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ERIC Number: ED416441
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Jul
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Lifting Literacy Levels with Story Books: Evidence from the South Pacific, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and South Africa.
Elley, Warwick; Cutting, Brian; Mangubhai, Francis; Hugo, Cynthia
Over the past two decades, researchers and language specialists have addressed the problem of a lack of resources in developing nations for teaching English as a Second Language by using the Book Flood approach, which "floods" classroom with high-interest illustrated story books. Components of such programs include language experience, shared reading, story reading aloud, independent reading, paired reading, and guided silent reading and writing. The Book Flood strategy draws on many of the components of a child-centered approach to literacy teaching, developed over many years by New Zealand teachers. A Book Flood program was established in eight rural schools in Fiji in the early 1980s. Pupils experienced an "unusually rapid" rate of English language growth. Lack of funds prevented continuation of the project. In 1985, the Singapore Ministry of Education embarked on a similar Book Flood project called REAP (Reading and English Acquisition Program). Results were similarly positive, and became part of the regular primary education curriculum by 1990. The most recent large-scale Book Flood project that has been systematically evaluated is located in Sri Lanka. The pilot project has confirmed, in only 5 months, what the earlier studies took much longer to demonstrate: that an abundant supply of high-interest illustrated story books can have a strong impact on children's language growth, provided that teachers ensure that the children interact with books daily and productively. Over the past 16 years, READ Education Trust, an independent organization based in Johannesburg, South Africa, has been working to improve reading levels in Black schools throughout South Africa using methods similar to those described above. The program has been widely rated by teachers and is highly successful in making pupils more fluent readers and confident users of English. (Contains 11 references and 7 figures of data.) (RS)
Thirty-three selected papers from this conference are available on the "Literacy Online" Web site:
Publication Type: Collected Works - General; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A