n Mousaion - Young people's reading interests in South Africa

Volume 20, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



In this article the findings of a pilot project on the reading interests and information use of South African children and young adults are discussed. This project is part of a greater study carried out by the Children's Literature Research Centre, Roehampton Institute in London, United Kingdom (UK), which examined what young people were reading at the end of the twentieth century and culminated in a report entitled 'Young People's reading at the end of the century' (1996). Following the success of the British-based study, researchers from Roehampton proposed that similar studies be conducted in other countries, such as South Africa. A pilot project was carried out in primary and secondary schools in Gauteng, South Africa. This article discusses the findings of this pilot project. The project surveyed a representative sample of over two thousand South African learners in the age group 10 to 16 in Grades 5 to 10 by means of a detailed questionnaire. The sample of learners takes into account variables such as different languages used in South Africa, gender, race and type of school attended (i.e. government-funded or private). Although there are limitations to this survey, it is still sufficiently large to enable one to come to some conclusions as to urban children's reading in South Africa.

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