Literature overview There are different theories on learning styles which are David Kolb, Peter Honey,Alan Mumford, Anthony Gregorc , Chickering and Gameson.,Carl Jung and Richard M.Felder .
Kolb’s learning style According to Kolb’s original model, “Learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience”, (David A. Kolb, 1984:1). He introduces four learning styles which are Concrete Experience it is when a learner has a new experience compared to previous experience and has to do .Reflective observation these varies between understanding and previous experience. Abstract Conceptualization “Reflection gives rise to a new idea or a modification of an existing abstract concept” (Kolb, 1984:1) this is when a learner adjusts to new learning styles. Active Experimentation here the learner uses the knowledge acquired in the real world.
Kolb’s learning styles are therefore divided into four categories which are assimilators convergers, accommodators and diverges. Assimulators are learners that learn best using sound logical information An assimulator greatest strength lie in creating theoretical models Other strengths are understanding what they are working on this gives them a better direction to solve problems. Curious and enjoys problems this give them more knowledge as more questions are answered. Plans well in advance for exams this makes them more ready to tackle problems. Can organize facts and material well .However they have they have some weaknesses which includes the need of too much information before getting down to work, does not like to try new approaches ,not creative and keeps a number of problems to himself. Collects to much information. Convergers uses practical applications there need what is relevant to them .These one are more interested with facts and desire to go straight to the point. Can work well alone which makes them less dependent on others. Get things done in time this does not involves them in late submissions. Pays attention to detail .However there have a number of weaknesses which are Lack of imagination .Not very interested in presentation of your work. Believes that there is only one way of doing things. Does not like others ideas. Accommodators are those who want hands on experiences .Divergers are the one that learn best when they are allowed to observe and collect things from a wide range of collection these learners observe and collect. They have the following strengths unhurried that is there are more stable to situation like exams .Listens to others and shares idea this give them more ideas and different points of view. They are good at seeing the big picture. They can see long-term implications of things. They can see new ways of doing things and has creative solutions. They can multi-task .However they have the following weaknesses they forget the important details while understanding the big picture .Does not organize work well .Does not like work or revision timetables.Forgets to bring important books.
Gregorc Learning Styles There are divided into three categories which are concrete random, concrete sequential, abstract sequential, abstract random. On concrete random according to Gregorc,”They use their instincts and intuition when making decisions”.(Gregorc)The learner is divergent ,experimental, inventive therefore the learner is much more involved in creating and acting and usefulness and application of learning .They have a lot of questions about what surrounds them .Concrete sequential efficient and well informed and the learner is more practical and active in making things work. According to Gregorc,”They notice and recall details easily and remember facts ,specific information ,formulas, and rules with ease”,(Gregorc)They do not rely more on others and hardworking and their work is consistent and has facts. Abstract sequential reflects on information and think about it. According to Grgorc,”they prefer systematic processes and are thorough in their work”,(Gregorc) .Abstract random is imaginative and reflect on an previous experience, emotional and holistic .According to Grgorc,”they prefer are very perceptive students “,(Gregorc)This one visualize and is intuitive when dealing with ideas .
Chickering and Gamson From research there are seven learning styles which are visual, aural, verbal, physical, logical, social and solitary. According to ( Chickering and Gamson, 2012: 1 ) there is visual/spatial which prefer using pictures and spatial understanding” That is one uses visual abilities to learn something for example understanding the demand law by seeing cartoons pictures or lecture videos however this is an disadvantage to the blind. For visual there are helpful tips like turning notes to pictures and making mind and concept maps Aural /auditory-musical is when one prefer using sound and music as a learning style “One can learn from playing recorded sound tracks and the helpful tips are repeating materials out loud and in your own words .”Verbal /linguistic :You prefer using words, both in speech and writing”, These one understand more using their ears , logical(mathematical) prefer using logic, reasoning and systems these prefer facts not theories and they should be convergers Social (interpersonal): You prefer to learn in groups or with other people. Solitary (intrapersonal) prefer to work alone and use self-study. They enjoy independency.
Richard M.Felder learning styles These learning styles are in seven categories which are active ,reflective ,sensing ,intuitive ,visual ,verbal and sequential learners .Active learners best understand by practising something which is active with it .For example discussion the in group works .They also like the idea of explaining to other learners and application of knowledge. Reflective learners are more independent and they prefer to figure out things alone than in groups. Sensing learners they like to solve problems and dealing with facts that connect to the real world. Intuitive are innovative and can easily get bored with repetitions .Visual learners they learn best using diagrams ,films and pictures. Verbal learners uses sound and audio and get more out of sound .Sequential learners they understand things step by step and easily gets confused well a step is missed or not understood well. Global learners like the big picture and collects large amounts of information without seeing the connections between them and they get it later.
Peter Honey and Mumford learning styles They divided learning styles into four categories which are activist, reflector, theorist and pragmatist. Activists like new ideas and experience and they enjoy to act first .They learn best when they work in team work and given challenges and like the idea of leading discussions a lot. They learn less in lectures, thinking on their own and writing. Reflectors like to use different perspectives and learn best by observing for example groups explanations. They learn less when they are leading a discussion .Theorists learn best when they are have clear understanding of a situation and when they are able to ask question to create ideas. Pragmatists they are curious about new things and learn best when give an example to copy .They learn less when there are no recognized benefits and when there are no guidelines
Carl Jung learning styles These styles are divided into four learning styles which are extraverts, sensors, thinkers and judgers. He extraverts like to try ideas and thinks on the outer world of the people. Sensors are practical they love details and facts they are also known as intuitors. Thinkers make their choices based on logic and facts. Judgers works with targets.
From a research I discovered that I ‘am an accommodator with a number of weaknesses and strengths which I need to adjust. The weaknesses examples are as follows ;does not check work, prioritize well ,neglects subjects that does not interest and not good. My areas of strength like getting involved, working well with people, ask a lot of questions, enthusiastic A diverger is creative and good in seeing the big picture listen to other and share ideas but he or she forgets the important details while understanding the big picture, does not organise w By completing the graph I found that Iam an accommodator and on the positive side an accommodator is totally involved in something of interest for example if he has passion for Maths he or she is mostly likely to spend much of his or her time working out Maths problems, likes to take risk of his or her ideas this means that an accommodator is to much experimental for example writing an exam without being fully prepared. Has a lot of curiosity that as he or she asks a lot of questions and this the accommodator an advantage because as many questions come also means more answers.An accommodator works quickly and he or she is active this benefits a lot in exam time management. Has the capabilities of using senses well that is seeing, feeling and hearing .Which is an advantage if the person does not have any of the disability on senses .However of the other hand an accommodator has the following weaknesses like poor planning of work in advance this is a disadvantage as the accommodator is most likely not to get assignments properly done and does not pre-read before lectures, rarely checks work this leads to many errors in writing essays and assignments, does not understand the question but hurries to write for example answering a question wrongly because of assuming what the question wants this results in loss of marks . An accommodator has a poor time management for example attending lectures late ,forgetting assignments .Does not prioritise well and easily get distracted with circumstances this diverts all attention to something of a lower priority for example concentrating more on reading books which does not relate to the actual subjects. This accounts for the accommodator’s failure
By recognizing and understanding your own learning styles, you can use techniques better suited to you. This improves the speed and quality of your learning. This can be aided by practicing helpful tips like taking study breaks and physical exercises,
Teaching Phonics in Elementary Schools
Phonics can be defined as an instruction in sound-letter relationship used in reading and writing (Strickland, 1998). In earlier times an alphabet spelling system dominated the teaching of reading, however, a phonetic method was introduced in which children were taught individual sound letter relation and how to blend to decipher words. Teachers were dissatisfied with the method at the time because much attention was placed on word analysis and little interest was given to comprehension. Children were expected to learn every word as a sight word, making progress slow and laborious. This approach was temporarily abandoned and the basal reading program was introduced. The basal reading programs held predominance over other methods and then teachers became discontented with them as the only form of reading instruction and again returned to phonics.
Various changes methodology was initiated in an attempt to solve the reading problem in the elementary schools. The literature based approaches to reading instruction in which phonics is taught in conjunction with other word identification strategies was among the practical application. These newly approaches though widely varied in application teaching phonics continue to be heard today. The support of phonics is combined with demands for a greater emphasis on spelling and grammar. Phonics instruction reveals deep philosophical differences about teaching, learning and leads to power struggles over educational policy. Despite the potential for the phonics debate to polarize educational communities, most educators and parents try to avoid instructional pendulum swings that confuse than clarify issues. They choose to concentrate their efforts on providing effective literacy programs.
Types of Phonics There are different types of phonics instruction approaches that vary according to the explicitness by which the phonic elements are taught and practiced in the reading of text, it is important to understand the five specific types of phonics instruction and what they entail. Systematic phonics approach is a sequential that set on phonics elements are taught along a dimension of explicitness depending on the type of phonics method employed (national reading panel2000).
Analogy phonics is teaching students unfamiliar words by analogy and to know words (e.g., we distinguish that the rhyme segment of an unfamiliar word is identical to that of the a familiar word, and then blending the known rhyme with the new word onset, such as reading sick by recognizing that -ick is contained in the known word kick, or reading hump by analogy to mumps).
Analytic phonics is using phonics to teaching students to analyze letter sound relations and learning words to avoid pronouncing sound in isolation.
Embedded phonics is using phonics to teaching students phonics skills by embedding phonics instruction in text reading and a more implicit approach that relies to some extent on incidental learning.
Phonics through spelling is when teaching students to segment words into phonemes and also to select letters for those phonemes.
Synthetic phonics is teaching students explicitly to convert letters into sounds and then blend the sounds to form recognizable words.
According to national institution of child and human development report the national reading panel (2000), that phonics instruction teaches student to use the relationship between letters and sounds to translate printed text into pronunciation of words. But it is surprising that many students and teachers do not understand the basic rules in learning or teaching phonics instruction in the content area.
Students knowing the basic phonetic instruction rules will help them sound out words and memorize sight words. Phonics advocates focus their efforts on the primary grades and emphasize the importance of students being able to sound out (read) words based on the phonetic instruction (Reyhner, 2000).
Inadequacy of Teaching Phonics The phonological instruction is a remarkably, powerful technique and away to teach every child to reading and spelling. The different strategies of phonics instruction a child must go through before they can acquire phonics lessons, from infancy to beginning of school and at each stage the kind of help the child needs from qualified teachers with the knowledge.
There are many elementary teachers who have no idea of teaching phonics instruction to students. Primary teacher’s education students themselves frequently express concern over their lack of confidence in their phonics knowledge and their frustration having to teach and rely on abstract chapters in textbooks those are quite difficult to understand. Today the education programs are burdened with an overcrowded curriculum, in which phonics has successively reduced in lined with pedagogical trends based on literacy acquisition.
Teachers complained that phonics instruction is a difficult subject because they are not receiving sufficient explicit and systematic knowledge especially in relation to phonological knowledge in helping the child to read. Jalongo (1998) has commented ‘that is a virtual conspiracy afoot among educators to keep this superior knowledge to ourselves and deny children access to the keys to the kingdom of reading. Teachers are either too lazy to teach phonics or too obstinate to consider it”. Teachers and their trainee teachers do not understand how to teach phonics instruction and they rely on computer exercise and games to supply the phonics activities.
Buckland and Fraser (2008) has stated ‘these teachers accepted literary knowledge but they did not have knowledge of building blocks language necessary for the big picture of effective literacy teaching’.
It is the professional responsibility of teachers to develop extensive knowledge of phonics instruction a repertoire of teaching strategies to adapt to the needs of individual children in order to ensure success.
Using Phonics instruction to Improve Reading Many researchers and educators still wondering about the use of phonics instruction help student to improve their reading. According to research has shown that systematic phonics instruction significantly enhances students in kindergarten through to sixth grade and children having difficulty in learning how to read. Children that receive systematic beginning instruction were better able to read text and also the improvement in their ability to comprehend text (NICHD, 2000).
Systematic synthetic phonics has a positive effective on student with poor reading abilities and low grade achievement with students in school. A child who has been introduced to systematic phonics instruction in elementary school at early levels is able to read properly. Teaching reading using phonics instruction helps kindergarten better understanding the use of alphabetic principles and better able to give students a faster start in learning to read than direct instruction; these children alphabetic knowledge and reading skills have improved. Teachers need to improve students’ skills in reading by teaching phonics instruction in a meaningful way with a text and emphasize the role of systematic synthetic phonics in the classroom. There are many students who are moving out of the education system that cannot read because they cannot distinguish between sounds of words while some were not exposed to a book or even phonics instruction. Educators need to be focused on a early intervention literacy program and mandate a strong phonics instruction which emphasize on reading program across the curriculum that fulfil the reading difficulties in the classrooms.
Findings cited in the National Reading Panel Report (NICHD, 2000) on the of systematic phonics instruction including the following:
Systematic phonics instruction was shown to produce substantial improvement in reading and spelling in kindergarten through sixth grade, especially for younger children who risk of future reading failure and disable readers. The contribution of systematic phonics instruction to reading provide achievement was greater than that of programs that provided unsystematic phonics instruction and programs that included no phonics instruction.
Positive results were greater with younger students (kindergarten students and first graders), indicating that beginning systematic phonics instruction early is helpful.
Systematic phonics instruction produced gains when used in a variety of grouping patterns such as one-on-one tutoring, small groups, and whole-class instruction.
Gains in reading were demonstrated by children from all socioeconomic levels.
Systematic phonics instruction improved comprehension and showed an even greater impact on word recognition (pp.26).
This finding encourages the government and educators should be using phonics instruction to improve the quality of their reading program in elementary schools. There are many students moving from grade to grade who cannot read and comprehend the text.
The best support for children with significant literacy difficulties to enable them to catch up with their peers, and relationship between such targeted intervention programmes with phonics teaching. The teaching of early reading and phonics in primary schools and early years setting, will improve literacy in school today and including both the content area (Europe Intelligence Wire, 2005).
Comprehension using Phonics According to NICHHD (2000), reading comprehension is the act of understanding and interpreting the information within a text. Children exposed to phonics at an early age and understanding methods of decoding words can begin to engage in regular reading by translating letters into sounds of oral language and then using their cognitive processes to facilitate listening comprehension to understand what they have read. Teachers can present relevant scaffolding to help student understand textual meaning, and acquire the cipher for mapping sound onto letter to develop their comprehension skill. The high quality phonics instruction should be taught as the primary approach to student in learning to decode (to read) and encode (to write/spell) that will help in analysis comprehension. Phonics instruction should be emphasized within a broad and rich language curriculum that develop students in the area of comprehension skills and expand children’s abilities of words. Teaching comprehension using phonics to elementary children should be multisensory in order to arouse their interest by motivating in an exciting way
Gambrell, Marrow and Pressley (2007) explained that students often need concentrated instructional support in phonics approaches in order to learn important skills and strategies that they might have difficulty discovering and principles of comprehension skills.
Comprehension is an important development of children’s reading skills in academic learning in all subjects’ areas and in lifelong journey. Learning comprehension using phonics is a dynamic aspect for readers in the understanding of a text that provides the context within which to comprehend individual words and sentences. In teaching comprehension passages, students need to understand basic phonetic instruction to read words and spell.
Cain( 2003) stated that word reading is essential for reading comprehension but does not ensure good comprehension of written text if children do not understand basic phonetics. Children who develop age appropriate word reading lack teaching phonics instruction in the classroom; therefore their reading comprehension is poor. They also have poor listening comprehension, indicating that subtle word reading difficulties can be the source of their reading comprehension problems.
The theoretical approaches in the teaching phonics instruction has found to improve children’s success in learning to read and was extensively more effective than little or no phonics instruction in the elementary schools. Phonics instruction has positive effective on reading and comprehension skills on children in literacy and also in the traditional and contemporary methods are lacking, emphasis must be placed on the development of new methods that provide teachers with much needed guidance and explication in these years of reformulation in the classrooms (Wilson and Colmar, 2008).
Teaching students to read is a responsible of every teacher in education system. Teachers have to implement creative and effective instructional practices to in the curriculum. Teaching students to read is a responsibility of every teacher in the education system. Teachers have to implement creative and effective instructional practices in the curriculum.
The education system needs to place more emphasis on phonics by using to help combat illiteracy in children. Children who were taught phonics at an early age