Status and Determinants to Reading Skill Development: Grade Four

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Addis Ababa University


The purpose of this study was to assess determinants and status of reading skills development at grade four. Students cannot comprehend and learn from texts until they can read fluently. To this end, existing public doubt questions whether children are really learning the required skills at appropriate grade levels and ages. This points out to conduct further study on the subject. From three primary schools, 120 students were randomly selected and assessed in terms of five core reading skill components which are letter knowledge, vocabulary, fluency, accuracy and comprehension. Data were also obtained from 21 teachers of the same schools through questionnaire. Six school directors, supervisors and 12 parents were interviewed to complement the quantitative data. Data collected through the assessment tools and interviews were analyzed. The findings revealed that reading and comprehension is a difficulty children are facing at grade four, even if instruction is mother tongue based. Findings from fluency measures shows that, 28 % of students at grade four are non-readers, and about 58 % of studentsread less than 45 words per minute (are slow readers). About42 % student’s comprehension score is below average level. While 28 % of the respondent replied teaching methodology determines reading skill development; 24% also responded as parental involvement is a determinant. Other most determinants to reading skill development were found availabilityof student friendly books, mother tongue based instruction and self-contained classroom approach