Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



This ten week study examined the impact of the teachers’ instructional strategies in teaching phonemic awareness to kindergarten and first grade students. Three questions were explored. These questions were: (a) How do teachers determine the appropriate instructional strategies to use in teaching phonemic awareness?, (b) What are the similarities and differences that each teacher demonstrates in implementing appropriate instructional strategies in teaching phonemic awareness?, and (c) How have the teachers’ efforts in implementing a Reading First program been rewarded? The participants in this study are two first grade teachers, two kindergarten teachers, and one kindergarten and first grade reading interventionist. Qualitative methods of single, cross case analysis were utilized for this study with data sources that included: field notes, responses from questionnaires, and the researcher’s observations. During the 90 minutes of uninterrupted reading instruction, the teachers were required to teach explicitly and systematic phonemic awareness from the prescribed method in the reading manual. The prescribed method consisted of verbatim scripts of: what the teachers should say, how the teachers should say it, and the answer for the students’ response. Data gathered showed that teachers used explicit and systematic instructional strategies when teaching phonemic awareness from the prescribed reading series; however, some teachers used additional instructional strategies to teach phonemic awareness. There were differences and similarities that were prevalent across grade levels. The differences of the instructional strategies consisted of utilization of hand motion and other techniques and using phonemic awareness in context. The similarities of the strategies utilized included sounding out individual phonemes, segmenting phonemes, phoneme counting, and adding, deleting, and substituting phonemes. The teachers were intrinsically motivated by their students’ progression. The teachers’ ability to impact phonemic awareness instruction is indirectly a result of their desire to be adequately prepared to deliver phonemic awareness instruction. The students’ satisfactory progress in attaining the appropriate reading level suggests that the teachers positively impacted instruction.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Earl H. Cheek, Jr.



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Education Commons