Promoting literacy in a multilingual society

In Tanzania we are working in 7 regions, 5 of which have many children (70% of our target population) do not speak the language of instruction (Kiswahili) at home. These children arrive at primary standard 1 knowing very little Kiswahili and therefore understanding very little of what the teacher is saying. Obviously by standard 3 these children are noticeably failing and are vulnerable. Through EQUIP-Tanzania’s short 16 week School Readiness intervention, some of these children (200,000 at present) are not only surviving their first taste of formal education, but are actually thriving. The least we can do is be more child centred and welcome all children into school.

World Education Blog

By Paula Korsnakova, Senior Research and Liaison Advisor, IEA

Reflecting on the results of providing instruction in a language other than the one spoken at home

Did you know that apparently 66% of children in the world are raised to speak more than one language? Countries where more than one language is commonly spoken have demands for both linguistic and cultural diversity in their curricula.

Reading comprehension is perhaps the most critical foundation for improved attainment in most school subjects, including mathematics and science, supporting an improved and enhanced overall school experience.

iea policy briefA recent policy brief by Sarah Howie and Megan Chamberlain investigated the effect of instruction in a second language on reading performance in nine countries using the results of the 2011 round of IEA’s Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS). This taken place in regular five-year cycles since 2001 at grade 4 level. The authors…

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