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Policy Papers and Research

Research brief: Free Voluntary Reading: the most powerful tool we have in language education

Research brief: Free Voluntary Reading: the most powerful tool we have in language education

Free Voluntary Reading: The most powerful tool we have in language education – By Stephen Krashen (April 2015)  

Dr Stephen Krashen is a leading authority on free voluntary reading (or reading for enjoyment) as a method to acquire language and literacy, and has arguably consolidated the most comprehensive reviews of evidence in this regard. In this article, he addresses the power of free voluntary reading to develop literacy, specifically referring to contexts of poverty.

Research brief: Addressing South Africa’s Education Crisis: The Promise of Mother-Child Booksharing

Research brief: Addressing South Africa’s Education Crisis: The Promise of Mother-Child Booksharing

Mark Tomlinson from the Stellenbosch University shares the highly encouraging findings of the impact evaluation of their book-sharing training programme for South African families.

Policy brief/strategy document: “Let’s Get South Africa Reading”

Policy brief/strategy document: “Let’s Get South Africa Reading”

Key strategies, case studies and recommendations to grow a culture of reading in South Africa that all of us can get involved in.

Reading 4 Meaning: The Building Blocks. (VWSA Conference 2017)

Reading 4 Meaning: The Building Blocks. (VWSA Conference 2017)

Since the launch of the Legacy Literacy Initiative in 2015, the VW Community Trust and its partners have developed and implemented a comprehensive literacy programme with a strategic goal of ensuring that children in Uitenhage are functionally literate by age 10 or grade 3.

The theme in 2017 was “Reading 4 Meaning, the building blocks”. At the conference, the results of the latest survey conducted by Rhodes University onreading ability amongst Grade 3 learners in Uitenhage was shared, examining what has been achieved and assessing what still needs to be done.

The ‘Martha Effect’: The compounding female advantage in South African higher education

In this paper we use population-wide panel data to follow every South African student from the 2008 cohort as they enter into and progress through university, following them for six years. We find indisputable evidence of a large female advantage that continues to grow at each hurdle of the higher education process. [Broekhuizen, Spaull]

Early language, literacy and mathematics learning: Why does it matter and who benefits?

Every child aged between birth and five years should have access to high quality language, literacy and mathematics learning opportunities, which are delivered by skilled ECD practitioners and are available in all early years settings, including the home.

This briefing looks at why the period between birth and five years is such a crucial formative time for a child, setting the trajectory for their school years and beyond. [Wordworks]

Learning to Read and Reading to Learn. Policy Brief

Policy Goal: All children must learn to read fluently and with comprehension by the end of Grade 3.

In the Foundation Phase (Grades 1 to 3) children are ‘learning to read’ but from Grade 4 onwards they are meant to be ‘reading to learn’, that is, using the skill of reading to acquire new information. However, if children cannot ‘read for meaning’ they cannot access the curriculum and they fall further and further behind even as they move into higher grades. Unfortunately, most children in South Africa do not learn to read for meaning by the end of Grade 3 and remain perpetually behind. [Nic Spaull]

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