Tucker Signing as a Phonics Instruction Tool to Develop Phonemic Awareness in Children
To develop reading acquisition in an effective way, it is necessary to take into account three goals during the process: automatic word recognition, or development of phonemic awareness, reading comprehension, and a desire for reading. This article focuses on promoting phonemic awareness in English as a second language through a program called Tucker Signing. Twenty-five first grade students in a public school participated in the study using the program as phonics instruction. In the process, students would see a word, do a movement with the left hand as a representation of the grapheme, and make the sound. To analyze if the program was useful, students took a pre- and post-test, and results were compared. Findings show that the program helped children to develop phonemic awareness through the identification and the relationship between each of the twenty-seven English graphemes (letters) and most of their corresponding phonemes (sounds). At the end, students developed phonemic awareness through the identification of English phonemes without the mix to translate from their L1 (Spanish) to the L2 (English); although some phonemes like “th” /θ/ /ð/, “j” /dʒ/, and vowels would need more reinforcement.