Mousaion - Special issue 1, January 2009
Volumes & issues
Special issue 1, January 2009
Author Thomas Van der WaltSource: Mousaion 27 (2009)More Less
A special issue of Mousaion, devoted to Children's Literature and Reading was published'in 2008. The special issue was published because there was a need to have a publishing avenue for articles on children's literature and children's reading and therefore, filling a void that existed before in this area. As it was announced in the special issue, the plan was to publish an annual special number on this broad topic and depending on the success and interest, develop it into an independent journal that will be devoted to the child as reader as well as their reading matter - in the widest sense of the word. The 2008 special issue proved to be successful - hence, the 2009 special issue on children's literature and the child and young adult as readers and information users.
A number paints a thousand words : a quantitative approach to a publishing history of South African children's literature in EnglishAuthor M.M.M. LabuschagneSource: Mousaion 27, pp 2 –28 (2009)More Less
Works on the history of South African children's literature written in English focus either on bibliography (Davies 1992; Heale 1995, 1996), themes (Jenkins 1993, 2002) or even aspects such as character (Jenkins 2006). However, there is no evidence of a history of the publishing of English children's books in South Africa.
This article investigates possible methodological approaches to such a publishing history, within the context of the multi- and interdisciplinary field of book history. The focus is on empirical and quantitative approaches to book history, based on the tradition of historical and enumerative bibliography (Eliot 2002:283).
These approaches are then applied to a study of English children's fiction published in South Africa between 1900 and 1961. This section includes a production profile and a producer profile, as well as an analysis of each.
The article concludes by presenting the advantages and disadvantages of using empirical and quantitative approaches in the study of the history of publishing South African children's books in English.
An investigation into the teaching of children's literature at selected primary schools in Harare, ZimbabweSource: Mousaion 27, pp 29 –46 (2009)More Less
This article investigates the teaching of children's literature at three primary schools in Harare, Zimbabwe. The data for this investigation were collected using interviews. The interviews were held with twelve teachers, four each from the selected schools. It was established that despite agreement on the value of children's literature, there is no consensus amongst teachers on what exactly it is. The research also found that there is no provision in the primary school syllabi for the teaching of children's literature. Rather, children's literature is a component of the language syllabi in English, Shona and Ndebele. It was also established that the Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture of Zimbabwe does not have a policy which stipulates how children's literature should be taught. As a result, individual teachers use a variety of methods to teach the subject, with most of them resorting to the methods which were used by their own teachers at high school and college levels to teach adult literature. Amongst other suggestions, the article recommends the design of syllabi for children's literature as a separate subject at primary school level.
Author Molly BrownSource: Mousaion 27, pp 47 –57 (2009)More Less
It is a truism that learners in the foundation phase learn to read while those in the intermediate phase read to learn. However, this paper examines research indicating that a high percentage of learners never manage the transition from reasonably accurate to fluent reading, and suggests possible strategies for addressing this problem area within a South African context. These strategies include setting aside more time for reading aloud to children in the intermediate phase; addressing the shortage of novels in indigenous languages suitable for older children in South Africa; and countering adult prejudice against popular fiction such as JK Rowling's Harry Potter books and Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. It will be suggested that works such as these, which are relatively long but fast-paced and generically unchallenging, can be very helpful in developing reading fluency : and that widespread adult resistance to them may actually be preventing young readers from accessing the very texts best suited to encouraging them to bridge this crucial divide.
Source: Mousaion 27, pp 58 –76 (2009)More Less
This article reports on a study of the environment in which learners develop literacy and a reading habit, and the ways in which these settings provide opportunities for learners to become involved in literacy activities and voluntary reading. The study was undertaken in response to the low literacy levels and the lack of a reading habit in South Africa. There is an alarming school drop-out rate, poor matriculation results and low scores in reading performance tests in South African schools. One of the factors contributing to low literacy levels may be the lack of a supportive literacy environment. The question investigated in this study was whether the literacy environment at home, in school and in the community supports the development of literacy skills and voluntary reading. The findings clearly indicated that the language of tuition and libraries play a major role in children developing their reading skills sufficiently to become voluntary readers.
Improving second-language reading comprehension through a blended-learning approach to strategy instructionSource: Mousaion 27, pp 77 –92 (2009)More Less
The valuable role technology could play in literacy acquisition and instruction, especially for primary grade learners, is a promising area of research. This article describes a study about how strategy instruction taught through a blend of technology and more traditional teaching methods can aid reading comprehension.
The study, which involved four grade 6 classes from two different schools in the Western Cape, focuses on three perceived needs: (1) a need for the improvement of reading comprehension in second-language learners, (2) a need for strategy instruction in teaching reading comprehension, and finally (3) a need for a blended-learning approach to strategy instruction. The discussion of the research results also highlights the main obstacles in the way of the effective use of a blended-learning approach.
Author R.J. SinghSource: Mousaion 27, pp 93 –107 (2009)More Less
Reading is an essential component of early childhood development. The ability to read is a foundation that paves the way for further learning. The environment within which initial reading is taught is crucial for the future development of young children. Therefore, classrooms in the Foundation Phase (grades R to 3) need to be geared towards promoting reading. This article explores the role of reading in the Foundation Phase, as envisaged by the National Curriculum Statement (NCS) and the Foundations for Learning Campaign. The central focus of this article is on practical ideas that Foundation Phase teachers can use in their classrooms to promote reading in children. These practical ideas, based on my extensive professional experience, are aimed at the interest level of Foundation Phase learners. Some of the subsections of this article are word recognition; storytelling and news; creating an interest in newspapers; journals kept by teachers and learners; breakthrough words; handwriting; chalkboard writing and writing on charts; use of readers; use of charts; reading table (mini-library); practice and teaching of reading and writing; phonetic development; remediation; second-language learners; word / picture matching; making own resources; visual stimuli in class; competitions; special days; use of song and dance; games; reading of instructions; using the telephone; reading road signs; themes to teach reading; reading checklist for teachers; and teaching parents to teach reading. This article concludes with suggestions for teaching reading to children from rural, disadvantaged and impoverished backgrounds.
Reading promotion programmes in primary schools : a study of school library management practices in Pallisa district in UgandaSource: Mousaion 27, pp 108 –127 (2009)More Less
To contribute to the promotion of reading in schools in Uganda, a number of efforts have been undertaken by the Ministry of Education and Sports, and the civil society organisations including the National Book Trust of Uganda (NABOTU). There has been little progress. This paper reports the findings of a study conducted in Pallisa district regarding school library management practices in the promotion of reading programmes among the primary schools. Through a qualitative case study research design, data was collected from implementers, and participants in the school development programme including teachers, children, head teachers, and teacher librarians in 20 schools selected from the schools that had benefited from the donation of books and training of teacher librarians in 2006 extended by NABOTU. This paper explains the library management practices in Pallisa district, and the participation of the school community / stakeholders in the promotion and management of books and school library resources; and it provides the way forward for developing and promoting reading in schools in Uganda. The paper observes that the current state of libraries in schools is inadequate, and this has limited reading promotion in the schools. This is why a comprehensive government planning and support programme requires a School Library Development (SLD) programme to guide these interventions for stocking school libraries with relevant books and promoting reading practices.
Author J.L. CoetserSource: Mousaion 27, pp 128 –138 (2009)More Less
This article aims at variations of transformation presented in Marita van der Vyver's Afrikaans youth novel, Die ongelooflike avonture van Hanna Hoekom (2002; translated by KL Seegers as The hidden life of Hanna Why, 2007). The discussion shows that two main forms of transformation feature in the book, turning the story into a fractured fairy tale. The first form of transformation relates to adaptations of existing traditional fairy tales, such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and the Arabian Nights. Departing from Zipes's (2007:3-4) revised adaptation of Propp's (1975) typology of functions performed by characters in Russian folk tales, the second form of transformation considers the metamorphosis of the story of the protagonist, Hanna Hoekom, as a whole into a modern fairy tale. Apart from considering the transformation of fairy characters and their associated actions, the article also examines the adaptation of fairy spaces in Die ongelooflike avonture van Hanna Hoekom (2002). These spaces blend in with the story unobtrusively: the description of the family's home in Cape Town, and their secluded and dilapidated holiday home, resonates the isolation and size of the castle in which Sleeping Beauty remains for a century. Similar to her rescue by Prince Charming, some members of Hanna's family are rescued by a helicopter pilot resembling a modern day prince.
Adolescence, identity and the pastoral : Marguerite Poland's The Bush Shrike and Doris Lessing's Flavours of ExileAuthor Patricia LouwSource: Mousaion 27, pp 139 –149 (2009)More Less
The two stories, 'Flavours of exile' by Doris Lessing and The Bush Shrike by Marguerite Poland, focus on the struggles of two teenage girls to establish their identity as they make the difficult transition from the world of childhood to adulthood. They often find themselves in a marginal position in relation to these worlds as they fluctuate between the two. A sense of identity usually goes with a sense of belonging, either in terms of social groups or place. When this sense of belonging is disturbed, the process of the construction of identity is impaired. As they negotiate their place in society, the adolescents confront changes in themselves and in their relationships with the opposite sex. At the same time, the environment of the farm gives them access to the natural world, which becomes a powerful force in their lives. Attitudes towards the natural environment, in terms of both its flora and fauna, vary considerably according to age, upbringing and ideology. Issues of race and class also have a major impact on identity formation, especially in the context of pre-liberation South Africa. My objective in this article is to show how these narratives present issues that are pertinent to adolescents, but which can also be appreciated by an adult readership because of the way they evoke a vivid sense of place in terms of both the natural and social landscape of rural Southern Africa.
Source: Mousaion 27, pp 150 –163 (2009)More Less
The feminist portrayal of the family in books for young adults by the Afrikaans author, Marita van der Vyver
The functionalist perspective of the family as a stable and universal institution composed of parents and children living together in relative harmony dominated the sociology of the family in the 1950s and 1960s. The family in Western societies was mainly a patriarchal institution based on traditional gender roles. Over the past decades, the "ideology" of the family as a nucleus has been challenged and opposed in sociological studies by various groups, including feminist sociologists. Traditionally the Afrikaner community has been strongly patriarchal, with the father being regarded as the head of the household, the mother forming the support base and the children being submissive. This patriarchal family formed the foundation of the Afrikaner community. For many years - since the first book was published in Afrikaans - this structure were reflected in Afrikaans books for children and young adults. Only recently alternative family patterns have begun to be reflected in these books. In this article, we focus on the portrayal of the family in books for young adults by the Afrikaans author, Marita van der Vyver, and specifically on how the feminist approach to the family as institution is depicted. In these books there is a marked fragmentation of forms of family life that have previously been taken for granted. The families portrayed here are mostly dysfunctional, restructured families or single-parent families. Van der Vyver's female characters are not trapped in patriarchial relationships and freely make their own choices. There are a greater diversity of gender roles and more fragmentation than have been seen before in Afrikaans literature for young adults.
Author Sandra L BeckettSource: Mousaion 27, pp 164 –177 (2009)More Less
This essay examines the phenomenon of crossover fiction, that is, fiction that crosses from child to adult or adult to child audiences. Crossover literature may be addressed to a mixed-age audience by the author and / or publisher, or it may initially be written and / or published for a particular audience and subsequently appropriated by another in a process of 'cross-reading.' Various types of crossover fiction are examined : adult-to-child crossover fiction, rewritings for a different audience and child-to-adult crossover fiction. In addition, this article looks at the significant role that publishers and marketing strategies play in what is largely a marketing phenomenon. Crossover fiction has been seen by some as an essentially European phenomenon, but it is in fact an important, widespread and expanding global trend, as demonstrated in the author's book Crossover fiction: global and historical perspectives (2009). This essay uses examples from a Canadian corpus to explore the global phenomenon of crossover fiction.
Oral tradition and animals in Native American children's literature : Louise Erdrich's The birchbark house as a case studySource: Mousaion 27, pp 178 –190 (2009)More Less
Louise Erdrich, one of the most outstanding and prolific contemporary Native American writers, has achieved extraordinary popularity over the years for her representations of Native American history and culture. This essay focuses on Aldrich's novel The birchbark house (1999), analysing the importance of oral tradition and the significance of animals in the work, to reflect on the symbolic meanings of both in Native American children's literature. We draw upon Jeanette Rodriguez's discourse on memory, AL Walters's on oral tradition, and John Grim's on shamanism to reveal the significance of oral tradition. Both Howard Harrod's work on animal spirits and animal-human kinship, and Paul Shepard's on animals' and humans' psychological development, elucidate the intimacy between and integration of humans and animals in the novel.
Author Farah IsmailSource: Mousaion 27, pp 191 –208 (2009)More Less
Fantasy is a literary genre in which authors freely construct entire worlds to suit their own ideological purposes. These Otherworlds often have implications for identity construction that need to be considered within the reading contexts of multicultural societies. In particular, awareness of the possible ways in which these narratives instantiate the difference between dominant and marginal cultures in their constructions of Self (subject identities) and Other is crucial. In this article I investigate the function of representations of the Other, specifically the Oriental Other, in fantasy literature for children. It is argued that fantasy literature, which is a genre that is intimately involved in the constructedness of strange and familiar categories, provides a useful venue for studying the reflection of the relationship between dominant and marginal cultures in literature.
Die skepping van die fiksionele wêreld in kinder- en jeugliteratuur deur middel van die kreatiewe gebruik van paratekstuele elementeAuthor Franci GreylingSource: Mousaion 27, pp 209 –226 (2009)More Less
Kinderliteratuur word gekenmerk deur die gebruik van visuele elemente, en spel en eksperimentering met die parateks is inherent aan hierdie genre. Daar is egter nog min navorsing oor paratekstualiteit in kinderboeke onderneem. Die artikel fokus op die parateks in kinder- en jeugboeke en die moontlikhede wat dit aan die skrywer bied om die fiksionele wêreld te skep en te konkretiseer. Drie tekste wat verskillende tekstipes (prenteboek, storiebundel, jeugboek) verteenwoordig en op verskillende teikenlesers gemik is, word bespreek. In elk van die tekste het die betrokke skrywer, illustreerder of boekontwerper 'n bepaalde gedeelte van die parateks kreatief ontgin. Die skrywerillustreerder Emily Gravett brei die fiksionele wêreld van haar prenteboek Meerkat Mail onder meer uit deur die kreatiewe gebruik van die periteks wat primêr as uitgewersteks beskou word. In die jeugboek Suurlemoen! (Jaco Jacobs) word grafiese elemente in die teksgedeelte onlosmaaklik deel van die narratief. Die Balkieboek (Martie Preller) illustreer die gebruik van metafiksionele tegnieke in beide die peri- en epiteks om Balkie as fiksionele skrywer te vestig. Aangesien die kreatiewe spel met parateks die grense tussen die teks en die parateks laat vervaag, vereis dit 'n sterk konsep asook onderhandeling en die samewerking van al die partye (skrywer, illustreerder, boekontwerper en uitgewer) wat by die produksie van die boek betrokke is.
Where is the mother in all this? Representations of mothers and mothering in popular Australian and South African books for young adultsSource: Mousaion 27, pp 227 –244 (2009)More Less
Australia and South Africa share a general concern with the family and its importance in the social structure. In both Australian and South African books for young adults, mothers have always been important characters, and discourses on mothers and mothering occur frequently. A study of a selection of books, chosen for the importance of the mother as a character, will demonstrate how persistent a number of these constructions of mothers are, notwithstanding societal changes and despite societal and cultural differences in the two countries. As literature is one of the ways in which society instructs children, informs and shapes societal attitudes, and reflects changes in those attitudes, such a study thus illustrates society's ongoing anxieties about motherhood and a perceived need to socialise each generation into a particular view of 'mother'.