Adjudicating the Reading Wars
Foluso Okebukola
Lagos State University, Oju, Nigeria


Reading improvement in multilingual Nigeria has been found to be plagued with problems of methodological confusion in the choice of methods of teaching beginning reading. This paper presents the report of a study conducted to determine the potency of the Phonics and look—and—say methods singly and in combination on the reading achievement of emergent readers. The Phonics + Look-and—say method has been established as being capable of enhancing fluency, and word recognition. The Phonics only method has proved superior in promoting
word Analysis while the Look-and—say only has proved a superior method in the identification of high frequency words. These findings suggest that the use of Phonics or the Look—and-say methods singly do not make for efficiency in emergent reading. Each method has to supplement the other as revealed in settings like Nigeria. Specific deficiencies in reading can also be tackled using appropriate methods. The results of the study have profound implications for teachers, teacher trainers and curriculum planners who are at the centre of the teaching — learning enterprise.

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