Effect of synthetic phonics instruction on literacy skills in an ESL setting Academic Article uri icon


  • In the present study, the effectiveness of a synthetic phonics approach to teaching 10. year old Kannada-speaking children to read English was compared with a modified approach whereby the English letter sounds were also represented by the symbols used in Kannada, thus tapping into pre-existing graphophonological awareness skills. After 5-weeks of instruction, participants taught by the Kannada-mediated synthetic phonics approach performed significantly better on the reading, spelling, and graphophonological tasks than the group taught by synthetic phonics using only English letter-sound correspondences, who in turn performed better than the comparison group taught by the standard non-phonic classroom method. Applying the metalinguistic knowledge of the first language seems to have been beneficial in developing literacy skills in English. 2013 Elsevier Inc.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 4.7

author list (cited authors)

  • Nishanimut, S. P., Johnston, R. S., Joshi, R. M., Thomas, P. J., & Padakannaya, P.

citation count

  • 11

complete list of authors

  • Nishanimut, Surendranath P||Johnston, Rhona S||Joshi, R Malatesha||Thomas, Prince J||Padakannaya, Prakash

publication date

  • October 2013