Phonological awareness intervention in mother tongue among Filipino kindergarten learners

Marites Mercado Abdon, Aireen Barrios


Developing strong reading skills in children is crucial to overcoming language and academic barriers and ensuring future success in education.  The extent of phonological awareness (PA) substantially affects children's reading ability (Hoff, 2014). Thus, the goal of the study was to document the success rate of ten Filipino kindergarten pupils enrolled in one public school in Calaca who underwent twenty sessions of 30-minute integrated PA intervention. The study employed mixed methods research utilizing intervention design. The quantitative results were taken from a single-group pretest-posttest, and the qualitative results were taken from a thematic analysis of interviews of educational assistants and kindergarten teachers at three-time points. Muñoz et al.’s (2018) pedagogical framework and Cummins’ (1979) Linguistic Interdependence Theory provided foundational support in analyzing how PA intervention in the mother tongue assists children in gradually promoting their reading outcomes in the mother tongue and English. Results show significant differences in PA and letter knowledge in Batangas Tagalog and English before and after the intervention. Batangas Tagalog scores show a very high significant positive correlation. Additionally, observations reveal positive changes among the pupils after undergoing the intervention. The study demonstrates that PA intervention in the mother tongue potentially provides a promising and sustainable way to improve the early reading skills of Filipino kindergarten pupils.


Batangas Tagalog; bilingual; intervention; mother tongue; phonological awareness

Full Text:



Augusto Jr, W. S. (2022). Grit as factor in improving students’ reading comprehension in Filipino: A correlational study. Journal of Education Naresuan University, 24(1), 45-55.

Bdeir, M., Bahaus, R., & Nabhani, M. (2020). Improving readiness in kindergarten children through early phonological awareness interventions. International Journal of Primary, Elementary and Early Years Education, 50(3), 348-360.

Castillo-Montoya, M. (2016). Preparing for interview research: The interview protocol refinement framework. Qualitative Report 21(5), 811-831.

Calingasan, K. A., & Plata, S. M. (2022). Effects of effort praise on struggling Filipino ESL readers’ motivation and mindset. Indonesian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 11(3), 601-611.

Creswell, J. W., & Creswell, J. D. (2018). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approach. SAGE Publications.

Cummins, J. (1979). Linguistic interdependence and the education of children. Review of Educational Research, 49(2), 222-251.

Dussling, T. M. (2018). Examining the effectiveness of a supplemental reading intervention on the early literacy skills of English language learners. Literacy Research and Instruction, 573(3), 276-284.

Education Development Center. (2018, July 31). A new approach to literacy in the Philippines.

Fernandez-Otoya, F. A., Raposo-Rivas, M., & Halabi-Echeverry, A. X. (2022). A qualitative systematic literature review on phonological awareness in preschoolers supported by information and communication technologies. Educ. Sci., 12(6), 382.

Firat, K. (2018). Supporting emerging bilingual children’s literacy development simultaneously in Turkish and English languages: A focus on phonological awareness of 3 and 4 years old children. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 24(7), 1011-1023.

Gonzales, W., & Hughes, T. (2018). Libros en mano: Phonological awareness intervention in children’s native languages. Education Sciences, 8(4), 175.

Graham, J., & Kelly, S. (2019). How effective are early grade reading interventions? A review of the evidence. Educational Research Review, 27, 155-175.

Hernando-Malipot, M. (2019, May 18). Has change come to Philippine education. Manila Bulletin.

Hoff, E. (2014). Language development (5th ed.). Cengage Learning.

Jemina, J. P., Bosque, A. J., Acuna, M., Ditol, M. C., Pacheco, M. R., & Tamon, C. (2020). Factors affecting English fluency of grade 12 ABM students as basis for proposed intervention and remediation in Bestlink College of the Philippines, SY 2019–2020. Ascendens Asia Singapore–Bestlink College of the Philippines Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, 2(1).

Jing, L., Vermeire K., Mangino, A., & Reuterskiold, C. (2019). Rhyme awareness in children with norma hearing and children with cochlear implants: An exploratory study. Frontier in Psychology.

Kelly, C., Letao, S., Smith-Lock, K. & Heritage, B. (2019). The effectiveness of a classroom-based phonological awareness for 4–5-year-olds. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 21(1), 101-113.

Klinger, J. K., Artiles, A. J., & Mendez, B. L. (2006). English language learners who struggle with reading. Language acquisition on learning disabilities? Journal of Learning Disabilities, 39(2), 108-128.

Layes, S., Guendouz, M., Lalonde, R., & Rebai, M. (2022) Combined phonological awareness and print knowledge training improves reading accuracy and comprehension in children with reading disabilities. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 69(4), 1185-1199.

Marsden, E., & Torgerson, C. J. (2012). Single group, pre- and post-test research designs: Some methodological concerns. Oxford Review of Education, 38(5), 593-616.

Martin Jr, N., Ventayen, R. J. M., & Retuerne, R. (2021). Metacognition in the senior high school in one national high school in the Philippines. TESOL International Journal, 16(4.4).

Milankov, V., Golubovi, S., Krsti, T., & Golubovi, Š. (2021). Phonological awareness as the foundation of reading acquisition in students reading in transparent orthography. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(10), 5440.

Monje, J. D., Orbeta, A. C., Francisco-Abrigo, K. A., & Capones, E. M. (2019). "Starting where the children are": A process evaluation of the mother tongue-based multilingual education implementation (No. 2019-06). PIDS Discussion Paper Series.

Muñoz, K., Valenzuela, M. F., & Orellana, P. (2018). Phonological awareness instruction: A program training design for low-income children. International Journal of Educational Research, 89, 47-58.

Novianti, R., & Syihabuddin, S. (2021). The effect of phonological instruction for struggling readers in elementary. Indonesian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 11(1), 157-166.

Ocampo, D. (2018). Effectiveness of differentiated instruction in reading comprehension level of Grade 11 senior high school students. Asia Pacific Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, 6(4), 2-10.

Ornedo, J. M. (2020, December 10). Philippine lowest out of 58 countries in 4th-grade math, science-int’l study. GMA News Online,

Pae, T. I. (2019). A simultaneous analysis of relations between L1 and L2 skills in reading and writing. Reading Research Quarterly, 54(1), 109-124.

Paudel, J. R. (2018). Mother tongue-based multilingual education (MT-MLE): Teachers' language ideologies. Journal of NELTA Surkhet, 5, 28-40.

Perez, A. L., & Alieto, E. (2018). Change of "tongue" from English to a local language: A correlation of mother tongue proficiency and mathematics achievement. Asian ESP Journal, 14(7), 132-150.

Pfost, M., Blatter, K., Artelt, C., Stanat, P. & Schneider, W. (2019). Effects of training awareness on children’s reading skills. Journal of Applied Development, 65.

Porta, M.S., Ramirez G. & Dickinson, D. (2021). Effects of a kindergarten phonological awareness intervention on grade one reading achievement among Spanish-speaking children from low-income families. Revista Signos, 54(106), 409-437.

Saiegh-Haddad, E. (2019). What is phonological awareness in L2? Journal of Neurolinguistics, 50, 17-27.

Saldaña, J. (2016). The coding manual for qualitative researchers. SAGE.

Sor, J., & Caraig, M. (2021). Reading performance of Grade 11 students: Basis on the development of reading enhancement and assessment plan (REAP). International Journal of Research in Engineering, Science, and Management, 4(8), 206-209.

Soto, A., Olszewski, A. & Goldstein, H. (2019). A systematic review of phonological awareness intervention for Latino children in early and primary grades. Journal of Early Intervention, 41(4), 340-365.

Tomas, M., Villaros, E., & Galman, S. (2021). The perceived challenges in reading of learners: Basis for school-reading programs. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 9, 107-122.

Ornedo, J. M. (2020, December 10). Philippine lowest out of 58 countries in 4th-grade math, science-int’l study. GMA News Online,

Verissimo, L., Costa, M., Miranda, F., Pontes, C., & Castro, I. (2021). The importance of phonological awareness in learning disabilities’ prevention: Perspectives of pre-school and primary teachers. Frontiers in Education, 6.

Wawire, B., & Kim, Y. (2018). Cross-language transfer of phonological awareness and letter knowledge: causal evidence and nature of transfer. Scientific Studies in Reading, 22(6), 443-461.

Yeung, S., & Ganotice, F. (2014). The role of phonological awareness in biliteracy acquisition among Hong Kong Chinese kindergarteners who learn English as a second language. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 23(3), 333-343.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

View My Stats

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.