Title

Supporting English reading development in four year old children through storytelling: An action research

Date of Award

8-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)

Department

Professional Development Centre, Karachi

Abstract

Development of reading skills is essential for young children's educational achievements. The pre- reading skills development is a complex and time consuming task, (Ahuja & Ahuja, 1994) which needs systematic instructional approaches and techniques to adopt. The National Curriculum for ECE (2007) has not only emphasized the importance of reading in early years but also highlighted the provision of a quality learning environment to acquire literacy skills. However, there are many gaps in understanding of what is emergent literacy development verses current practices at early classroom levels. This paper addresses this critical issue of early age education and presents a small action research in which story telling is used as a main teaching pedagogy to support young children in English reading skills. The main research question was "How can four-year old children be supported in developing their English reading skills in a private school in Karachi, Pakistan?" Through this study I observed and facilitated reading development over a two- week period. Four children of 4-5 years and two teachers were selected randomly as research participants and data were gathered by using different tools including classroom observations, individual interviews with teachers, pre and post-reading checklists and through reflections. The study findings demonstrated that children were able to develop literacy skills when they were involved in meaningful literacy activities. Furthermore, the research revealed that children learned best when the stories were connected with different fun filled activities. The findings of this study also demonstrated that teachers were inserting efforts to engage children in language and literacy activities; however, it was found that they did not provide frequent opportunities for their reading development and also did not engage children in activities which are highly recommended for emergent literacy development. In addition, the findings revealed that teachers needed professional development to implement innovative literacy pedagogies in the ECED classrooms. Furthermore, parents' and the school management's involvement is also important in developing children's emergent literacy. In conclusion, storytelling is an effective pedagogical approach that helps in developing pre-reading skills. Therefore, it should be used in ECED classrooms to facilitate young children's reading development.

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