Early Bilingual Experience and English Literacy Acquisition: An Approach to Phonics Instruction

Project Number
OER 58/12 OBA

Project Duration
June 2013 - September 2016


The proposed project utilizes quantitative methods and a randomized-controlled design to investigate a technology-based tool for teaching English phonics to Singaporean kindergarteners with ethnic Chinese language (CL) background. This project will investigate the extent to which an iPad-based tool for teaching letter-sound correspondences (phonics) benefits K2 children with language backgrounds other than English. As a ''deep'' orthography, English includes inconsistencies in the mappings between oral and written language. The proposed study will examine the teaching of these inconsistent mappings from a print-to-speech direction. One hundred students from four kindergarten centers will be selected to take part in the study based on parent language background and SES reports. Children's oral language proficiency in English will also be assessed at the end of K1 along with baseline word reading proficiency. Upon entering K2, these children within centers will be randomly assigned to one of 2 experimental conditions using iPads for learning. The first treatment condition will provide phonics instruction and the second will consist of a control condition using a non-reading ipad based program (e.g., math). Pretest, post-test and follow-up measures of word-reading, decoding and spelling will be taken and compared across treatment conditions. Findings will have implications for phonics instruction in a second language, language background effects on reading acquisition, and the use of technology-based, interactive digital text for supplementing phonics instruction.

Funding Source

Related Links
ReEd Vol 18 2015: Overcoming the Complexities of Reading in English

Related Projects