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Karachi is said to have the highest literacy rate in the country. This does not appear to be true because one comes across so many, hundreds and thousands of people who cannot read. But I personally know readers outnumber illiterates. I am a frequent traveller by rickshaw and occasionally by bus. I always try to locate where the driver has tucked his daily newspaper. It is usually between the overhead bar and the roof in rirkshaws and to the left of the driver's seat in a bus. I also talk to people and find they can read.
Those who cannot read are the poorest of the poor or people who came to the city from villages in search of work. In short, all Karachiites can read. However, there is a puzzling phenomena: the majority of people who can read cannot write. That makes Karachiites half-literate. No matter how many reports I browsed through, written by educationists, social workers and NGOs on Karachi's literacy, I have not found any which even noticed this peculiarity.
It is also said that the ability to read is growing by leaps and bounds thanks to the mobile cellphone and the popularity of text messaging. It may be so, but it is not proof that the ability to text message means the ability to write. Ask people of the working class to write on a piece of paper and they cannot do it. The clue to this puzzle is in the high rate of school dropouts, and also in the absence of the slate and chalk from the schoolchild's satchel. In most schools in bastis and in the lower-middle class areas too, you will find a blackboard, usually just a wall painted black, on which the teacher writes something and the children recite what ever is written. Thus they pick up reading skill faster than they learn to write. Children dropout of school normally after class two.
Most are forced to leave to help support the family, working at menial jobs. As they grow older they may learn to drive a vehicle, become mechanics at garages, welders and carpenters, factory workers and other semi-skilled jobs. Their ability to read comes in handy but they do not seem to need the ability to write. Their writhing skill usually is limited to the ability to write their name and they like to have a wiggly signature to put on a form or their NIC card, while the rest of the data is filled in by some helpful person or a professional writer.
There are many NGOs who believe that it is not necessary to have the writing skill, which is why handwriting is not stressed. They say a person who can read can recognise the letters of the alphabet on the keyboard and tap the right key to spell a word. I was surprised to learn from them that in America in the poor areas children are taught to use the keyboard and handwriting is not taught.
A SCHOOL is celebrating major improvements in children's literacy skills after basing its entire curriculum on the plots of novels and short stories.
Pupils at Chesterton Primary study a different book each term and link the story to their history, geography, science, and creative arts work.
Pupils have studied the novel The Firework-Maker's Daughter.
It has given reading and writing a much higher profile in lessons and had a powerful impact on children's love of literature.
Now, the scheme's success has led to massive improvements in SATs and teacher assessment results at the 184-pupil school.
Over the last year, the proportion of 11-year-olds reaching the standard expected for their age in writing has jumped from 38 per cent to 83 per cent.
Across maths and English as a whole, results at level four and above have gone up from 50 per cent to 74 per cent.
Headteacher Ruth Foster said: "We are thrilled. It's down to the hard work of children and staff and also the story topic curriculum. The children are now really enthusiastic about books. The only subject we teach separately is maths."
To build their excitement, each class holds a big launch day for their topic.
One of the books the pupils have been delving into is Street Child by Berlie
PARENTS and carers are set to receive help to support their children’s pre-school reading and writing skills as part of a £100,000 boost.
Derbyshire County Council is seeking approval to develop projects over the next two years to give parents the help they need to support the early development of language and literacy skills in their children.
Council leader Andrew Lewer said: “People who have poor reading and writing skills often learn to hide their problem.
“Subject to cabinet approval this funding would allow us to develop projects to help tackle the stigma and encourage people to step forward and get help.
“It would also highlight how improving reading and writing can be fun and rewarding − and show it is never too late.”
Detailed plans have not yet been developed but it is anticipated support would be provided through libraries and children’s centres, midwives and health visitors and also directly into local communities via parents and carers who volunteer to be trained as mentors and buddies to support other mums and dads.
It is also hoped the initiative would encourage parents to develop their own literacy skills to boost employment opportunities.
imothy Shanahan and Christopher Lonigan explore the connection between early oral language development and later reading comprehension success
Supporting young children’s language and literacy development has long been considered a practice that yields strong readers and writers later in life. The results of the National Early Literacy Panel’s (NELP) six years of scientific research synthesis supports the practice and its role in language development among children ages zero to five.
The NELP was brought together in 2002 to compile research that would contribute to educational policy and practice decisions that impact early literacy development. It was also charged with determining how teachers and families could support young children’s language and literacy development. Outcomes found in the panel’s report (2008) would be used in the creation of literacy-specific materials for parents, teachers, and staff development for early childhood educators and family-literacy practitioners.
Through its work, the NELP uncovered a set of abilities such as alphabet knowledge, oral language, or phonological awareness present in the preschool years that provides the basis for later reading success. It also found that measures of complex and discourse-level skills are particularly strong predictors of reading success – a finding that is consistent with the fact that language is a complex, multidimensional system that supports decoding and comprehension as children learn to read.
In our book Early Childhood Literacy: The National Early Literacy Panel and Beyond,, we explore the NELP report, as well as newer research findings and the effectiveness of specific approaches to teaching early oral language development to establish a solid foundation for later reading comprehension. Below we expand on concepts to help educators understand how oral language relates to reading comprehension, word reading, and language development; where Common Core State Standards factor into the equation; and what teachers can do to foster literacy development.
Laying Down the Building Blocks
Through its research, the NELP discovered that the more complex aspects of oral language, including syntax or grammar, complex measures of vocabulary (such as those in which children actually define or explain word meanings), and listening comprehension were clearly related to later reading comprehension, but that simpler measures of oral language (e.g., the widely used Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test) had very limited associations with reading comprehension.
Put simply, readers must translate print to language and then, much as in listening, they must interpret the meaning of that language. Numerous studies support this approach by showing that word reading and language comprehension are relatively independent skills, but that each contributes significantly to reading comprehension.
(2012). The New Literacies of Online Reading Comprehension: Future Directions. The Educational Forum: Vol. 76, New Literacies, New Learning, pp. 412-417.
Project Leaders: Dr Mark de Vos & Ms Kristin van der Merwe
The Postgraduate Strategic Early Literacy Imperative:
Linguistic and social partnerships in foundation-phase learning in African languages
The importance of literacy
The Crisis in South African Foundation Phase Literacy
Tracing the outlines of the problem
Useful literacy links
How to apply: View call for applications which appeared on LinguistList
This project will host and provide scholarships for Postdoctoral, PhD, Masters and Honours students. Prospective students may apply at any time to Dr Mark de Vos. Apply now and join our growing group of dynamic and enthusiastic postgraduate students who are involved in this project.
The importance of literacy
Literacy is probably the single most important skill for the individual and society at large. It is an empowerment tool that gives access to further education and life opportunities. Literacy “determines educational success” (Pretorius & Mokhwesana 2009:55) and is a significant predictor of success in life (IRA & NAEYC 1998). Furthermore, foundation phase literacy (grades one to four) is crucial to educational success as grade three literacy results are a good predictor of whether a learner will eventually graduate from high school (Snow, Burns, Griffin 1998).
The Crisis in South African Foundation Phase Literacy
Summary of the Literacy Crisis
• South Africa scored worst of all countries polled.
• The best South African performers were below the international average.
• Only 13% of all South African learners achieve the minimum international benchmark and 1% achieve the advanced benchmark.
• 99% of IsiXhosa learners are illiterate in grade four.
Literacy is a central component of the economy, transformative democracy and an individual’s life competencies. In this context, it is crucial that foundation phase literacy be taught effectively and that there be structures in place that can identify reading problems as early as possible. It is then surprising that literacy provision remains an enormous challenge in South Africa. The statistics are horrifying.
Source: United Way of Santa Barbara County
Over fifty educators and community volunteers from all parts of Santa Barbara county gathered on the evening of September 19, 2012 for United Way of Santa Barbara County's United For Literacy's (UFL) Power Reading Roundtable at the Fess Parker's DoubleTree. The purpose of this biannual event is to share and discuss best practices and strategies to improve literacy in our local community. United for Literacy's volunteers and participating teachers have identified strategic literacy activities that promote student, parent, and family engagement like "Virtual Reading Summer Camp". Because summer school funding continues to decrease, United for Literacy now sponsors Virtual Reading Summer Camp to encourage students and families to practice and improve reading skills during summer months. In summer 2011, Hope School District piloted this program. In summer 2012, United for Literacy had 11 schools participate countywide. Virtual Reading Summer Camp is just one best practice activity identified by United for Literacy's partners that leverage community resources without dramatically impacting a school's budget for summer school. The Power Reading Roundtable's activities focus on engaging student of all grade levels to read at or above grade level, in every grade by increasing silent reading and comprehension skills. Reading Plus is an advanced accelerated silent reading and comprehension tool that is internet based and used by UFL partners to accomplish this goal.
Accra, Sept. 26, GNA - Pamoja Ghana Reflect Network, a coalition of civil society groups advocating literacy in deprived communities, has observed that literacy contributes to peace by bringing people closer towards better understanding and attainment of basic freedoms.
According to Pamoja Ghana, just as development thrives in peaceful environments, the same also applies to the attainment of literacy.
The National Coordinator of Pamoja Ghana Reflect Network, Mrs. Millicent Akoto in a statement on Wednesday said, “Without peace we cannot achieve literacy to build the capacity of people to be able to identify their inherent potential and strengths to improve their living conditions”.
The statement was appraising the local theme of the 2012 United Nations International Literacy Day – “Cultivating Peace – The Role of Literacy within the context of the impending general elections in December.”
The global theme for the 2012 International Literacy Day that dwelt on literacy and peace, was observed on 8th of September.
The Pamoja Ghana Reflect Network National Coordinator indicated that both the local and the global themes had offered serious food-for-thought for Ghanaians as they prepare to go to the polls on December 7th.
The Asia Foundation marked International Literacy Day with story writing contests, teacher training workshops, book donations, and more in 12 countries. The events took place in capital cities as well as some of the most remote corners of Asia,...
Great Plains Literacy Council Administrative Assistant Elsa L. Garcia (left) enrolled Ayshen Oner Sayil, a native of Turkey, as an adult learner of the English language. Ayshen has been assigned to meet weekly with her volunteer tutor Mary Bitney at the Altus Air Force Base Library. Since Ayshen will return to her country to complete a masters’ degree in nursing, Mrs. Bitney will use health curriculum in teaching English. The local literacy program impacts adult learners, who come from a variety of countries and have various goals in learning to speak, read, or write English better.
The beginning of a new school year is often hectic, but is also a meaningful time for adults to recognize and celebrate the value of learning. International Literacy Day, observed worldwide on September 8, and the National Adult Education & Family Literacy Week during September 10-16 were opportunities to focus on the issue of literacy, which affects children and adults throughout the world. The Great Plains Literacy Council, a non-profit educational organization that supports efforts to help adult learners in Jackson County and Harmon County, recognized these important celebrations of learning.
Read more: Altus Times - Literacy Celebrations
Early Literacy Effort: Bonnell donates dictionaries to local 3rd graders
FROM STAFF REPORTS
Employees of the Newnan’s Bonnell Aluminum company visited all 19 Coweta County elementary schools last week, personally delivering more than 1,600 Merriam-Webster dictionaries to students in third grade classes.
The Newnan company has sponsored the county-wide donation, which is intended to promote literacy and academic skills among Coweta County elementary students, for 11 years.
“We appreciate Bonnell for their generosity to our students and their partnership with our school system,” said Superintendent of Schools Steve Barker.
Bonnell Plant Manager Rick Miller and Bonnell Senior Assistant Operations Manager Mike Caldwell kicked off the visits to the county’s elementary schools at Western Elementary School on Monday.
The international Literacy day was celebrated on the 14th.Sept.2012 in Rwanda and in Rusizi it was celebrated in Butare sector, one of the 18 sectors in Rusizi district that has a great number of illiterate people; the theme of the day was “let’s fight illiteracy upholding the culture of peace”.
Revamping Reading Culture In Nigeria
Revamping Reading Culture In Nigeria
Published on September 17, 2012 by pmnews · No Comments
By Funmi Fasipe
According to the online dictionary, reading is defined as a multifaceted process involving word recognition, comprehension, fluency and motivation. Reading isn’t about escaping into the world of fiction- it is also about providing context to our environment- both real and imagined. But reading in the context of this piece, is reading for a purpose that will enhance intellectual and socio-economic development. Reading habit is having a strong desire to read everything ‘readable’ every time and everywhere.
A popular maxim says ‘readers are leaders’ and amongst the things that affect people in life includes the books they read. Reading is one of the best ways for training and bringing up children. Reading for pleasure is the key to developing these skills. A good book has a salutary effect on the mind of its reader. It elevates the spirit and thoughts. It augments his store of knowledge. Books help in correcting moral ineptitude, especially in these days of mechanical existence, the best source of acquiring knowledge are books. Reading brings about a revolutionary change in the outlook of a person. It keeps a person busy when he has nothing else to do.
Embracing a reading culture is vital to the individual and to the overall development of any nation. The significance of reading in a nation’s development cannot be overemphasised. It is essential to uphold a reading culture to checkmate literacy from reverting to illiteracy. No country can dream of meaningful development if its citizens cannot read. An enlightened citizenry can readily be mobilized for the attainment of political, social and economic goals of a nation.
It is, however, sad that the reading culture is fast declining across the world. The declining interest in reading, especially among youths today, is a cause for alarm and a challenge to all. In Nigeria, for instance, it is, perhaps, safe to say that reading culture has died. Except, perhaps, in the case of students who must read to pass examinations or for any other such involuntary factors, the culture of reading is fast fading in the society. In most tertiary institution, academic libraries get filled up to the brim only when exam is at hand. Today, the youth will rather listen to all sorts of music; watch the English Premiership and party around.
The reasons for the decline in reading culture are not far- fetched. For one, reading is a tasking exercise that involves full concentration. Second, in our society today, nobody is interested in embarking on any activity that has no corresponding financial gains. Third, our socio-economic environment is not reading friendly. The daily struggle for economic survival provides little or no time for people, especially those living in the cities, to cultivate a good reading habit. Also, the decline in the standard of education in the country has seriously affected reading culture in the country. Equally, high cost of books, particularly the imported ones, has contributed to a decline in reading culture in the country.
It is, nevertheless, encouraging to note that the National Library is gradually coming up with strategies to stimulate reading culture in the country. This it has been doing by organizing seminars, workshops as well as other public enlightenment devices that could enhance the revamping of reading culture in the country. Equally, the National Library has embarked upon a plan to expand libraries across all states in the country. Recently, the Benue State branch was inaugurated while in due course the prototype branches in Bauchi and Yola will be commissioned. According to the chairman of the National Library Board, Alhaji Zannah Mustapha, the board is committed to fostering the growth of development of knowledge and also deepens the experience and the enhancement of skills in the country by making the recorded knowledge freely available.
In Lagos State, the state government has been embarking on programmes and activities that encourage reading culture. In recent time, the government has made the annual World Literacy Day one of the most celebrated in the state’s official calendar. Indeed, in one of the editions, the State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) read a whole book to the pupils of St. Paul Anglican Primary School, Alausa, Ikeja. In another edition, it was the Nobel Laurel, Professor Wole Soyinka, that read a book to the pupils while on another occasion, the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope Adefulire broke Guinness World Record after reading to over three thousand (3000) students and also reading along with about four thousand five hundred (4500) pupils the book: ‘Time Changes Yesterday’ written by Ngengi Koin.
Similarly, the Lagos State Government has adopted a policy of “No Child left Behind” by making basic education free, qualitative and compulsory for all children regardless of ethnic backgrounds. In order to create and sustain awareness on the benefits of a robust reading culture, government has equally conceived the ‘Eko Akete’ reading programme to encourage children to embrace reading culture. Also, government has rebuilt the Broad Street library to an ICT Centre cum library where resources running into millions could be easily accessed by interested users. Aside this, Lagos has over eleven public libraries with at least one in each of the five divisions in the state. The State’s Public Service Library is equally well stocked with books and well managed by professionals. In all, the state government has massively invested in the acquisition of books for its libraries across the state.
To revamp the culture of reading in the country, parents are the first agents in encouraging reading habits in the society. Governments, librarians and other non-governmental organizations should be given maximum support to build up a society that comprises of intellectuals and educated minds. Every nursery, primary and tertiary institution needs to launch a readership promotion campaign which will help to inculcate the culture of reading in the children. Governments across the country must begin to subsidize the cost of publishing essential books to encourage local production. There is also an urgent need for Governments across the land to build more libraries to accommodate more users in areas yet to be reached. Private organisations, individuals, NGOs should help in the provision of infrastructures which would stimulate and foster good reading habit.
The absence of a widespread culture of reading is an effective barrier to a civilised political culture and economic prosperity. For our country to attain the socio-economic height of our dreams and aspirations, we need to develop literate citizens that are able to read widely and apply it practically for development. It is, therefore, essential to make the present generation further conscious of the importance of reading as well as ensure that they have the required literacy skills in our contemporary society.
•Fasipe, a student of the University of Ilorin, is on Industrial Attachment with the Features Unit, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Alausa, Ikeja
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Hearing that there is a need for an International Literacy Day, celebrated this past Saturday, probably doesn't surprise most. Many know that literacy is a global problem that affects millions of...
United Nations officials have stressed the importance of literacy in accelerating peace and development...
Pretoria — School children came out in their numbers to join in the celebrations of International Literacy Day held at the National Library of South Africa on Friday.
International Literacy Day was initiated on 8 September in 1966 by UNESCO to raise people's awareness of literacy issues. Since then, the day has risen in stature, taking a place of prominence on many countries' calendars.
In celebrating the day, the Centre for the Book, an outreach unit of the National Library, invited about 200 children from different primary schools and children's homes in Pretoria to the event, where they were entertained by musicians and storytellers.
Discussion among translators, entitled: Free Full-Day Literary Translation Workshop on Sep. 29th in Vancouver, BC.
Today is International Literacy Day, and we should focus our attention on what we need to do to educate our friends and neighbors.
Ateneo's Kritika Kultura celebrates International Translation Day
Every September 30, the world’s translation community celebrates International Translation Day. This year, once again in many countries, solidarity will be shown worldwide through programs andevents that highlight the significance of translation as a profession and recognizes the key role translation scholarship plays in today’s globalizing world.
Kritika Kultura, the internationally refereed online journal of the English Department, and the Organizing Committee for the Philippine Society for Translation and Translation Studies (PSTTS), shall spearhead the effort to commemorate the event this year with a poetry reading of esteemed faculty members, authors and administrators of the Ateneo de Manila University’s Loyola Schools. They will read a favorite poem in the original language and in translation and will share brief remarks on its translation.
The event will be held on October 1, 2012, Monday, 4.30-6:30pm, at Escaler Hall, Ateneo de Manila University Loyola Heights campus. As of this writing, confirmed participants include Maria Luz C. Vilches(Dean, School of Humanities), Eduardo Jose E. Calasanz, Jr. (Associate Dean for Academic Affairs), Hiroko Yabut (Director of the Japanese Studies Program), Daisy See (Director of the Chinese Studies Program), Dr. Alvin Yapan (Chair of the Filipino Department), Heidi V. Aquino (Chair of the Modern Languages Department), Christa R. Velasco (Modern Languages Department), and Dr. Cori Perez, Mr. Louie Jon Sanchez, Ms. Mary Thomas (English Department). As planned, the poems are originally in French, Waray, Japanese, Chinese, Bikol, Spanish, German, Ilokano, Gaelic, English, Tagalog, Korean, Portuguese, and Russian.
On Friday September 7th, USAID Administrator Raj Shah read aloud a special Presidential Message commemorating International Literacy Day at the All Children Reading event on Friday, September 7.
From the Message:
“I send greetings to all those marking International Literacy Day.
Today, dedicated leaders are developing innovative ways to combat illiteracy in communities worldwide, and the United States will stand with nations committed to promoting this cause. Working together and prioritizing high-impact methods, we can improve the reading skills of millions of children and set a course for lasting progress.
On International Literacy Day, let us celebrate those who work each day to broaden horizons around the world, and let us rededicate ourselves to ensuring our next generation of leaders has a strong foundation upon which to build brighter tomorrow.
The Lubuto Library Project open doors to disadvantaged out-of-school Zambian youth by helping them acquire literacy skills and build self worth.
On Saturday, Sept. 8, Literacy Network hosted an open house celebration to honor 10 volunteers for their thousands of hours of dedicated service to adult learners. These volunteers have been dedicated to teaching reading, writing, and speaking skills to adults and families so they can achieve financial independence, good health, and greater involvement in community life.
“We were looking through our records of tutors and saw that there was this nice list of tutors who have more than 1,000 hours volunteering in their lifetime and so we thought we would honor those folks,” said Literacy Network Executive Director Jeff Burkhart. “We also saw the list of people with more than 500 hours and we thought we would just go ahead and honor the 10 folks with the most lifetime hours.”
Literacy Network is a non-profit organization made up of teachers, learners, tutors, volunteers, and donors all working together to improve adult literacy in Dane County. A wide variety of programs are offered to help adults improve their reading, writing, and English skills so that they may better achieve goals specific to their needs: to read to their children or help with homework, to fill out a job application, to understand finances, or speak with a doctor about a health concern.
“We know that the work we are doing is really necessary and the tutors are often asking us to give them more resources and more information about tutoring,” Burkhart says. “We offer a wide variety of in-service trainings that have been really well attended this year. We have professionals from the university and staff here who offer workshops two times a month and we have tutor trainings two times a month, also. We give people a lot of professional development through that process.”
Improved literacy skills mean a better chance at a safe, productive life and a stronger connection to the community. Literacy Network programs include over a dozen well-attended classes throughout Madison that focus on health literacy, financial literacy, workplace literacy, and more. Together, with more than 500 volunteer tutors, over 1,200 adults are helped each year.
Renowned Chinese translator Zheng Yonghui died Sunday morning, September 9, of illness.
Zheng was born in Haiphong, Vietnam in 1918, but his hometown was Zhongshan, South China's Guangdong Province.
He graduated from the Law School of Shanghai Aurora University at the age of 24. He then worked as an assistant professor at his alma mater.
Zheng later taught French at the Institute of International Relations in Beijing. His teaching career ended when he was in his 80s, after seeing off his last postgraduate student.
Zheng was respected as a professor and also for his remarkable achievements in literary translations, especially of French works.
Publishing his first translation in 1933, Zheng Yonghui worked on many of the world's most famous masterpieces. His signature translation include Nana by Zolaesque, Quatre-Vingt-Treize by Hugo, and Salammbo by Flaubert.
He also marked the translation mistakes found in Merimee's Colomba, translated by renowned Chinese translator Fu Lei (1908-66).
It was confirmed that there were over 50 mistakes in the translated version of Fu, including misinterpretations and clerical errors.
"We found mistakes when reading Colomba, but we never marked them down the way Zheng did," translator Yu Zhongxian said.
Zheng was awarded the Translation Fellowship of France's Ministry of Culture in 1987 and took home the Lu Xun Literary Prize along with the Honorary Award of National Outstanding Literary Translation in 1998.
"Zheng may be the translator who boasted the largest number of readers, due to the amount of translations he did," French literature expert Liu Mingjiu said.
The Association of American Publishers and The Asia Foundation's Books for Asia program honor improvements in worldwide literacy with a joint event at the...
International Literacy Day
September 11, 2012 by Bethany Williams
Globally, 775 million adults (over the age of 15) are unable to read or write. The adult literacy rate in Uganda is 73.2%. This places them in an extremely vulnerable position, in which something as simple as opening a bank account or signing for a loan presents barriers because of the inability to read or sign one’s own name. It also prevents people from being able to keep track of personal finances.
September 8th was International Literacy Day, and while statistics show much room for improvement, this day also serves as a time to celebrate the victories that have been won in the area of adult literacy. For us, the victory came as we watched 805 members of Invisible Children’s Functional Adult Literacy program graduate from the first phase. Even better, the participants were not satisfied to stop at learning the basics in Luo, they are eager to start learning English as well!
A member of VSLA from Atanga demonstrates her ability to write her name for herself