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Language and Literacy resources repository

Reading in African languages - an Annotated Bibliography

This annotated bibliography was compiled by Professor Lilli Pretorius of UNISA as part of the Primary Teacher Education Project (PrimTEd). It gives a summary account of research that has been done on reading in African languages from 2004 to 2017, more specifically on languages belonging mainly to the family of Southern African Bantu languages. It comprises over 40 annotated entries, mainly research articles from accredited journals, chapters from books and postgraduate dissertations or theses, and also lists several other sources closely related to reading in the African languages. Although it was originally compiled in 2017, it is designed in such a way that new entries can be added to it as new research emerges, and it will be regularly updated.

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.

Why Jaydon can't read: the triumph of ideology over evidence in teaching reading

A lively discussion of the entrenched rate of illiteracy among Australian children which identifies a failure in the institutions teaching reading educators to accept evidence-based science on the effective teaching of reading which has five main components: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension..

The Salzburg Statement for a Multilingual World

This statement, made by the participants in the Salzburg Global Seminar’s session on Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World (12–17 December 2017), calls for policies that value and uphold multilingualism and language rights. It has been translated into all South African official languages.

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".

Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World

The Salzburg Global Seminar convened the session Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World in Salzburg, Austria, in December 2017. The five-day session resulted in the Salzburg Statement for a Multilingual World, which has since been translated into more than 50 languages. Together, the more than 40 representatives from policy, academia, civil society and business, representing over 25 countries looked specifically at language policy through the lenses of social justice and social cohesion; the relationship between multilingualism and dynamic and entrepreneurial societies; the role of language policy in achieving the fourth Sustainable Development Goal for quality education; and the evolving role of technology in this field.