n Mousaion - Literacy environment in support of the development of literacy skills and voluntary reading

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



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.

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