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This chapter focuses on the general problem of the study and the specific issues addressed to the problem. Heading such as theoretical conceptual framework of the study, statement of assumptions and hypothesis, significance of the study and definition of terms are also presented.
Rationale The lack of phonemic awareness seems to be a major obstacle to reading acquisition. Children who are not able to segments words and syllables into phonemes. Consequently, they do not develop to decode single words accurately and fluently, an ability that is the distinguishing characteristics of persons with reading disabilities. Some pupils in the elementary grades of Mabolo Christian Academy, ages 7-12 have reading problems severe enough to hinder their enjoyment of reading. These problems are generally not developmental and do not diminish over time, but will persist into adulthood without appropriate intervention. Phonological errors of the child may need more attention through speech remediation that would enhance the ability of the child to produce the correct sound patterns of the word. A speech remediation program can be planned and implemented for the improvement of phonemic awareness of the child. Hence the most reliable indicator of a reading disability is an ability to decode single word. According to Lyon (1994), the best way to determine if this inability is unexpected is to compare the performance of a child with that of other children his or her age and compare the reading ability to academic performance in other domains (e.g., listen comprehension, verbal expression, written expression)
Theoretical- Conceptual framework This study is supported with seven theories. The first theory is the Natural Phonology Theory, ( Donegan & Stampe, 1979; Stampe, 1979). According to this theory, phonological processes described phonetically motivated and natural patterns of speech production. Supporting evidence for natural theory comes from examples of evolutionary language change and from descriptions of sounds change in children’s developing phonological systems. The theory of Articulatory Phonology (AP) claims not just that linguistic units are compatible with the output system (vocal tract),but also that their identity is maintained in production and perceived as such by the listeners. Gildeas analysis (1997) that phonological theory develops in such fashion provides us with an exciting new insight into child language acquisition. This insight depends on the universally recognized and that is, the particular history of phonological theory exactly parallels that child’s development of phonological theories. Just as linguist constantly turn to new theories as a way of dealing with bizarre new data, so do small children progress along a genetically pre-programmed path as they learn to manipulate oral gestures and auditory input. The next theory is the Whole Language Approach (Goodman, 1967). He claimed that beginning readers needed little direct instruction to decode the letters and sounds of the language. He believed that learners have the ability to decode the letters, syllables, words and phrases as they read meaningful texts by making inferences about the linguistics data. We also have Phonics Approach which referred to as a skills-based approach, point to research showing that children benefit from direct instruction about the letters, syllables, and corresponding sounds of English (Rose, 2006; Johnson and Watson, 2003). It also claims that reading instruction should start with the most basic components of words which are the letters of the alphabet and phonemes (speech sounds). As they practice, students blend individual sound into words and are ultimately able to recognize them in a reading text.
Kameenui(1995) introduced five characteristics to make a word easier or more difficult. These are: 1. The size of the phonological unit (e.g. it is easier to break sentences into words and words into syllables than to break syllables into phonemes). 2. The number of phonemes in the word ( e.g. it is easier to break phonemically short words such as no, see, and cap than snort, sleep or scrap) 3. Phoneme position in words (e.g. initial consonants are easier than final consonants and middle consonants are more difficult). 4. Phonological properties of words (e.g. constituent such as /s/ and /m/ are easier than very brief sounds such as /t/. 5. Phonological awareness challenges (e.g. rhyming and initial phoneme identification are easier than blending and segmenting). The last theory is the (IPA) International Phonetic Alphabet. It attempts to provide a symbol for every sound of every language. The advantage of the IPA is that it is widely studied and used, transcription using IPA can be interpreted by many readers. Phonology plays an important role in learning for it is the systematic use of sound to encode meaning in any spoken human language. The term “phonology” was used in the linguistics of a greater part of the 20th century as a cover term uniting phonemics and phonetics. An important part of traditional form of phonology has been studying which sound can be grouped into distinctive phonemes within a language. Based on these experts contentious, this study aimed to address the phonological structure of the elementary grades of Mabolo Christian Academy and that the findings of this study would serve as the basis in understanding and selected the means for remedial instructions for reading competence.
INPUT Natural Phonology Theory Donegan & Stampe (1997) Articulatory Phonology Gideas Analysis(1997) Whole Language Approach Goodman (1967) Phonics Approach Rose (2006); Johnson and Watson(2003) Kameenui(1995) (IPA) International Phonetic Alphabet PROCESS
Method: Word Drill Checklist Phonological Errors of Grade 5 pupils in Mabolo Christian Academy OUTPUT
Figure 1. Schematic Diagram of the Theoretical- Conceptual Framework
Statement of the Problem This study aimed at addressing the phonological errors of the elementary level in Mabolo Christian Academy school year 2009-2010.The findings of this study serve as basis in speech remedial program for reading competence. In specific, the study sought to answer these following questions: 1. What are the commonly committed phonological errors that the respondents are engaged when reading? 2. What program of activities can be planned for speech remediation?
Hypothesis Those commonly committed phonological errors need more effort for speech remediation. Assumptions Speech remediation for the phonological errors can improve students' ability in speech production.
Significance of the Study This study will benefit the following: Students. Elementary grades in Mabolo Christian Academy will be benefited means for remedial instruction for reading competence would cater their needs. Teachers. Teachers will be guided in choosing and selecting instructional materials for their students since they are already aware about the needs of the students for they are the first main recipients of the difficulties. Administrators. The Administrators of the school will be encourage with this study to
implement additional programs for the enhancement and improvement of the students. Researchers. This study will encourage the researchers to continue in doing research and
continue seeking possible answers to the existing problem or issue.
Scope and Delimitation This study focused primarily on the phonological errors committed by the elementary grades (Grade V) in Mabolo Christian Academy school year 2009-2010.
Definition of Terms The better and apparent understanding of the study, the following terms are operationally defined: Errors. These are the mistakes produce by the students. Phonemes. An element consisting of a group or family of sounds. It is the smallest unit and has no meaning in or by itself although any phonemic charge causes a change of the meaning of an utterance. Phonemic. The study about phonemes relating to the sound used in speech. Phonetics. A branch of linguistics which deals with the analysis, description, and classification of speech sound. Phonological error. The committed mistakes towards the sounds. Phonological instrument. The means on how to assess student’s phonological structure. Phonology. The study of the sound system of a language. The historical study of the sound changes that have taken place in a language. Program. In this study, it is an activity or a remedial. Speech. The act of producing sound patterns orally. Speech remedial. This is an act of giving an activities to correct or improve speech production. Speech remedial program. The activities given to correct and improve speech production.
Organization of the Study This study comprised three chapters. The preliminary pages contain the title page, acknowledgment, dedication, table of contents, list of figure. Chapter I contained the rationale, theoretical- conceptual framework, statement of the problem, hypothesis significance of the study, definition of terms and organization of the study. Chapter II contained the review of literature that includes a study in the Philippines and other country. Chapter III contained the research methodology that includes research method used, research locale, research instrument and research procedure.
Chapter II Review of Related Literature
Several studies related to this study had been published. In particular, these are new literature and studies that embrace new ideas, which are free of orthodoxy and challenging exiting theories. Additionally, they will be reviewed to give assistance to the researchers in conducting their own study. The related studies are the following:
Study in the Philippines Manarpiis conduct a research about Filipino students’ attitude toward English as a language used in the classroom and their difficulties experienced introducing correct sounds (that is, lack of phonological awareness). The research concludes that the respondents committed phonological errors of omission, transfer errors, and over generalization of English. They engage in hypercorrections when speaking in front of their classmates. There is a strong evidence of fossilization of errors although with positive factors like motivation, attitude, personality,and strategical, there is still a big chance of defossilization (Manarpiis, 2006). According to Malicsi (2005),”the sounds of Filipino English are certainly different from those of international English.” With globalization becoming a dominant feature of our society, students have to be retooled in their speech towards their neutral accent that is acceptable in international communications.
Study in Other Country Dr. Hsuan-Yu Chen(2009), a lecturer, is an author of the study regarding the impact of Phonetic and Phonological Instruction on Oral Proficiency of Spanish-speaking ESL learners. She stated that oral proficiency is an important goal in teaching English as a second language because it is important not only in communication, but also in reading and writing, which pave the path to academic achievement After several assessment measures were conducted, findings showed statistically improvement in the oral proficiency of target phonemes of respondents after the implementation of phonetic/phonological instruction. In the study of Yun Zhang(2009), even speaking classes do not provide chances or oral interaction, as most teachers talk on and on through out the lesson without giving students any opportunity to speak, thus turning the class into listening activity. A reasonable solution is to support a more integrated approach where speaking is added to reading and writing lessons to ensure that students receive essential practice in oral communication. He introduced activities to provide students opportunities to practice their spoken English. So to reveal any problem they have in understanding the text. According to Dalton and Seidlhofer(2000), the awareness of pronunciation will be affected by our purpose and motivation. In their classic study, they distinguish between instrumental and integrative motivation in second language learning. An instrumental orientation reflects the practical advantages of learning a language, while an integrative orientation stems from a sincere and personal interest in the people and culture. (Gardner and Lambert, 2000). Frequency and functional load study of (Gimson and Taylor, 2001), states that in pronunciation teaching, counting how often phonemes occur in running text of specified length can be helped. In English, for instance, the most frequent consonant is / / and the most frequent vowel is / /.
Having established the relative frequency of phonemes in the target language, teachers may decide to give priority to frequent sounds while perhaps not treating infrequent ones. In the study of Michael Behrmann (2000), Beginning Reading and Phonological Awareness for students with Language Disabilities, states that the key to the process of learning to read is the learners' ability to identify the different sounds with written words. In order to learn to read, student must be aware of phonemes. His research concluded that beginning readers require more direct instructional support from the teachers in the early stage of teaching. In which, a sequence and schedule of opportunities for children to apply and develop facility with sounds should be tailored to each child's needs and should be given top priority. Opportunities to engage in phonological awareness activities should be plentiful, frequent and fun (Fromkin et al.,2000). According to Lyon (2003), many children with learning disabilities have deficiencies in their ability to process phonological information. Thus, they do not readily learn how to relate letters of the alphabet in sounds of language. For all the students, the process of phonological awareness including phonemic awareness must be explicitly taught. His findings concluded that teachers must apply sensitive effort and use a variety of techniques to help children learn the skills when standard English is not spoken at home. Lastly, Morais et. al.,( 2001) conducted a study on phonemes and phonological errors that according to him “speech is a continuous stream of sound, we are largely commit errors in phonemes unless we have learn to read. The idea that phonemes map out a grapheme seems quite natural for those of us who are literate. To the beginning reader, however, it is a wholly new concept.
Chapter III Research Methodology
Research Method Used This study made use of descriptive method,describing the phonological errors of the respondents. Research Locale The locale of the study is Mabolo Christian Academy. It is a sectarian institution wherein majority of the students are Baptists. Research Respondents The respondents of the study are the Grade V pupils of Mabolo Christian Academy school year 2009-2010. Research Instrument The researchers made use of word drill with a checklist to assess respondents' speech production on the given words. Research Procedure In gathering the data, the researchers made use of the following steps: 1. The copies with list of words were given to each respondent to read while the researchers were handling the checklist to assess respondents' production of words. 2. The checklist contained the sound patterns with the assessment description of “with difficulty” and “without difficulty”. Researchers checked the box that corresponds to the descriptions according to the respondents' production of words. 3. After assessing the respondents, the gathered data were tabulated. 4. Researchers will identify the commonly committed phonological errors by frequency count. 5. The first five sound patterns that have high number of mistakes were to be considered as
commonly committed phonological errors of the respondents. 6. The results were discussed and analyzed pertaining to the phonological errors of the respondents. 7. Researchers provided the program of activities that can be planned and implemented for speech remediation. 8. The planned program of activities for speech remediation is applicable for summer class in two months, after the school year. 9. The program contained the activities from day 1 until day 50 (excluding Sunday) with the specific sound pattern a day. 10. The commonly committed phonological errors may take two days for more emphasis and improvement.
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