What is Jolly Phonics?
At INGIT Jolly Phonics Foundation (INGITJPF), we believe that learning to read and write should be easy and fun for learners and teachers. We are passionate about developing English literacy skills of early year pupils. Pupils in Ghana have a serious challenge with learning to read and write English. Pupils are unable to read and write early and this has a negative impact on their academic skills by the time they are expected to be able to read and write in the upper classes. Our vision at INGITJPF is to get the foundation right. Therefore, using the synthetic phonics approach, we have enhanced reading and writing for Early Childhood and Adult Education as well as other English as Second Language (ESL) groups. INGITJPF is currently undertaking a literacy project in 7 regions in Ghana: Ga South district in the Greater Accra region, Winneba district, Catholic Schools in Ashanti, Bolgatanga in the Upper east region, Western regions and Asuogyaman in the Eastern region. As a part of the project, INGITJPF has given training in Jolly Phonics to over 1000 Kindergarten teachers, 300 Head Teachers for the government sector and over 3000 teachers for the private schools since 2013. These teachers have direct impact on over 20,000 pupils in both government and private schools.
J olly Phonics is a fun and child-centered approach to teaching literacy through synthetic phonics. With actions for each of the 42 letter sounds, the multi-sensory method is very motivating for children and teachers, who can see their students achieve. The letter sounds are split into seven groups as shown below
Letter Sound Order: The sounds are taught in a specific order (not alphabetically). This enables children to begin building words as early as possible.
Using a synthetic phonics approach, Jolly Phonics teaches children the five key skills for reading and writing. The program continues through school enabling the teaching of essential grammar, spelling and punctuation skills.
The foundation is aimed at ensuring the adoption of Jolly Phonics in the ten regions of Ghana especially by the government schools. INGIT is currently undertaking a literacy project in 7 regions in Ghana namely Ga South district in the Greater Accra region, Winneba district, Catholic Schools in Ashanti, Bolgatanga in the Upper East region, Western regions and Asuogyaman in the Eastern region and this is supported by Jolly Learning,UK. In the various regions, the company is currently working with teacher leaders, coordinators and assistant trainers responsible for the immediate monitoring and mentoring as well as assistance and interventions in these regions. Regular monitoring is done to ensure that teaching and learning of Jolly Phonics in these Districts are done in a result oriented manner.
We advocate change in teaching method of English from the traditional alphabet method of teaching where pupils are taught to cram endless words to the synthetic phonics method of teaching which is easy, fast and fun. The traditional method produces few successful readers but the synthetic phonics method has been shown to result in almost all or all pupils reading fluently and writing well. The synthetic phonics method teaches learners the sounds of English language and proceeds to teach them how to read by blending the sounds. We use Jolly Phonics resources and other tested synthetic phonics resources.
Our overall aim is to see every school in Ghana use the synthetic phonics approach to teaching reading and writing as is used in many other ESL and English speaking countries of the world.This is as a result of the great impact this approach is making the world over.
At the foundation, we work tirelessly for the adoption of Jolly Phonics in government schools in all of Ghana’s ten regions.
In addition to providing training, we provide regular mentoring and monitoring services in the various regions.
Our team comprises teacher leaders, coordinators and associate trainers. They all contribute to provide monitoring and mentoring as well as give refresher training in these regions.
Our work also benefit private schools as we provide training and mentoring services adapted to the needs of each school.
INTERIM REPORT ON 2017 KG READING ABILITY SURVEY OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN THE ASUOGYAMAN DISTRICT
(WITH SPECIAL FOCUS ON THE IMPACT OF JOLLY PHONICS IMPLEMENTATION IN THE DISTRICT)
- A total of 30 KG Schools out of the 64 in the district were visited for the survey
- A total of 287 pupils in KG.1 were sampled to read a total of 10 simple words (The 287 pupils were made up of 145 boys and 142 girls)
- The pupils were required to read the following words: man, ten, cat, goat, rot, shop, ship, shop, food, see, rain.
- A pupil who read at least 6 out of the 10 words was judged to be a reader
- 197 (68.6%) out of the 287 sampled pupils were able to read 6 or more of the 10 words
- The 197 able readers were made up of 105 girls and 92 boys. Meaning more girls were able readers than boys
EXHIBITION OF READING SKILLS
Some of the children read the words at first sight. Others read the words after saying the sounds making up the words. Others also did hand blending of the sounds before saying the words. Yet again, others identified the sounds along with their actions, before blending on their hands and then saying the words. The Jolly Phonics way at work; so exciting.
IMPACT OF JOLLY PHONICS
Beginning reading is the solid foundation on which almost all subsequent learning take place. For this to materialize, all beginning readers or early readers must be helped to have a conscious awareness of the sound structure of words and the ability to manipulate sounds in words. And this is exactly what Jolly Phonics has helped to do in the Asuogyaman District. The seven months of implementation of the Jolly Phonics approach to teaching reading to young children has had a great and beneficial impact on the reading abilities of the kindergartners in the district. Compared to the previous surveys of 2015 and 2016 where KG.1 pupils sampled were required to just identify and say only letter sounds, this 2017 survey which required pupils to read simple words is several hundred folds more challenging, more interesting and very rewarding to both pupils and teachers due to the use of the Jolly Phonics approach to teaching reading to the kindergartners. Even the 90 pupils out of the 287 who were considered to be non-readers due to their inability to read at least 6 of the 10 words were able to identify and say almost all the letter sounds in the words. They had challenges with some of the diagraphs, though. - However, 3 schools with a total sample size of 30 had zero (0) readers by the criteria. Further interactions with the teachers concerned indicated that they were not following the eight steps involved in the Jolly Phonics practice. They left out "blending", "sounding", and "dictation". They said they wanted to finish with all the sounds before doing "blending". They were advised and told to "get back on the right road". They willingly took the advice and promised to do the right thing. A follow-up visit would be planned to check on their progress in that regard.
years in business
Continual growth with experience
Roberta Emma Amos-Abanyie
The team is led by dynamic Roberta. Roberta’s passion is to see every child in Ghana read and write with ease and fun and to see every Kindergarten teacher enjoy English language teaching sessions. Roberta has a degree in Home Economics but very passionate able literacy so diverted her career. She has been a teacher in both government and private school sectors in Ghana. As a teacher, she understands the pain teachers feel when pupils fail to achieve required reading level. As a school administrator, Roberta knew the depths of the desire of the school to see pupils achieve. She has also witnessed the drudgery and frustrations of pupils as they toil to achieve reading skills. Roberta came upon the synthetic phonics seemingly by chance. She put to use first-hand the success of teaching with synthetic phonics. When chance ‘happened’ again and she had the privilege of receiving a second training in synthetic phonics using the Jolly Phonics method, she knew it was time to become involved and spread the message of this method. She began training teachers and speaking to schools about teaching with synthetic phonics. She has led the spread of the Jolly Phonics method in government schools in Ghana. In addition to giving training to Early Years teachers, she has also teamed up with another expert in bringing an intervention for older struggling readers using the Jolly Phonics Buddies method. Roberta gives training in Jolly Phonics locally and internationally. She also has the privilege of upgrading her skills every year at the Jolly Phonics conference held yearly in the UK where she meets experienced trainers from all over the world.