Examining the teaching of reading in early years classes: Case study of one government school in Mpwapwa district

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Samuel Andema

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Peter Kajoro


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Reading is a crucial aspect of literacy development of early classes years. Studies have shown that if the reading basics are not taught to a child at early stages it is unlikely to learn them later in life. This study sought to examine the teaching of reading in early years classes in Nguvumali Primary Shool in Mpwapwa District. It explored the methods teachers used to teach reading and their impact in enabling children to read. The study employed a qualitative case study approach. The core participants in the study were seven teachers of standard one and two who were purposively selected. Multiple methods of data collection were used. These included, classroom observations, document analysis, one-to-one semi-structured interviews and focus group discussion. The data were coded, given direct interpretation; the patterns were drawn and generalized. The results from this study indicated that teachers used various methods to teach reading in early years classes that were phonics, whole language, and balance methods. Further, the study established that the methods identified have both negative and positive impact on children’s reading. Phonics method was reported to confuse slow learners and those who did not pass through kindergarten. It was also reported to hinders fluency in reading. The study has also established that the whole language method assists children who are struggling with the language of instruction. The study has identified several challenges that teachers face when teaching reading to early years classes namely; lack of pedagogical content knowledge, crowded classes, lack of adequate resources and parental involvement. The study, therefore, recommends that for effective teaching of reading, teachers’ colleges need to have a curriculum that reflects what is taking place in primary schools especially in early years classes. Likewise, teachers need to be provided with regular in-service training that will enable them to cope with changes in their teaching career. Equally important, teaching and learning resources should be provided to both teachers and children. Lastly, parents should be encouraged to take part in their children’s education.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library