Effects of English Phonological Awareness Training on Chinese Child EFL Learners’ Literacy Development
Phonological awareness (PA) instruction has been attached great importance in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) research due to the observed significance of PA in the development of English literacy. But studies on Chinese child EFL learners’ English PA training and its long-term effects are sparse, and research on its effects on children’s English literacy development is even less. The present study is a longitudinal study following an English PA training program, aiming to investigate the long-term effect of the training on young English learners’ subsequent literacy acquisition in China. Eighty students from two intact classes in Grade One of a primary school participated in the study. Among them, forty four children in the treatment group received 10 weeks’ PA training, while the rest thirty six children in the control group did not. Tests were conducted on all participants at two time points – 6 months and 12 months after the training respectively. Both tests examined participants’ early English reading and spelling. And Test 2 investigated the participants’ reading comprehension and PA as well. The following are the major findings: Firstly, there is long-term training effect on participants’ literacy acquisition. The treatment group performed better on every literacy sub-skill test than the control group in tests conducted 6 months and 12 months after the training, showing significantly better performance on early English reading and spelling than the control group. Secondly, PA is closely related with English literacy skills, and the initial phoneme deletion is likely the most powerful predictor of children’s early English reading and spelling.
Key words: Chinese child EFL learners; Phonological awareness; English literacy
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