Assessing the Relevance of Phonemic Awareness Activities in Foreign Language Teaching and Learning
AbstractPhonemic awareness (PA) has been used primarily used to investigate children early reading comprehension and pronunciation skills and later on extended to second and foreign language vis-à-vis learners reading comprehension and pronunciation enhancement. Similarly, the current study uses PA activities based on Lee and VanPatten (2003) structured input activities model as an effective way to raise learners’ awareness of the English phonemes exposed to them in order to attend to them by efficiently identifying, representing, and manipulating them. The participants involved in this study are first year students from the Department of Anglophone studies who speak Moore as first language, French as intermediate language, and English as foreign language. Having difficulties identifying, representing, and manipulating English phonemes, this study aims at helping them via structured PA activities. Using the Mann Whitney Wilcoxon Test as a statistical treatment, the findings of this study prove the effectiveness of PA activities since the group that benefited from the intervention outperformed the control group that received no treatment with a P-value less than 0.05 as 0.0001<0.5. In this logic the median of the PA group is higher than the control group: 14.5>10 though it was approximatively the same before the treatment. Also, the Likert’s scales approach which is further used to correlate students’ reactions to the results of the experiment proves that almost all students appreciate the PA activities as relevant and beneficial. Therefore, structured PA activities should be recommended in foreign language teaching when phonology is involved (244 words).
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