MICHELLE M. PALMERA Ph.D
F. Bustamante Central Elementary School
The study aimed to find out what strategy is most effective in improving the spelling competency of irregular verbs of grade four learners. The researcher made use the descriptive-comparative method and selected 60 grade four pupils of F. Bustamante Central Elementary School through probability random sampling technique. Mean, standard deviation, one-way ANOVA and Eta-squared were the tools used in the analysis. One-way ANOVA showed that there was significant difference in the performance of pupils in understanding the spelling competency of the past form of irregular verbs when exposed to the three L.I.T. (Language Instruction Techniques) with large effect size.
When children first learn how to talk they do not just imitate the speech they hear but the output of the imitation was the reflection of the limited immature language they have. According to Bishop (2013) verbs are a particularly rich source of errors. Oftentimes, this situation has been identified as over regularization or over generalization such as omitting the inflection in the sentences produced like, “I runned in the marathon.” and “Father drived me home.” Learners in the 4th grade level are expected to be good in the spelling of words even with inflections such as in verb tenses. However, learners have these typical errors which have stimulated theories about the underlying nature of the child’s grammatical difficulties that led to low academic performance in the particular competency in English.
Acquisition of correct grammar whether in spoken or in written is dependably learned gradually. According to Edelman, Waterfall and Tomasello (2009) as cited by Bishop (2013) that learners acquire grammar through Schematic Sequence Theory. There are stages that illustrate the kinds of internal representations that predominate at different points in development, but transition from one to the next is assumed to be gradual. Learner follows stages in acquisition of syntax. Initially, rote-learned phrases predominate, but as learning proceeds, there is identification of sentence frames containing specific types of words. Progressively, knowledge becomes more abstract, with formation of a lexicon containing phonological forms together with their meanings and syntactic classes, and recognition of phrase structures into which lexical items can be slotted. To explain this further, as the child hears more and more language, patterns are identified. Lexical items can be grouped into syntactic categories that can occupy specific slots in sentence frames. For instance, the child who hears ‘Mother gave me a gift’, ‘Father ate a banana’, ‘and Brother slept in the car ’, ‘Sister kept my book’ and so on will start to categorize Mother, Father, Brother and Sister together as the same kind of word. The presences of the changes of the verbs from give to gave and eat to ate as well as the co-occurrence with other high-frequency words, such as determiners or auxiliaries, can act as important clues to syntactic category. Further, Arnon, Rispoli and Hadley as cited by Bishop (2013) elaborated that the child will start to recognize sequential dependencies between abstract units and begin to operate with larger units, such as Noun Phrase and Verb Phrase; this allows a move away from rote-learned utterances so that novel word sequences can be generated. Therefore, irregular past tense verbs would only be identified as tensed forms once the child had isolated the -ed morpheme from regular verbs and identified some of the syntactic and semantic features associated with it.
The problem on the spelling of verbs was acquired because of the advance technology that the entire world is embracing currently. Generation Z learners or digitally natives or techno-savvies are the type of learners the world is catering now, where the learners are much dependable to computers rather than books and instructions given by their teachers. Many people around the globe have questioned the importance of teaching spelling in an age when computers and phones often have spelling checkers and suggested words always available as pointed out by Hook and Jones (2009). However, these gadgets can definitely suggest and approve words that are totally inappropriate to the context but frequently with comical results according to Nies (2002). The significance of spelling skills for literacy, reading comprehension, reading fluency, and writing skills has still been viewed to be very important.
Philippines is now on its full implementation of the K to 12 Curriculum, and the concern of the Department of Education is to hone the learners gradually adopting the competencies that will develop the learners from kindergarten to grade 10, thus preparing them to think of their career path in grades 11 to 12. Furthermore, as stressed out in the K to 12 English Curriculum Guide (DepEd, 2013) that learners learn about the language and how to use it effectively in their engagement with and study of texts. One of the principles that satisfies the effective language arts and multiliteracies curriculum is providing explicit skill instruction in reading and writing. However, learners nowadays are different from the kind of learners 15 years ago because of the presence of highly-technological environment. As described in the needs of the learners in K to 12 English Curriculum Guide (2013) learners of this age is a generation born with complete technology. They do not know life without technology so they are often termed as digital natives and are extremely comfortable with technology. Unfortunately, this reliance on technology and gadgets has a negative effect among the learners. According to Wikipedia (2009) as cited by Bainto and Esquejo (2010) the largest average usage of the service of mobile phone subscribers is the Philippines with an average of 15 texts per day thus, making Philippines as the “texting capital of the world”. Moreover, Wood et.al., (2009) as cited by Bainto and Esquejo (2010) expanding availability of text messaging have raised issues on the effect to standard literacy particularly in spelling and syntactically correct statements. These problems were born out of unintentional intrusions of abbreviations used in texting caused by the advanced technology. The world is now in the “Knowledge age” where the challenge of education is to prepare learners to deal with the challenges of the changing world as stated in K to 12 English Curriculum Guide ( 2013).
Department of Education, Division of Davao City has been on its massive implementation of improving the academic performance of the school learners. The DepEd officials are focused on the results rather than on figures. Davao City Division had found out that most of the students who reached in grade four lack the necessary competencies in reading such as spelling (Minor, 2008).
The main objective of the study was to find out what strategy is most effective in improving the spelling competency of irregular verbs of grade four learners of F. Bustamante Central Elementary School, Tibungco District, Davao City. The study attempted to answer specific questions:
1. What is the mean scores of the three groups when exposed to L.I.T. (Language Instruction Techniques) in terms of Rote Memory Learning, Free Voluntary Reading (FVR) and Spell my Past Techniques?
2. What is the level of performance of pupils in understanding the spelling competency of the past form of irregular verbs?
3. Is there a significant difference in the performance of pupils in understanding the spelling competency of the past form of irregular verbs when exposed to L.I.T. (Language Instruction Techniques)?
4. Is there significant difference in the three Language Instruction Techniques (L.I.T.) associated with the difference in the performance of pupils in understanding the spelling competency of the past form of irregular verbs and
5. What is the effect size of the three Language Instruction Techniques (L.I.T.) to the performance of pupils in familiarizing the spelling competency of the past form of irregular verbs?
For clarity, the key terms used in this study were defined operationally.
L.I.T. (Language Instruction Techniques) – these are set of techniques employed in the classroom to achieve mastery in the spelling competency of the past form of irregular verbs.
Rote Memory Learning – it is a technique employed in the grade 4 class to learn the spelling of irregular verbs through memorization of words by reading the set of irregular verbs daily
Free Voluntary Reading – it is a technique that allows the pupils to read articles and stories that is in past form and the pupils will underline the verbs written in past form to achieve familiarity of the spelling of irregular verbs
Spell my Past – it is a daily spelling activity done in the classroom to infuse familiarity of the spelling of irregular verbs
Spelling Competency- this refers to the competency in the spelling of past form of irregular verbs
The researcher utilized the descriptive-comparative research design and employed the probability sampling using simple random technique in choosing the (60) Grade Four pupils of F. Bustamante Central Elementary School, Tibungco District, Davao City of School Year 2015-2016 as research participants. Before choosing the research participants, the researcher made a letter addressed to the principal to conduct the study in the school particularly in grade four level. The researcher used secondary data specifically the pre-test and post-test scores of the pupils. The researcher administered the pre-test among the selected research participants in three sections. Then, applied the intervention L.I.T. namely rote-memo learning, free voluntary reading and spell my past among the three sections. After the application of the instructional techniques the participants were given post-test. The data from the 60 randomly selected grade four respondents were gathered, recorded, analyzed and interpreted using the following statistical tools Mean and Standard Deviation to know the scores of the participants before and after the implementation of the L.I.T., one-way ANOVA to know if there is a significant difference of the spelling competency of the participants when analyzed by L.I.T., Post Hoc HSD to measure the difference in the three Language Instruction Techniques (L.I.T.) associated with the difference in the performance of pupils in understanding the spelling competency of the past form of irregular verbs and Eta-squared to gauge the effect size of L.I.T. to the spelling competency of the grade four pupils using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences Software (student version).
1. Among the techniques employed, Rote Memo Learning was the most effective. Moreover, Free Voluntary Reading as well as Spell my Past techniques were also effective to be utilized in the classrooms in developing the spelling competency of the pupils in irregular verbs but they require longer period of practice to achieve mastery of the competency.
2. The level of performance of pupils in understanding the spelling competency of the Past Form of Irregular Verbs was excellent.
3. There was a significant difference in the performance of pupils in understanding the spelling competency of the past form of irregular verbs when exposed to L.I.T. (Language Instruction Techniques).
4. There was a significant difference in the three Language Instruction Techniques (L.I.T.) associated with the difference in the performance of pupils in understanding the spelling competency of the past form of irregular verbs.
5. There was a large effect on the three Language Instruction Techniques (L.I.T.) to the performance of pupils in developing the spelling competency of the past form of irregular verbs.
1. Based on the results of the study it was strongly recommended that Rote Memo Learning Technique be employed in the classroom in developing the spelling skills of the students particularly in the different tenses of the verb.
2. Teachers may also implore the other two techniques Free Voluntary Reading and Spell my Past to be incorporated in class drills and daily routinely activities since they have been proven to be effective according to the results in enhancing the pupils’ spelling capability on how to use the correctly spelled verb following the right tense in the sentence.
3. Another study may be conducted to determine what technique is most applicable in other classes of other grade level.