n Commonwealth Youth and Development - Academic literacy development through sheltered instruction in Africa




The development of academic language skills is important for scholastic and academic achievement, an essential aspect of youth development. This article looks at the benefits of academic literacy through sheltered instruction and the possible negative effects when academic literacy is not conceptualized in the whole curriculum. A case study of three cohorts of school leavers from 2004 to 2009 illustrating the relationship between academic achievement and the language of learning and teaching is presented. A noteworthy finding from the case study is that the pass rates of the school leavers are impressive in English but the benefits do not transfer to the pass rates in Mathematics and Science even though these two subjects are offered through the medium of English. Practical advice on how academic literacy should be developed is given, drawing on a taxonomy which is divided into six categories of skills and activities that progress from lower levels to higher levels of thinking and engagement literacy.


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