n Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa - UMkhize, local hero, framed : a picture story for beginner adult readers in South Africa

Volume 35, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0256-5986



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.

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