|dc.description.abstract||One of the biggest challenges confronting literacy education in Aotearoa New Zealand is accommodating the differences in English reading-related variables at school entry to produce equitable outcomes in later reading achievement (Wilkinson, Freebody, & Elkins, 2000). English-medium schools in Aotearoa struggle to negotiate effective literacy practices that validate and cater for the cognitive, cultural, and linguistic differences children bring to the process of learning to read in English. Whereas, the role of English reading instruction in Māori-medium schools has been an under-researched and controversial issue. How to accommodate for these differences to achieve equitable English reading outcomes in a year 1 level 2 Māori-medium context is the theme that this research seeks to explore.
This Masters thesis reports on a shared reading intervention that explicitly teaches phonological awareness and alphabet knowledge to examine its effects on the English reading skills of year 1 students in a level 2 Māori-medium setting. The research implemented a Kaupapa Māori framework and used interviews, surveys, reliable literacy measures, and research-based literacy instruction to explore reading acquisition for this particular cohort. Thus, the purposes of the study were (a) to glean an in-depth understanding of the literacy and language practices that potentially shaped the participants English reading–related variables, (b) to examine the range of English reading-related skills for this cohort, and (c) to determine the effects of the intervention on their English reading skills.
Eight students were divided and matched with a pair according to their reported pre-test phonemic awareness and alphabet knowledge scores, and then randomly assigned to either an intervention (n = 4) or treatment control (n = 4) group. The intervention programme was carried out over a six week period and comprised 12, 30 minute lessons that integrated phonological and alphabetic based decoding skills within the shared reading approach. The duration of the treatment control programme was also carried out over a six week period and comprised 12, 30 minutes lessons that integrated semantic, syntactic, and visual graphophonic sources of information to recognise words. The results indicated the breadth and depth of English reading skills in year 1 level 2 Māori-medium contexts are diverse and the children had a positive attitude and sense of efficacy towards reading. A comparison of the test results between the intervention and treatment control group demonstrated that a shared reading intervention that focused explicitly on phonological awareness and alphabet knowledge is effective in raising letter-naming knowledge, pseudoword decoding, phonemic awareness, and invented spelling. The results are discussed in light of theoretical assumptions about reading acquisition that underlie word-base and text-base approaches to word recognition.
Overall, this study supports the development and reform of training and professional development opportunities in phonological awareness and alphabet knowledge to better support, inform, and educate Aotearoa reading teachers. This study contributes to the knowledge of English reading acquisition that validate the depth and breadth of early cognitive and linguistic differences to increase equitable English reading outcomes in level 2 Māori-medium contexts.||