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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Effective literacy programmes and independent reading in African contexts
Authors:Klaas, Anthony
Trudell, BarbaraISNI
Periodical:Language Matters: Studies in the Languages of Africa (ISSN 1022-8195)
Geographic term:Subsaharan Africa
teaching methods
languages of instruction
Abstract:Literacy has long been seen as a key to freedom from social, economic and political inequality. However, the processes of literacy acquisition are often poorly understood; as a result, what is offered in many literacy programmes is inadequate to fulfill the promises being made. At least in sub-Saharan Africa, a literacy curriculum which does not produce independent readers does not actually address the educational and social inequalities faced by the learners. This is especially true among minority language communities, for whom literacy generally comes via a language and methodology that have been developed for use elsewhere. This article examines the social and pedagogical characteristics of literacy approaches which make independent readers in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as those which do not. Particular examples are drawn from a range of literacy initiatives carried out by NGOs and government in several African countries over the past decade. Some principles are suggested for ensuring that literacy initiatives deliver not only immediate development outcomes, but also broader development outcomes which will benefit the learner in the long term. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]