Volume 12, Issue 6 (2022)                   LRR 2022, 12(6): 33-60 | Back to browse issues page

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Seraj F, Rovshan B, Najafiyan A, Yousefirad F. Study of Orthography Depth Effect of Farsi Text Books on the Ability of Students’ Reading Fluency in Primary Schools. LRR. 2022; 12 (6) :33-60
URL: http://lrr.modares.ac.ir/article-14-36303-en.html
1- Ph.D Candidate in General Linguistics, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran. , fr.seraj@gmail.com
2- Professor, Department of Linguistics and Foreign Languages, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran.
3- Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics and Foreign Languages, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran
4- Assistant Professor, Department of Linguistics and Foreign Languages, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran.
Abstract:   (1313 Views)
Reading is one of the most important language skills that students begin to learn it in primary school by means of Farsi textbooks. Reading fluency and reading comprehension are necessary for acquiring reading skill. Orthography systems of every language effects on reading. Researchers believe that reading of deep orthography is harder than shallow one.  Farsi is one the languages with deep orthography system, because there isn’t one by one correspondence between orthography and speech. The aim of this research is replying to these questions: how much is the orthography depth in Farsi textbooks of primary schools and its relationship with reading fluently. For this purpose, the orthography depth was evaluated in Farsi textbooks from first grade to sixth in primary school. After that reading fluency tests were taken from students of grade one to six in primary school based on chosen texts. Fluency test scales were correctness, speed and intonation of reading. The Samples were students in primary school in Semnan in 1397-1398 school year. 402 students from different primary school, grade one to six took part in reading fluency tests.  Results show that the distance between writing and reading is 1,42 phonemes in Farsi  textbooks, and there is no significant relationship between orthography depth and ability to read fluently in primary schools.

 Reading is one of the most important language skills that students start learning in elementary school by using Farsi textbooks. Acquiring reading skills requires the ability to read and comprehend. Orthographic systems play an important role in the reading skills of any language. Researchers find it more difficult to read deep orthography systems than shallow ones. Persian is a language with a deep orthography, because there is little correspondence between its writing and speech system. One of the most important issues in education in primary school, which faces serious and fundamental challenges, is reading skills. The results of the performance of Iranian students in the PIRLS test are a documented example that has attracted the attention of many experts in related sciences. PIRLS is an international study of reading literacy development that examines beginner literacy in reading skills around the world. Iranian fourth grade students have participated in 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016 exams. The results of these tests show that the score of Iranian students is significantly lower than the global average score, so that in 2016, Iranian students with a score of 428 were ranked 45th among the 50 participating countries. Numerous factors such as educational, social, linguistic, cultural, etc. are involved in the emergence of this challenge. Spoken and written language, as one of the most important tools of communication and education, plays an important role in the growth and development of learning. Reading is a skill that is based on the written system and requires the adaptation of the written form to the spoken language. Regarding the issues related to reading in schools, the purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of orthography depth on reading skills in primary schools. 
  The research method of this study is descriptive-analytical. The population and the statistical sample of the research for calculating the orthography depth are Farsi textbooks grade one to six in primary schools. The statistical population to determine the level of fluent reading, are all elementary students in primary school in Semnan in the academic year 1397-1398 . 402 students in the first to sixth grades of elementary school are the statistical sample of the study. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics (Pearson correlation coefficient). The results of this research can be instructive and effective for compiling the course content and teaching it, especially for teaching reading skills.
  This study seeks to answer the following questions by examining the role of Persian orthography system on reading skills in elementary schools:
1. What is the orthography depth of language in primary Farsi textbooks?
 2.What effect does orthography depth have on the reading skills of primary school students?
  The following hypotheses are proposed for the research questions:
1. The distance between writing and speech (orthography) in Persian books is large.
2. High orthography depth in Persian books has a negative effect on students' reading skills.
  The results obtained according to the research questions are as follows:
The first research question
A review of  Farsi textbooks for the six elementary grades shows that the average distance between writing and speaking is 1.41 phonemes. Orthography depth from the first grade to the sixth grade shows an increase, which is educationally desirable, because according to the educational principle, the presentation of content is from simple to complex.
Research question 2
 According to the orthography depth in different grades: 1.28 in the first grade, 1.30 in the second grade, 1.30 in the third grade, 1.46 in the fourth grade, 1.49 in the fifth grade and 1.50 in the sixth grade and the average scores obtained in the fluent reading test indicates that the orthography depth does not have a significant effect on students' fluent reading performance.
Pearson correlation coefficient was used to determine the relationship between orthography depth and fluent reading. The processing of the fluent reading score and the average orthography depth in SPSS software showed that there is no significant relationship between them.
  Comparison of the average score of orthography depth and fluent reading in each educational level also confirms that although the orthography depth is lower in the first to third grades, but their fluent reading score is lower than the fourth to sixth grades which have more orthography depths. 
The result obtained in this study shows that in Persian there is no significant relationship between the orthography depth system and fluent reading skills. Although, according to this study, the depth of Persian orthography has no significant relationship with students' fluent reading skills in primary school, but it is necessary for authors and teachers in developing and teaching educational materials to enhance reading skills, especially in Farsi textbooks so that students learn to read as a key skill in acquiring knowledge.
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Article Type: مقالات علمی پژوهشی | Subject: Farsi language
Published: 2021/09/2

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