September 8th is International Literacy Day.

post03For the International Literacy Day, Et4d would like to share with you one the most interesting reports written recently about literacy. Helen Abadzi in collaboration with GPE declares than any child can learn to read in 100 days : literacy for All in 100 Days? A research-based strategy for fast progress in low-income countries.

“The reading methods used in many countries are complex and hard for teachers to execute. They pertain to high-income countries and to certain western European languages.English but also French, Portuguese, Dutch have complex spelling systems. English in particular requires three years of learning time. (French requires about two). Reading instruction for English is expensive and complex. “ Helen Abadzi

Helen Abadzi recommends using the child’s mother tongue to teach reading.  Indeed in most cases, local languages have a consistent spelling which enables the use of simple phonics instruction so that the child can learn to decode in 100 days.

After the child has acquired decoding skills in his mother tongue, he can easily transfer his knowledge to more complex spelling if it uses the same script.  He can then start reading in a second language and learn the vocabulary which will enable him to pursue instruction in the new language.

With Smart4Kids, Et4d is developing a game based approach to teach reading, which can follow standard curriculums. It is currently being deployed in Cambodia thanks to a Usaid Grant (All Children Reading Challenge).

Et4d believes that the use of technology can help children learn how to read, but this can be achieved much more efficiently if the child is being taught in the language he speaks.

 

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