This study examined 85 children from baseline and 2 years later. Although more unschooled children had learned to read, their phonological awareness (PA) had not generally improved. Schooling independently predicted PA and literacy.
Authors: Katherine J. Alcock, Damaris S. Ngorosho, & Matthew C.H. Jukes
Source: Alcock, K.J., Ngorosho, D.S., & Jukes, M.C.H. (2017). Reading and phonological awareness in Africa. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 1-10. DOI: 10.1177/0022219417728051
Literacy levels in Africa are low, and school instruction outcomes are not promising. Phonological awareness (PA), especially phoneme awareness, is critically associated with literacy. Our previous study found that PA was associated with reading ability, not schooling or age. We retested 85 children from the baseline study 2 years later. We found that more unschooled children had now learned to read; however, PA had generally not improved for these children. Schooling now independently predicted PA and literacy. PA also predicted literacy and vice versa. Explicit phoneme awareness was again poor.
In this study, the same cohort of children in Tanzania that were part of a baseline study who were previously either in or out of school were followed up two years later. We aimed to determine whether children’s initial literacy skills continued to be the only influence on their PA at follow-up, or whether schooling, children’s age, or initial PA skills now influence PA skills independently.
Of the original sample of 101 children in Tanzania, 85 were tested on reading and PA at T1 and T2. Children were 10–13 years old at T2.