‘Jolly Phonics Improves Children’s Learning Skill’

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By Agnes Igwe and Okereke Wilson Ogbonnaya


The teaching that focuses more on 42 letter sounds in English Language rather than alphabet commonly called “Jolly Phonics” is agreed to be the basis for early grade pupils’ academic improvement.

This was made known to newsmen on Saturday 15th February, 2020 by Ebonyi State Senior Project Manager of Universal Learning Solution Initiative (ULSI), Engr. Innocent Nwosu during the 3 days training on Jolly Phonics organized at Afikpo South LGA for teachers who were selected across many states within the South East and South South Regions.

Speaking during the exercise, Engr. Nwosu described the teaching as a multi-sensory strategy meant for early grade children to enable them learn how to read and write irrespective of their tender ages.

Engr. Nwosu said, “Jolly Phonic as a subject is a retentive method of developing children’s capacity so that they could read and write objectively even beyond their reading and writing age.”

“With this teaching, a child of about 5 years can read as if he or she is up to 10 years, thus, it is all about building early foundation for children unlike what could be found in the time past where some children who finished primary 6 could neither read nor write.”

He added that the subject was introduced on the need to correct such unpleasant situation by means of teaching the pupils how to read and write with confidence which according to him would develop their infinite potentials.

Engr. Nwosu disclosed that the teaching is unique among other literacy intervention programmes owing to the fact that it works with the five human senses and characterized with funny actions alongside some songs associated with it.

He told us that the subject was a brainchild of ULSI, a Non governmental organization founded by a man known as Mr. Chris Jolly.

He enumerated its benefits to include: children’s excitement towards the teaching, improvement in their academic performances and joy which the teachers usually derive by seeing their pupils progressing.

“This subject has equally affected positively school attendance because since its introduction, many pupils do not miss schools as before, it also serves as motivation to teachers who are now noticing improvement in their pupils, in short, it works like magic,” he explained.

According to the Project Manager, the teaching focuses more on 42 letter sounds as they are contained in English Language which make the children to always concentrate on sound of every word rather than 26 alphabets.

He attributed the reason for the rapid learning found on the part of the children to their ability in identifying sounds easily and appreciated both the trainers and trainees for the zeal displayed towards the exercise.

A resource person and Associate Professor, Mrs. Thelma Ekukinam told us the programme was mainly to train the teachers on Jolly Phonics who would in turn go back to their individual schools and teach the pupils.

She said that going by the features of the teaching which involve interactiveness, participatory and multi-sensory that it would boost the state literacy level.

Dr. Ekukinam further expressed delight over the interesting and exciting nature of the programme and thereby thanked Universal Basic Education Commission and the State Universal Basic Education Board for recognizing the teaching.

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