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Language and Literacy resources repository

Ending the Reading Wars: Reading acquisition from novice to expert

An exceedingly thorough and comprehensive up to date review of the science of learning to read, spanning from children’s earliest alphabetic skills through to the fluent word recognition and skilled text comprehension characteristic of expert readers. Phonics is highlighted as central to learning in a writing system such as English but other research is reviewed on what else children need to learn to become expert readers. Consideration is also given to how these findings might be translated into effective classroom practice.

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.

Foundation and Intermediate Phase B.Ed. programmes at selected South African universities: languages and literacies components

To inform the work of the Primary Teacher Education Project the Literacy Working Group conducted an audit of language and literacy teacher education at ten South African universities in the 2017 to 2018. In addition an analysis was made of the Bachelor of Education modules taught in sixteen universities. The final report was compiled by Professor Yvonne Reed of the University of the Witwatersrand.

Hard Words: Why aren't kids being taught to read?

Popular article from the United States of America that argues that, thought scientific research has shown how children learn to read and how they should be taught, many educators and teacher educators do not known the science and, in some cases, actively resist it. As as a result, millions of children are set up to fail.

Illiteracy: The neuropsychology of cognition without reading

This literature review records that learning to read reinforces and modifies certain fundamental abilities, such as verbal and visual memory, phonological awareness, and visuospatial and visuomotor skills and that that literacy and education influence the pathways used by the brain for problem-solving. It includes an interesting finding that learning to read in adulthood is a process supported by different brain structures from the ones used when learning occurs at the usual age in childhood.

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.

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