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Literacy Blog

The power and point of reading aloud

Posted on
April, 14th 2016
Dr Carole Bloch is the director of The Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (PRAESA), which is driving the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign. Her own experience of reading is one that brought her to where she is now:   My favourite time all the way through school was at the end of a day, when our English teacher would say, “Put everything away,...
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Baby play a crucial pillar of literacy development

Posted on
April, 14th 2016
I have just achieved one of my ambitions as an early literacy specialist – helping to bring into being several little board books for babies and toddlers in all of our 11 official languages. You may ask why on earth babies and toddlers should get books when they can’t even talk yet, and how can it matter what language to use when the babies obviously...
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Adults as reading role models

Posted on
March, 17th 2016
  Smangele Mathebula is the Nal’ibali Campaign Driver and a literary activist who enjoys sharing her love of reading through gifting books. She speaks to us about how adults become children's immediate reading role models: Emilie Buchwald says, ‘Children are made readers on the laps of their parents’, and this couldn’t have greater significance in my reading universe. Adults are often great mirrors to children, not...
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Mark my words: Literacy through culture

Posted on
March, 8th 2016
When we speak or write to each other in the same language, it’s easy to assume that we share the same understandings. Yet we also know that it’s quite possible to 'miss' one another - both as we speak, and when we read what someone else has written. In face-to-face communication, because we are there on the spot, we have a relatively good chance...
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'Once upon a time' with Yvonne Chaka Chaka

Posted on
February, 18th 2016
Once upon a time. These are the four words that have forever changed the way I see the world. They were the doorway to an unseen and unknown world for me, taking me on a different adventure every time I lifted up a book; an experience that did not cost me a thing. Indeed, I could travel the world at a flip of a...
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Our Story, Your Story: Finding meaning

Posted on
February, 18th 2016
Lisa Cohen is a storyteller, facilitator, children’s story author, programme developer, early childhood development advocate and creativity sparker. She is currently the Portfolio Manager of Parenting Programmes at Ilifa Labantwana and Programme Manager for the Our Story Your Story Project with Clowns Without Borders South Africa. Lisa speaks about her own journey with stories and its personal and political meaning: Story-time with my dad was my...
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Video: World Read Aloud Day and South African Sign Language

Posted on
February, 10th 2016
Stories should be available and accessible to all children and adults. That's why we made sure our World Read Aloud Day story is available for free in all 11 official languages. On top of that, it's being offered in another language by Sign Language Education and Development (SLED). SLED collaborated with Story Bosso runners up, Kerrin Kokot and Jayne Batzofin, to produce an amazing video of the story 'Neo and...
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Musical storytelling

Posted on
February, 1st 2016
Nozi Ngomane is a storyteller, writer, mother, daughter, assistant teacher and traditional healer. She is currently a Project Manager for Kwesukela Story Events and current Chairlady of Alexandra Amakhono Project which develops the youth through the arts. This article was written with the support of Patty Akriel. Since the beginning of human development, there has been storytelling, and music was used to accompany it. Some argue...
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Reading the pictures

Posted on
January, 22nd 2016
How important are visual images for children as they learn to read? Although I am no specialist in literacy, my extensive experience lecturing Illustration to students in South Africa and the UK, along with the picture book workshops I give to hundreds of children in five different countries, inform my view that visual literacy deserves attention. For illustrator’s, illustrations do far more than decorate and...
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Astrid Lindgren and the legacy of reading

Posted on
December, 2nd 2015
The birthday of the great Swedish children’s writer, Astrid Lindgren, is being celebrated this month.  As we continue to seek ways to motivate and deepen reading habits among children and adults in South Africa, this offers us a moment to consider what we might learn from a life dedicated to advocating for human rights and writing for children. Lindgren was extraordinarily prolific and is known...
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