Assessing the Impact of Synthetic Phonics Teaching on Promoting Omani EFL Third Graders’ Accuracy and Fluency of Reading Connected Texts

Noora Al-Sukaiti


The cumulative influence of English-speaking countries and syllabus designers on choosing phonics as the literacy teaching method has resulted in phonics becoming attractive tools for literacy instruction in non-native contexts worldwide. Responding to recent educational trends in 2014, the Ministry of Education (MOE) in Oman decided to introduce synthetic phonics instruction, specifically Jolly Phonics (JP), to build a strong foundation in literacy skills for cycle one students (i.e., from grades one to four) nationwide. The purpose of this study was to assess its contribution to Omani third graders’ accuracy and fluency of reading connected texts through comparing students’ performance in these skills with the programme’s intended objectives, as set by the Ministry of Education (MOE). The study sample consisted of 117 third graders and employed a quantitative descriptive research design, in which data was collected using DIBLES Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) Test. The findings revealed that the Omani third graders on average have not achieved the JP’s objectives and performed poorly against the grade level expectations for accuracy and fluency of reading connected texts. The study concluded with a set of recommendations in order to develop the delivery of synthetic phonics teaching as a literacy-enhancing approach within the Omani context.


Jolly Phonics, literacy, oral reading accuracy, oral reading fluency, synthetic phonics

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