Communication and Literacy Skills Among Children In the Early School Years
Early identification of children most at risk of reading failure is central to the prevention of illiteracy. Therefore the earliest time frame for identification should be determined. Reading is related to communication and literacy. Prominent researchers in the field asserted that the early school years are the critical time for early identification and prevention (Torgesen, 1998). This study focuses on Year 1 and Year 4 primary school children utilizing the descriptive correlational method. It was carried out on 344 primary school pupils of which 168 were from Year 1 and 176 were Year 4 students. The pupils in the sample were considered academically weak and underwent screening and diagnostic tests. Findings showed a significant number had difficulty in communication skills. Communication is basic in understanding information and it is related to overall learning in general. Many Year 1 pupils had problems with their literacy skills and 33.8% were unable to read and write, As for Year 4 pupils, there was a slight drop in communication skills as compared to the pupils in Year 1. This was perhaps due to the fact that the problems encountered were more difficult. However, pertinently, it was found that those specific areas of weaknesses in other subjects (mathematics and languages) were related to communication and literacy skills.
Keywords: Communication Skills, Literacy Skills, Early School Years
Lecturer, Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia
Prof. Habibah Elias
Professor, Educational Psychology, Universiti Putra Malaysia