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Language and Literacy resources repository

Reading comprehension in high-poverty schools: how should it be taught and how well does it work

A description and appraisal of a reading comprehension programme that was aimed at Grade 6 learners and teachers and implemented in different ways in two high-poverty primary schools where reading levels were very low. The results of the comprehension programme for the learners' reading abilities in their home language, Northern Sotho, and in English are reported and lessons learned identified.

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. 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.

Reading in English as a First Additional Language. An annotated bibliography 2007-2018

This annotated bibliography was compiled by Claire Biesman-Simons and Kerryn Dixon with Elizabeth Pretorius as part of the Primary Teacher Education Project (PrimTEd). It gives a summary account of South African research that has been done on reading in English as a First Additional Language from 2007 to 2018. It comprises a set of 40 annotated entries, mainly research articles from accredited journals and also lists several other sources closely related to reading in EFAL. Originally compiled in 2018 and 2019, 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.

Skilled reading in isiZulu: what can we learn from it?

Study of what the orthography of isiZulu requires of readers. As an agglutinative language with a conjoined writing system, isiZulu carries meaning not only in separate words, but also in morphemes that cluster together, forming long complex words. Eye tracking data shows that competent adult readers of isiZulu move their eyes across text in saccades (shifts of the point of focus) that are short in comparison with the saccades of efficient reading of English. It also shows that readers of isiZulu fixate on points of text for longer periods than do readers of English. The key argument of the paper is that the orthography of isiZulu has features that require attention by teachers of reading if their learners are to benefit from the advantages that reading in their first language should bring.

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.

Supporting transition or playing catch-up in Grade 4? Implications for standards in education and training

Description of an intervention programme designed to support the transition to English as the medium of instruction in Grade 4 in a township school, using a pre- and post-test design. Because the pre-tests revealed very poor literacy levels in both Zulu home language and English, the intervention programme was modified in an attempt to fast-track the learners to literacy levels more appropriate to their grade. The paper briefly considers some of the reasons for the initial poor literacy performance and provides a model for literacy development in high-poverty contexts in order to minimise the need to play catch-up in the Intermediate Phase.

Teaching Reading (and Writing) in the Foundation Phase: a concept note

Provides a detailed outline of a potential Foundation Phase teacher training course on how to teach reading. After providing some information on the state of reading in South Africa and the need for the proposed course, the Concept Note outlines (1) what such a course should entail as far as content is concerned, (2) how the course should be structured, delivered (modality) and assessed, (3) how it could be accredited, and (4) how it should be evaluated.

The DBE’s workbooks as a curriculum tool

A brief evaluation of the Department of Basic Education’s workbooks which found them a welcome intervention that was well aligned to the key CAPS content areas and are a useful practice tool which could also be used for monitoring student progress. It did however find that they were not an effective tool for assessment.

The End of Illiteracy? The Holy Grail of Clackmannanshire

Essentially a study of the initial stages of the rise of synthetic phonics as the preferred approach to teaching reading in the United Kingdom. It is useful because it gives an account of the Clackmannanshire study of 1992/93 and other studies that provided the crucial empirical evidence that synthetic phonics was far superior to the analytic phonics/whole language approach and, crucially, worked well with both advantaged and disadvantaged children.

The National Reading Coalition

Presentation on the work of the National Reading Coalition set up by the National Education Collaboration Trust and the Department of Basic Education's Read to Lead campaign

 
   
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