7, showing that the advantage of reading comprehension age over chronological age had decreased over time, although it was still significant. The children in Primary 7 were now comprehending what they read 3.5 months above what would be expected for their chronological age, whereas at Primary 2 there had been a 7 months advantage.

TABLE 4.3
Mean reading comprehension ages, chronological ages and reading comprehension advantage (extent to which word reading exceeds chronological age) in years for boys (B) and girls (G), Primary 2 to Primary 7 (standard deviations in brackets).

Primary 2

Primary 3

Primary 4

Primary 5

Primary 6

Primary 7

BGBGBGBGBGBG

Reading Comprehension age

7.3
(1.1)

7.2
(1.1)

8.2
(1.1)

8.0
(1.1)

9.3
(1.4)

9.1
(1.4)

10.0
(1.3)

10.0
(1.3)

11.2
(2.0)

10.8
(2.0)

12.00
(2.0)

11.9
(2.0)

Chrono-logical age

6.7
(0.3)

6.6
(0.3)

7.8
(0.3)

7.7
(0.3)

8.8
(0.3)

8.7
(0.3)

9.7
(0.3)

9.6
(0.3)

10.8
(0.3)

10.7
(0.3)

11.7
(0.4)

11.6
(0.4)

Reading Comprehension advantage

0.6

0.6

0.4

0.3

0.5

0.4

0.3

0.4

0.4

0.1

0.3

0.3

FIGURE 4.3

Figure 4.3 Comparison of reading comprehension from Primary 2 to Primary 7, boys versus girls

SUMMARY

4.9 In this chapter we compared the performance of boys versus girls from Primary 2 to Primary 7.

  • We found that although the boys and the girls read words equally well in Primary 2, from Primary 3 to Primary 7 the boys performed significantly better than the girls
  • The boys spelt better than the girls in Primaries 4, 6, and 7.
  • The analyses also showed that the advantage for chronological age the children showed in word reading and spelling was increasing over time, years after the intervention had ended