Effect of Teacher Variables on the Teaching of Initial Reading to Basics 1 and 2 Pupils in Imo State, Nigeria
AbstractTeaching initial reading is a herculean task that must be carried out by qualified, mature teachers. This work is out to investigate if the conditions are met by initial reading teachers in Owerri, Imo State. This study is a survey, carried out on 300 pupils and 60 teachers, randomly selected from eight public basic schools in Owerri Educational Zone 1 of Imo State. Two research hypotheses were posed and two 4-point Likert rating scales; a checklist and a questionnaire with Cronbach Reliability Coefficient r= 0.63 and r= 0.61 respectively were used to generate data, analyzed using t-test. Findings revealed that adult, experienced teachers with Bachelor’s degree in language education (B.Ed.) teach initial reading. There was no significant difference between Basic 1 and Basic 2 teachers’ teaching methods: t (58) = -0.381, p = .146 with Basic one (x̅= 12.54, S.D= 2.487) to Basic two (x̅= 12.75, S.D= 1.741) with the effect size of (r = 0.093) very small; no significant difference in the challenges teachers face in teaching initial reading: t (58) = 0.064, p = .842 with Basic one (x̅= 16.04, S.D= 2.134) to Basic two (x̅= 16.00, S.D= 2.200) with the effect size of (r = 0.045) very small; and no significant difference in teachers’ cadre: t (58) = 0.844, p = .258 with Basic one (x̅= 12.64, S.D= 1.592) to Basic two (x̅= 13.03, S.D= 1.926) with the effect size of (r = 0.234) moderate. It was therefore suggested that teachers should be qualified, have teaching experience, and use mother tongue in their classroom interactions to build in pupils a strong, lifelong foundation in reading.
Key Words: Initial reading, mother tongue, qualified teachers, basic learners, teaching methods, reading difficulties, challenges
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