Instructional Strategies and Resources used in Teaching Reading: An Implication on Grade Three Pupils’ Reading Skills in Nairobi County, Kenya
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Reading skills are vital to lower primary school pupils because it is the foundation for learning. However, studies worldwide indicate low levels of reading skills in schoolsand little has been done to find out how different instructional strategies used in lower grade schools influence learners‟ acquisition of reading skills. The purpose of this study was,therefore,to establish the use of instructional strategies and resources on acquisition of reading skills among Grade Three Pupils inEmbakasi, Nairobi County, Kenya. The study objectives were: to establish levels of reading skills among the Grade Three Pupils,to explore selected instructional strategies used in Grade Three teaching of reading in Nairobi County and to examine the teachers‟ use of instructional resources in teaching and learning reading with the Grade Three Pupils in Nairobi County. The research was guided by Holdaway‟s Theory of Literacy Development and supported by Instructional Theory by Robert Gagne. The study used mixed methodology approach on a target population of 225headteachers from 225 primary schools, 675Grade Three teachers and30,000Grade Three Pupils, totaling to 30,900. Sample size of this study comprised 10 headteachers, 30 Grade Three teachers and 150 Grade Three Pupils. Research instruments were questionnaires for Grade Three teachers, interview schedule for headteachers, class observation checklist and a reading test for the Grade Three Pupils. Pilot study was done to pre-test the instruments and content validity was determined. Reliability was ensured through test retest and a Cronbach Alpha Coefficient with index of 0.7 obtained. Data was collected from headteachers, Grade Three teachers and Grade Three Pupils and its analysis began by coding the field data. Qualitative data were analyzed thematically following the research objectives while the quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics whereby frequencies and percentages were used. Inferential statistics used ANOVA and data presented using frequencies, tables, percentages and charts. The study established that50% of the pupils were below average in reading of letter and letter sound recognition, 57.1% in sentence and paragraph reading, 53.6% in story reading and a mere 60.7% in comprehension skills. The study also revealed that majority 78% of the teachers agreed that small reading groups as opposed to large groups are effective in improving class three reading skills.Most of the teachers 60.7% indicated that reading books were scarce. The study recommended that MoE should provide refresher courses to teachers on teaching methodologies that would improve reading skills among the Grade Three pupils and that teachers should form small reading groups which provide every learner with an opportunity to actively participate in reading activities. Other stakeholders like parents and teachers should come together and develop learning resource s to help in bett er acquisition o f reading skills.