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Consolidated Literacy Working Group Plans

A brief summary of the objectives and specific sub-projects of the working group over the life of the PrimTEd project

Objectives

The objectives of the Literacy Working Group for the four years of the PrimTEd project are:
  • To describe primary school teachers' required content knowledge and pedagogic content knowledge and applied knowledge towards developing children's literacy levels in South African Languages.
  • To identify strategies for teaching reading in African languages. This will include identifying strategies that will inform how to teach learners to decode text, to read fast and fluently and accurately and with proper intonation (at a rate appropriate to their grade), with meaning and for pleasure.
  • Describe suitable methods of teaching reading for enjoyment and as a learning tool for the learners in their Home language and their First Additional language.
  • Describe suitable methods of teaching for teaching writing in learners’ Home language and their First Additional language
  • To describe what university lecturers need to know about literacy and its instruction in South Africa's languages in order to help educate teachers to assist learners in achieving the required literacy standards in all our languages.
  • Generally, through the activities of the Working Group within the PrimTEd project as a whole build a cohesive community of practice in the Higher Education Institutions involved around the training of language and literacy teachers.

 

Sub-projects

To achieve these objectives some 23 specific sub-projects have been set up:
# Specific project Purpose Output
  Literature reviews and research   
1 Annotated bibliography of early reading development in African languages Annotated bibliography to provide research information base for overall project (to be followed up in Phase 2 by a full literature review to provide research information base for overall project and identify gaps requiring research) and potential readings for students Annotated bibliography
2 Full literature review of early reading development in African languages Full literature review to provide information base for overall project and identify gaps requiring research and potential readings for students Literature review
3 Annotated overview bibliography  of language and literacy teaching in Foundation stage in home language and EFAL Annotated bibliography to provide research information base for overall project Annotated bibliography
4 Develop a model for working collaboratively on a literature review that can be rolled out for other literature reviews in later phases of the project Useful for many of the research outputs and to standardise format of references and bibliographies Brief Guide
5 Brief on accessing National Benchmark Tests (NBTs) and Test of Academic Literacy Levels (TALL) data for future use in relation to educator competencies Important for identifying a realistic starting point for students Brief
6 Access National Benchmark Tests (NBTs) and Test of Academic Literacy Levels (TALL) data for use in relation to educator competencies Important for identifying a realistic starting point for students Analysed data
7 Identify gaps in existing knowledge about early literacy in African languages and communicate to universities for postgraduate research Important in directing research process in later phases of the project Report
8 Literature review on decoding in languages with similar morphology and orthography to LAs (general and nine specific South African languages) Crucial research for developing curriculum framework, courses and materials Literature review
9 Develop decoding strategies


Develop, trial, evaluate, and write report  on one or two decoding strategies Reports                   Conference presentations
10 Literacy teaching core competency standards summary document Literature review summary Literature review summary
       
11 Literacy teaching core competency standards literature review Groundwork for developing standards Literature review
  Core teaching standards development
12 Teacher language and literacy teaching competencies analysis    Analysis of language and literacy teaching competencies required by new teachers and review and use analysis of HEI ITE courses as basis for comparison with competency demands for literacy (Foundations and Intermediate) Report with list of competencies
13 Develop set of core competency standards Develop a first draft of core standards that can be used to guide the development and delivery of components of ITE programmes which address the focus areas. There is to be a wide consultation of these and then a second revised draft will be completed. List of core standards (Ist Draft)
Consultation report     
List of core standards (2nd Draft)
14 Develop competency assessment items Identify items from tests and questionnaires developed to establish student language and literacy proficiency that could be used to develop assessment items for assessing achievement of core competency standards Test items
15 Work with CCWG2: Assessment to create assessment items and rubrics Work with the CCWG 2: Assessment on developing items and rubrics for assessing the achievement of core language and literacy teaching competencies. Consider where language items can be combined with literacy items. Reports of collaboration
Test items and rubrics                Tests
16 Assessment items trial Trial some of the assessment items at the end of the year where courses have integrated these foci and they are explicitly covered in courses where newly designed materials are implemented. Make preliminary evaluation of assessment items and rubrics (based on implementation of courses/materials at individual universities) Reports on trials
  HEI Qualifications, courses and materials audits
17 HEI audit of language, literacy and reading qualifications, courses, modules, and materials, etc.
This project will collect information to enable analysis of HEI teacher training qualifications to ascertain how proposed courses/modules/course outlines/plans for curriculum redesign/materials, WIL requirements, prescribed readings/ textbooks, etc. are currently articulated, taking into account MRTEQ.
To examine what is taught in HEI on language, literacy/ reading/ writing to gauge intensity, duration and quality of initial teacher education in these areas with view to research and materials development in response and indicators suggesting advocacy for policy or MRTEQ regulation changes.                                 
The audit will collect information to enable analysis of HEI teacher training qualifications to ascertain how proposed courses  /modules/course outlines /plans for curriculum redesign/materials, WIL requirements, prescribed readings/ textbooks, etc. are currently articulated, taking into account the MRTEQ and new PQM documents.
Analyze the material and develop a comparative report on how the topics are addressed, showing similarities and differences across the system, with a specific focus on distilling information that can usefully inform the development of core curriculum standards for the focus area
Collection of documents and materials            
Interview reports              
Report of data analysis  
Research publication
18 Re-audit of HEI  language, literacy and reading qualifications, courses, modules, and materials, etc. Re-audit HEI ITE programmes to investigate the extent to which the core standards have been taken up in the programmes for primary school teachers. Collect programme statements, curriculum outlines and relevant course materials that describe how the working group’s focus topics are addressed in the programmes.
This specific project is dependent on some progress having been made in re-curriculating, et
Collection of documents and materials
Interview reports   
Reports
Research publication
  Curriculum, course and materials frameworks
19 Development of curriculum frameworks for literacy Analyze the material gathered by the HEI audit and from the literature surveys and develop a draft a core curriculum and then refine it. Literacy curriculum (Draft 1)
(Draft 2)
20 Development of courses and materials exemplars Develop/design/redesign exemplars of learning materials that can be used in teacher education programmes to support achievement of the core competency standards in teaching language and literacy in English and other languages as embodied in the draft curriculum. In particular to design materials where there are clear gaps.
Use the HEI audit report of courses, and materials, and the Core Competency Standards draft document to identify content that may be transferable across universities and which is specific.           
This development work will be dependent on what can be planned without analysis of  test data. Because of the timelines of this project it is likely that some materials be designed and in subsequent years of the project re-evaluated and assessed.                                                   [Some universities have redesigned their BEd. curriculum and will not have designed materials for all courses in the four year BEd. This provides a good opportunity to design courses across the degree that are closely aligned with the core competency standards.
Draft materials
21 Collaboration with CCWG3 in development of  Work Integrated Learning materials and tools Develop Work integrated Learning materials and tools which pertain to how to support, mentor and assess student development during work-integrated learning/teaching practice components of primary teacher education programmes  Draft materials
22 Evaluation of new exemplar materials Work with CCWG1, CCWG2 and CCWG3 to design instruments to collect data from students and staff on the effectiveness and experience of working with new materials. Draft materials
  Resource repository
23 Collect, database and review existing materials and videos on teaching initial literacy in various languages to inform future materials research and development