L1 - Educational Studies in Languages and Literature
L1 Educational Studies in Language and Literature

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Gaitas, S., Alves Martins, M., & Fijalkow, J. (2017). Effective literacy teaching practices in Portugal: A study in first grade. L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature, 17 , p. 1-24. https://doi.org/10.17239/L1ESLL-2017.17.01.03

This article examines the effect of literacy teaching practices on the reading ability of first grade pupils in Portuguese, a semi-transparent orthography. First grade teachers (N=267) self-reported their literacy teaching practices through a questionnaire. Hierarchical cluster analysis revealed three groups with different practices – Language experience, Phonic and Balanced teachers. Eight teachers from each group were randomly selected for classroom observation (N=24) to deepen the information concerning their practices namely to analyse classroom management procedures and materials used. The reading abilities of their pupils were assessed at the beginning and end of first grade (N =465) through two tasks: word reading and comprehension. Multivariate analysis of covariance, controlling for mother’s educational levels, showed that pupils under balanced teachers had better results than pupils under the other two groups which had equivalent performances. These results are in line with those described in the English literature, pointing out that the key word to describe successful literacy teaching practices is balance. Balance of classroom management procedures, from more teacher-centred to more pupils-centred; balance of different types of reading materials, from more authentic materials to materials designed to work specific skills; and balance of explicit instruction in grapheme-phoneme correspondences with reading and writing authentic texts.


Gaitas, Sérgio
Martins, Margarida
Fijalkow, Jacques
Publication date 2017-07-10
DOI 10.17239/L1ESLL-2017.17.01.03
Collection Vol. 17, Open Issue
first grade
reading achievement
reading instruction
teaching practices
Document 1
File Gaitas_et_al_2017.pdf
Available since 2017-07-10 21:03:49
Description Published version