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The Effects of Synthetic Phonics Teaching on Reading and Spelling Attainment

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THE EFFECTS OF SYNTHETIC PHONICS TEACHING ON READING AND SPELLING ATTAINMENT

CHAPTER SIX PRIMARY 7

CORRELATIONAL ANALYSIS OF PARENTAL QUESTIONNAIRES, ATTITUDES TO READING QUESTIONNAIRE, DEPRIVATION INDEX AND LITERACY SKILLS

DEPRIVATION SCORES, ATTITUDE TO READING AND LITERACY SCORES

6.1 For boys and girls together, the less deprived the home, the better the children were at word reading (r(235)=-0.24, p<.0010 and spelling (r(238)=-0.19, p<. 004). In the less deprived homes there were reported to be more children's (r(112)=-0.20, p<.03) and adults' (r(112)=-0.24, p<.02) books, and the adults showed greater use of the public library, r(112)=0.20, p<.04). The more deprived the home the less likely it was that the children had attended a mother and toddler group (r(112)=0.19, p<.05), a playgroup, r(112)=0.35, p<.001), or been looked after by a child minder (r(112)=0.23, p<.02). There was no association between deprivation score and the children's attitude to reading, r(222)=.09, N.S., nor was it associated with the value the parents placed on learning to read (r(110=-0.16, N.S) or spell (r111)=-.07, N.S).

6.2 There were some differences in the correlations shown by boys and girls separately. For boys, the less deprived ones had a better attitude to reading (r(114)=-0.20, p<.04) and liked reading more (r(114)= -0.24, p<.02). They also had better word reading (r(117)=-0.25, p<.01). Parents from less deprived backgrounds had more books at home (r(58)= -0.29, p<.03), and their boys were more likely to have been to a playgroup (r(58)=0.32, p<.02). All of the boys whose parents had filled in a questionnaire had attended a nursery, so no correlations could be computed for this variable. There was no association between the deprivation score and having parents who thought that learning to read was important (r(56)=-0.02, N.S).

6.3 For girls, unlike boys, there was no association between the deprivation index and their attitude to reading (r(106)=.05, N.S), or how much they liked reading, (r(106)=.07, N.S). As for boys, girls from less deprived homes were better at word reading (r(115)=-0.21, p<.025) and spelling (r(115)=-0.20, p<.04), and they were more likely to have been to a playgroup (r(51)=0.36, p<. 01). However, unlike boys, the less deprived girls were more likely to have parents who thought that learning to read was important (r(51)=-0.33, p<.02).

PARENTAL FACTORS, ATTITUDE TO READING AND LITERACY SCORES

6.4 For boys and girls together, the mothers' and fathers' level of education correlated (r(89)=0.30, p<.005). Mothers' education correlated with the number of children's books in the house (r(110)=0.43, p<.001). For both mothers and fathers, there were significant correlations between educational level and the number of books for adults in the house (r(110)=0.35, p<.001, r(89)=.50, p<.001 respectively). The less educated the mothers and fathers the less likely their children were to attend mother and toddler groups (r(110)= -0.21, p<.03, r(89)=-0.35, p<.001, respectively); it was also found for fathers that the lower their educational level, the less likely their children were to go to playgroups (r(89)=-0.32, p<.002). The more educated the fathers the more likely the children could read letters (r(89)=-0.33, p<.001) and write letters (r(89)=-0.33, p<.001) of the alphabet before starting school.

6.5 For boys, mothers' educational level was associated with more books in the house for children (r(57)=0.40, p<.003), and both mothers' and fathers' educational level was associated with the number of books in the house for adults (r(57)= 0.38, p<. 003, r(47)=0.46, p<.001, respectively). Greater attendance at mother and toddler groups and playgroups was associated with higher level of fathers' educational level only (r(47)=-0.39, p<.01, r(47)=-0.40, p<.01, respectively). All of the boys had attended a nursery class, so no correlations could be computed. The mothers' educational level was associated with greater adult use of the library (r(57)=-0.34, p<.01). The ability to write letters in preschool was associated with the fathers' educational level (r(47)=-0.31, p<.04).

6.6 For girls, unlike boys, mothers' and fathers' educational level was associated with word reading (r(58)=0.29, p<.03, r(39)=0.30, p.<.054), spelling (r(58)=0.40, p<.002, r(39)= 0.36, p<.02) and reading comprehension skills (r(55)=0.40,p<.002, r(38)= 0.36, p<. 03). The higher the mothers' educational level the more books there were in the house (r(50)= 0.45, p<.001) and the number of books for adults in the house increased as mothers' and fathers' educational level increased (r(50)=0.32, p<.03, r(39)=0.56, p<.001, respectively). The more educated the mother the less likely the child could write letters of the alphabet in preschool (r(50)=0.32, p<.02), whereas for fathers, the more educated they were the more likely their daughters could read (r(39)=-0.57, p<.001) and write the alphabet (r(39) =-0.37, p<.02) in preschool. The more educated the mother, the more likely it was that the girls attended a mother and toddler group (r(50)=-0.28, p<.004) or playgroup (r(50)=-0.30, p<. 03). Only two girls did not attend a nursery class, so correlations were not computed.

ATTITUDES TO READING, PARENTAL FACTORS AND LITERACY

6.7 For both boys and girls, a positive attitude to reading was associated with better word reading (r(220)=.16, p<.02) and spelling (r(219)=0.15, p<.025). A more positive attitude was also associated with reading more fiction (r(222)=0.14, p<.04) and greater use of the library, by parents (r(100)= -0.30, p<.001), and by children (r(98)=-0.43, p<.001). A positive attitude was associated with being able to write their names (r(100)=-0.26, p<.009) and being able to write letters of the alphabet (r(100)= -0.24, p<.02) before starting school.

6.8 For boys, a positive attitude to reading was associated with good word reading (r(112)=0.23, p<.02 skills, being less deprived (r(114)=-0.20, p<.04), and being able to write their name at preschool (r(54)=-0.27, p<.05).

6.9 For girls, a positive attitude to reading was associated with good word reading (r(106)=0.19, p<.05) spelling (r(106)=0.28, p<.005) and reading comprehension skills (r(102)=0.25, p<.02). A positive attitude also correlated with ability to read (r(44)= -0.30, p<.05) and write (r(44)=-0.34, p<.02) letters in preschool.

SUMMARY

6.10 In this chapter we analysed the parental questionnaire and the pupil questionnaire on attitudes to reading

  • It was found that the less deprived the home the better the children's word reading and spelling in Primary 7, the more children's and adults' book there were in the home, and the greater the adults' use of the library
  • Children with parents of high educational level, and children who came from less deprived backgrounds, were more likely to have attended a playgroup. The more
  • education the fathers had had the more likely it was that the child could read and write letters of the alphabet in preschool
  • Children with a more positive attitude to reading had better word reading and spelling skills, read more fiction, and were more likely to be able to read and write letters of the alphabet before starting school. They and their parents also made greater use of the library
  • No correlation was found between the deprivation index and the extent to which parents valued learning to read