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Contextual Challenges in Early Literacy Teaching and Learning in Grade R Rural Schools in South Africa

"Early literacy teaching and learning in Grade R rural schools experience persistent challenges which compound the low literacy rates evidenced overall in South African schools. In this article we provide an overview of challenges that teachers in selected Gauteng Grade R classrooms experience in delivering a literacy curriculum."

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Source details: Per Linguam 2016 32(1):71-87 http://dx.doi.org/10.5785/32-1-646; by: Kesh Mohangi, Soezin Krog, Oluyemi Stephens & Norma Nel University of South Africa


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.

Read more: Learning to Read and Reading to Learn. Policy Brief

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. It explains how the benefits of investing in this period are deep and wide, providing the foundations not only for individual flourishing, but also for a successful education system, a stronger society, and more efficient public spending. High quality opportunities for language, literacy and maths learning have been shown to be an essential element of any successful early years programme, and consider how and why language is at the heart of all learning."

Download the Policy brief here


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. To be specific, relative to their male counterparts we find 27% more females who qualified for university, 34% more who enroll in university, 56% more who complete any undergraduate qualification and 66% more who attain a bachelor’s degree. This despite there being roughly equal numbers of boys and girls at the start of school."

Authors: Hendrik van Broekhuizen & Nic Spaull, November 2017

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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.



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