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- Volume 35, Issue 2, 2004
Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa - Volume 35, Issue 2, 2004
Volume 35, Issue 2, 2004
Author Elizabeth J. PretoriusSource: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 35, pp 343 –347 (2004)More Less
Author Snoeks DesmondSource: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 35, pp 348 –362 (2004)More Less
The Family Literacy Project (FLP) began with three groups in a KwaZulu-Natal rural area in 2000. The aim of the project is to make literacy a shared and valuable activity for parents and young children. Initial sessions concentrated on how parents could support the development of early literacy skills in their children. In the second year an adult literacy component was added and, in time, post-literacy activities for the parents were introduced, all the while keeping a focus on parent and child interactions around literacy. The findings indicate that children and adults have benefited from the programme, and families now read, not only because they need to, but because it is relaxing and enjoyable.
Author Barbara BaselSource: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 35, pp 363 –375 (2004)More Less
Project Literacy was involved in a partnership with the South African Department of Education from April 1999 until April 2003 for the implementation of a pilot project. The purpose of this pilot was to introduce electives in the subject Agriculture and small, micro and medium enterprises (SMME) as part of the General Education and Training Certificate (GETC) in Public Adult Learning Centres (PALCs) in mainly rural areas in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo Province. The objective was to enable previously disadvantaged adults simultaneously, to obtain credits towards a GETC at National Qualification Framework (NQF) Level 1 and to establish sustainable small businesses as a means of alleviating poverty. Adults wishing to enrol in the Ikhwelo Project were required to have at least Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) Level 3 competency in English communication and numeracy. Certain prior assumptions made by the Department of Education were subsequently proved to be incorrect. These assumptions and their negative impact on the project and, in particular, the progress of the learners, will be discussed in this article. The implications of combining an outcomes-based approach to teaching/learning with non-mother tongue instruction is also discussed. This information, as well as the findings of two research projects and Ikhwelo staff members form the basis for recommendations for solving some of the problems arising from the Ikhwelo experience.
Author Leila SchroederSource: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 35, pp 376 –389 (2004)More Less
In 1998, the adult literacy outlook in the semi-desert Tharaka district of Kenya was bleak. That was before mother-tongue education arrived on the scene, specifically targeting Tharaka-speaking children. A Tharaka mother-tongue programme inherently possessed three strategic assets: highly motivated educators, a captive audience of over 20 000 learners (in early primary schools alone) and 152 schools. The potential for bringing literacy to the schoolchildren became feasible. A noteworthy result of this programme is the impact it has had upon literacy for the Tharaka adult community. The author briefly outlines the plan she developed together with her Kenyan colleagues for teacher training and supervision, literacy materials, and implementation of the programme, including the chronological process of implementation from pilot programme through expansion to 152 schools in four grade levels. While teacher training is a means toward literacy development for children, it has additional rewards, because adult literacy is also a beneficiary of such a programme. Around 700 adults (highly regarded and influential in the community) are now learning not only how to read their mother tongue, but to write it as well.
Author Sue HasselbringSource: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 35, pp 390 –406 (2004)More Less
Literacy programmes must be designed with the learners' needs, lifestyle and culture in mind. When assumptions about learners are inaccurate, or when all learners are assumed to be similar, the literacy programme may face challenges that seem insurmountable. Many aspects of the Tswana adult literacy programme in Botswana are based on accurate assumptions about learners who live in villages. However, many pre-literates in Botswana live in rural areas outside of villages. The needs, lifestyle and culture of these pre-literates are different from those of village residents. Aspects of the Tswana literacy programme that work well in villages sometimes prevent the spread of literacy in more rural areas. Some simple programme alterations, which take into account the needs of the more rural learners, have enabled learners in one rural area to become literate. Such programme alterations included, <I>inter alia</I>, the creative use of resources, the inclusion of activities to build pre-literacy skills, adapting to social and cultural norms, taking dialect variation and varying language ability into account, and empowering learners and their schoolchildren to share knowledge with others.
A comparison of the ideological foundation of the FAL and REFLECT approaches to teaching adult literacy in UgandaAuthor George OpenjuruSource: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 35, pp 407 –427 (2004)More Less
Literacy was introduced into Uganda as part of the Christian missionaries' work. Since then, several methods have been used to teach adult literacy in Uganda. At present, two approaches, namely Functional Adult Literacy (FAL) and Regenerated Freirean Literacy Through Empowering Community Technique (REFLECT), are competing for recognition. This has generated a lot of debate between literacy practitioners using the two approaches. Motivated by these debates, a number of studies have been done, leading to controversial finding and conclusions. Most of these studies focused on issues relating to efficiency and effectiveness, by looking at the process and impact of the two approaches. This article reports on a study that undertook to compare the ideology underpinning the two approaches. This study concluded that the approaches are more similar than different.
Source: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 35, pp 428 –444 (2004)More Less
This article notes that in spite of policy support for the development of a reading culture in indigenous South African languages, there is very little material that has been published, especially for readers with limited literacy skills. The article describes <I>Learn with Echo</I>, a Zulu and English publication written for adults with less than a complete primary education, and focuses specifically on a strategy used in this publication to stimulate enjoyment of reading and to foster the development of reading and skills. This strategy is the weekly publication of a dual language picture story based on a fictional character, a Zulu man called uMkhize. The picture story depicts his adventures and misadventures as an inhabitant of Pietermaritzburg. The article describes the response of readers to this story as an example of the comic genre, and analyses observations of new readers' engagement with this story in relation to research on the reading process and the acquisition of literacy skills. It looks particularly at how readers use pictures and the dual language text, and how they relate to the humorous content of the stories.
The language of pictures : visual literacy and print materials for Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET)Author Katherine ArbuckleSource: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 35, pp 445 –458 (2004)More Less
The ability to understand (`read') pictures, is often taken for granted as an inherent human ability. In South Africa, with its great educational and development needs and low adult literacy rate, pictures and illustrations are widely used in educational materials aimed at readers with minimal reading skills, and rightly so. However this usage often seems to be based on the assumption that non-verbal visual images are a universal language that every sighted person can interpret. This is not always the case. Images on paper are essentially arrangements of lines and shapes on a flat surface ± symbols which make up visual language representing objects in a threedimensional world. Reading pictures is a cognitive skill and to understand a picture correctly, the viewer must know certain conventions. However, arriving at a definition of visual literacy is problematic and there is a lack of unified theory on the interpretation of visuals by low-literate South African audiences, and therefore little strategy on teaching visual literacy in Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) programmes in South Africa. This article reviews literature on, and research into, visual literacy and adult basic education, in order to attempt a definition of visual literacy that is relevant to adult learners and Adult Basic Education practitioners in contemporary South Africa.
Tailoring print materials to match literacy levels : a challenge for document designers and practitioners in adult literacyAuthor Adelia CarstensSource: Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa 35, pp 459 –484 (2004)More Less
One in three South Africans aged 20 and older has not completed primary school, or has no schooling at all. Communication specialists who are in the business of writing public information documents need to take cognisance of this fact if they are committed to producing documents that meet the needs and skill levels of their different audiences. They also need a basic understanding of the reading strategies of both highly skilled and less-skilled readers, an awareness of the differences in processing and acceptance of visuals by skilled and unskilled viewers, and the ability to translate the relevant user variables into textual variables. This article is aimed at giving an overview of the most important theories that describe and/or explain how low-literate audiences process and react to printed information, and to match these theories with research-based principles and best practices for designing readercentred public information documents. The outcome of the article is a comprehensive set of design heuristics for low-literacy public information materials, based on relevant information-processing features that have been derived from the literature on reading comprehension and visual literacy.