ASSIGNMENT 2 (COMPULSORY
Read the following scenario and answer the questions.
In Mrs Smith’s Grade 3 class, the learners are seated in a reading circle. Each learner has an
English as a First Additional Language reading book. They proceed to read the text out aloud
chorally. Initially, an observer may think that the learners are reading well, with an accent from
their home language. However, the more you listen, the more it becomes clear that the learners
are not using the correct intonation. When the teacher questions them on the content of the
story they are reading, the majority cannot answer appropriately. They do not understand what
they are reading and are unable to derive meaning from the text. The children are simply “word
calling” or “barking at print”.
Adapted from Hugo and Lenyai (2016),
Teaching English as a First Additional Language
This scenario illustrates that while decoding is an important and necessary skill in reading
development, it does not automatically result in enhanced reading comprehension skills.
Provide three reasons why you agree or do not agree with this statement.
is the ability to understand and respond to a picture or text, it
means that we read for understanding, whereas
is the ability to break down
words into their letter-sound syllables which allows learners to read the word. While
decoding is very important, the possibility that a learner will “decode” a word and read it
without knowing its meaning is still reality. (Africa, 2020 )
In the above scenario the children were not able to answer any questions asked by the
teacher. This is an example of when the learners were able to decode the words but they
did not fully understand the meaning of the words, thus they could not demonstrate
Another reason why I agree with this statement is because in the above scenario the
. Word calling is when children efficiently decode words but
do so without comparable comprehension taking place, so that words are called out
without an understanding of the meaning of the text. (Elizabeth B. Meisinger, 2010) Thus
once again proving that just because the learners are able to decode and read the words
does not mean that their reading comprehension skills will be enhanced.
The last reason for why I agree with this statement is because the learners in the above
barking at print
. Barking at print refers to learners who engage in
decoding words with little to no comprehension of what the text means. (Stott, November
10th 2018) Thus proving that even though they are able to decode the text, it does not
mean that they are able to fully understand the text, which in turn does not enhance their
comprehension skills because they display little to no comprehension of what the text