A study of literacy development in early childhood: the case of preschool reading in Sumbawanga district

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Unversity of Dar es Salaam
This study investigated literacy development in early childhood focusing on pre-school reading skills in Sumbawanga District, Rukwa region. Four research questions that guided this study focused on the training background of pre-primary school teachers; the basic pre-reading skills promoted in pre-primary schools; the reading materials that are available and used in pre- primary schools; and the suitability of teaching methods used in promoting the basic pre-reading skills in pre-primary schools. The study used an interpretive research design, employing questionnaire, interview, documentary method and observation as data collection methods. Simple random and purposive sampling technique were used to obtain a sample of 74 participants, involving District Education Officer (DEO), School Inspectors, head teachers, and pre-primary school teachers. The findings of this study show that teachers lack the required skills for teaching pre-school children as signified by lack of specialized training in teaching pre-school children. The findings also show that, the basic pre-reading skills promoted in pre-primary schools are knowledge of names of letters of the alphabets, knowledge of meaning of words, counting numbers and understanding the sounds in words. The findings have also revealed that teaching and learning materials used in pre-reading skills were real objects, models, pictures and picture cards, books, flashcards and drawings. Moreover, the results have shown that the majority of the materials used are not only inadequate but also not relevant for teaching pre-reading skills. Finally, the findings have shown that teachers use a wide range of methods including songs, demonstration and games, drawings, questions and answer method. Most of the teaching methods were not appropriate to children’s age, interests and abilities. The study recommends for the sound preparation of pre-primary school teachers and improvement in the quality of pre-primary schools.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF LB1139.5.L35M86)
Early childhood education, Reading (Early childhood), Literacy, Early literacy skills, Sumbawanga district
Mung’ong’o, M. (2014) A study of literacy development in early childhood: the case of preschool reading in Sumbawanga district, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam