Original Research

Phonemic awareness of English second language learners

Maria le Roux, Salome Geertsema, Heila Jordaan, Danie Prinsloo
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 64, No 1 | a164 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v64i1.164 | © 2017 Maria le Roux, Salome Geertsema, Heila Jordaan, Danie Prinsloo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 June 2016 | Published: 30 January 2017

About the author(s)

Maria le Roux, Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Salome Geertsema, Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Heila Jordaan, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Danie Prinsloo, Department of African Languages, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The PA skills of phonological blending and segmentation and auditory word discrimination relate directly to literacy and may be weak in English second language (EL2) learners. In South Africa, literacy skills have been found to be poor in especially EL2 learners.

Objectives: The purpose of this paper is to determine the effects of vowel perception and production intervention on phonemic awareness (PA) and literacy skills of Setswana first language (L1) learners. These learners are English second language (EL2) learners in Grade 3.

Method: The present study employed a quasi-experimental, pre-test–post-test design.

Results: The findings of low–literacy skill levels concurred with previous investigations. However, post-test results of intervention in PA seemed to improve the literacy skills of EL2 learners.

Conclusion: PA skills should be a crucial part of the literacy curriculum in South Africa.


Keywords

phonological awareness; phonemic awareness; segmentation; blending; literacy skills; English Language of Learning and Teaching

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