Early-grade teachers’ ability to incorporate high-quality explicit phonological awareness (PA) instruction into the classroom helps children succeed in early reading endeavors and significantly reduces reading difficulties among children at risk for reading problems. Teachers’ deep knowledge of teaching PA is expected to affect their reading instructional practices inside the classrooms. This study aims to gain perspective on early grade teachers’ perceptions, knowledge, and practices related to teaching PA skills in the Arabic language. To this end, a modified survey instrument was completed by 109 Arabic language teachers at kindergarten and primary grade levels. Results reveal that although teachers recognize the significance of PA for reading development, many show poor knowledge of certain PA fundamentals and do not formally assess PA or provide adequate and explicit PA instruction in their classrooms. Furthermore, results show that teachers with more teaching experience provide their students with more chances to complete PA activities in the classroom. These findings suggest a need to provide Arabic language teachers with adequate knowledge and training as well as assessment and teaching materials to enable them to provide the required PA skills, as a crucial reading skill, in the classroom.
Hanady Bani Hani, Rana Alkhamra, Hala Alomari, Aya Aljazi, Yasaman Jalali-Kushki
Arabic language, perception, phonological awareness, reading, early grade teachers