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Language and Literacy resources repository

Are we country of cognitive genocide?

Full version of an article published in a condensed form by The Conversation on 26 February 2018 as "South Africa’s reading crisis is a cognitive catastrophe".

Early Grade Reading Study (EGRS)

This research study sought to examine the results of three interventions to improve teachers’ instructional practice – one with block training twice a year (which included provision of scripted lesson plans, materials and training), another with the same block training and ongoing support from a reading coach, and a third involving parents. The intervention with reading coaches was found to be a critical component in the persistence of gains.

Finding the plot in South African reading education

This article argues that we have lost the plot in South African reading education. To find it, we need to move beyond the predominant mode of reading as oral performance, where the emphasis is on accuracy and pronunciation, to reading as comprehension of meaning in text. While reading research in South Africa has been conducted mainly in school contexts, this case study is of a school and Adult Basic Education and Training Centre in a rural KwaZulu-Natal community near Pietermaritzburg. It found that an oratorical approach to reading dominated in both settings. It suggests that developing the way in which teachers understand the teaching of reading and transforming the teaching practices of those who teach as they were taught in the education system of the apartheid era are key to improving the teaching of reading.

Initial Teacher Education Research Project

The ITERP project – a collaboration between the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), the Department of Basic Education (DBE), the Education Deans' Forum, and JET Education Services – was to gather up-to-date information on the state of initial teacher education (ITE) in South Africa and to examine the extent to which the ITE programmes offered by universities are adequately preparing teachers to teach in South African schools.