Read more about it from the experts!
The achievements of teachers with Jolly Phonics has been a fundamental reason for its widespread adoption. Listed first are some academic studies.
Dr Morag Stuart carried out a study in London’s Docklands where almost all the children speak a dialect of Bengali called Sylheti. (The families were recent immigrants from Bangladesh). While the experimental group were taught with Jolly Phonics. the control group were taught with big storybooks, a popular method based on word memorisation. The results are summarised at the base of the page numbered 602. The results show a large average difference from the teaching method used. They also show a major difference in underachievement. And finally they show that this kind of phonics teaching is highly suitable for children with English as a second language.
There is also a Jolly Phonics case study from the time of this study:
Clackmannanshire after 7 years
A later study in Clackmannanshire, after 7 years, answered the question of whether the children retained their gain in literacy. This paper summarises the results on page 8, paragraph 3. As shown, their literacy skills had improved further.
Professor Maggie Snowling, Professor Charles Hulme and others, carried out a study with young children with poor oral language on starting school. They compare two different interventions, one with extra phonological training (using Jolly Phonics) and one with extra oral language training.
Dr Pauline Dixon researched the use of Jolly Phonics in low cost private schools in Hyderabad.
Jolly Phonics has been adopted for all primary schools in The Gambia and this report shows the results achieved in the first few years.
Akwa Ibom, Nigeria
Jolly Phonics was trialled in several schools in Akwa Ibom, a state in Nigeria. Although this study shows modest literacy levels, it does show substantial gains. The trial, and this evaluation, led to the adoption of Jolly Phonics for all primary schools in the state.
An early study into Jolly Phonics was carried out by Dr Marlynne Grant at St Michael’s School in Stoke Gifford, Bristol. The link below is to the results published at the time. The Second Cohort is the significant one (where the teaching was for a full year). It showed not only a large average gain in reading age but important other findings. Not only did the boys do as well as the girls, but no difference by whether children had free school meals or not (a measure of social class).
There is also a Jolly Phonics case study on this school from the same time:
In addition to these studies there are a number of Jolly Phonics case studies on individual schools, written by those at the school and with their evaluation of the results. The full list is published here, but the ones with quantitative data available on those from Elgin IA, Seoul Korea, Yorkshire, Sydney, and Bristol
Interested in researching the use of Jolly Phonics?
We would be willing to support masters and doctoral students with materials and with information on past studies. We could discuss ideas for research topics. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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