n Africa Education Review - Literacy and disadvantage : learners' achievements in the early primary school years
|Article Title||Literacy and disadvantage : learners' achievements in the early primary school years|
|© Publisher:||UNISA Press|
|Journal||Africa Education Review|
|Author||Elizabeth J. Pretorius and Myrna P. Machet|
|Publication Date||Jan 2004|
|Pages||128 - 146|
Worldwide, research shows that it is not easy to educate children from poor environments. Poor literacy achievement and poverty tend to go hand in hand. In developing countries, where education tends to be characterised by inequalities and disadvantage, there is a dire need to explore ways of boosting literacy levels in highpoverty schools. This article examines the effects of an out-of-school literacy enrichment programme on the literacy skills of Grades 1 and 4 learners at five disadvantaged schools in rural KwaZulu-Natal. A brief overview is given of the Family Literacy Project of which this study was a component, followed by the methodological details concerning the materials and procedures used in the assessment of the Grade 1 (Zulu) and Grade 4 (Zulu and English) learners' literacy skills. The learners' literacy performance is compared with those of learners who had not been in the programme. The findings indicate that greater exposure to literacy activities such as storybook reading in Zulu had a discernible impact on the learners' literacy accomplishments. The article concludes by identifying some educational implications that follow from the findings.
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