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Literacy Blog

Story as meaning-making

Posted on
December, 4th 2014
Stories are woven so tightly into the fabric of our everyday lives that it’s easy to overlook their significance in framing how we think about ourselves and the world. They fill every part of our daily lives as we talk about events and people, read books and news reports, gossip, send text messages, listen to music, watch video clips, and catch up on a...
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Nurturing readers: PRAESA and the IBBY-Asahi award

Posted on
December, 4th 2014
PRAESA (the research initiative behind Nal'ibali) talks about nurturing readers and writers in South Africa, and its solutions for a literate country.
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Cultivating a reading culture is key to the country’s future

Posted on
September, 30th 2014
It's International Translation Day, and so it is an appropriate day on which to ask: Why is literacy important? The answer is simple: We will never succeed economically, or as a society, if we are not literate. Literacy remains the key to unlocking South Africa’s success and yet both numerical and linguistic literacy continue to evade us. As a multilingual, multicultural society, social cohesion and deep learning can happen only if we create a plethora of “literacies” in...
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How family stories transform children’s lives

Posted on
September, 26th 2014
"Once upon a time, there was very clever young man in a certain village. People were jealous about this. One day an old man came to visit this young clever man to ask him ask him some difficult questions to prove his intelligence..." This Heritage Day, we asked our team and children who attend Nal’ibali reading clubs to record some of the old stories their...
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Storyplay and moral imagination

Posted on
September, 3rd 2014
As part of their package of support to Early Childhood Development centres, Nal’ibali Literacy Mentors recently explored the power of Storyplay – a strategy using imaginative (pretend) play as a way to support young children’s exploration and understanding of stories, people and the world around them. Following a week of training with Storyplay consultant Sara Robinson, this is what we learnt:  A factor that characterises...
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How to Sneak Reading into your Child's Everyday Life

Posted on
June, 17th 2014
Nonikiwe Mashologu is the chairperson of the South African branch of IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People). She was recently celebrated as one of 12 women working to drive literacy change in South Africa. She was also one of the judges for the 2013 Golden Baobab Prize. As a mom and an advocate for literacy, she teaches us skillful ways to sneak...
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Why we cannot overlook children's right to stories and books

Posted on
April, 24th 2014
David Harrison is the CEO of the DG Murray Trust, core funder of the Nal’ibali campaign and shares his opinion on why access books and stories are is every child's right. This article originally appeared in the Cape Argus, 23 April 2014. Every Tuesday, an enterprising church minister from Rondebosch packs a box of theatre props and heads out to a nutrition rehabilitation centre in Crossroads on the...
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Mother tongue Stories and Preserving Culture

Posted on
February, 19th 2014
Dr. Carole Bloch, the director of the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa, speaks to us about the importance of preserving our multilingual storytelling culture:   Many English speakers look bemused at the thought of celebrating World Mother Tongue Day – what’s to celebrate? After all, it’s normal to use our mother tongue every day, isn’t it? No, it’s not! In a multilingual country like...
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Building a nation of readers, school by school

Posted on
February, 18th 2014
Righard’s reading group has grown a lot, from a mere 14 children plucked from informal soccer fields into nine different reading groups – totalling roughly 270 kids – reading every week! His team and him have also been asked to read at local schools during school hours, to help encourage reading for enjoyment amongst the students. He shares with us his view on building a...
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Growing a nation of readers

Posted on
September, 9th 2013
I have mixed feelings about September. While in my head it heralds the beginning of spring and the move towards warmer weather (even if nature doesn’t actually play along with this), International Literacy Day on 8 September always provides a sobering reality check:  775 million adults in the world who are illiterate; 64% of these women and 22% living in sub-Saharan Africa.  Not exactly...
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