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Take a look at in-depth pieces and powerful narratives from some of South Africa's best literary minds and critical thinkers, as well as the latest Nal'ibali news and updates. 

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Nali'Bali in the media

One could have easily mistaken the adult reading workshop for a pre-school class as grown men and women jumped up and down, sang and performed theatrics – all in the name of promoting literacy. The Nal’ibali regional training workshop hit the Grahamstown area at the weekend as part of a national drive to get children and adults reading for enjoyment in a bid to inspire...
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Festival opens the way for a love of reading

Posted on
December, 4th 2012
The Open Book Festival is an innovative and exciting event that hopes to build a love of reading among South African youth. Ahead of 2012's Festival, where Nal'ibali participated in a panel on reading-for-enjoyment, we caught up with festival co-ordinator Frankie Murrey to talk literacy, libraries and growing a love of books and reading among young people. Join Nal’ibali for a panel discussion about the importance of...
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Great stories to help our country grow

Posted on
December, 4th 2012
One of my favourite storybook characters as a child was Mrs Tiggywinkle from The Tale of Mrs Tiggywinkle by Beatrix Potter. She was a hedgehog who miraculously reinvented herself daily – without ever compromising her true identity – into an industrious entrepreneur who ran a laundry service! There she was bustling across the rolling green hills of the English countryside, a world that for me...
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The magic and power of stories and play

Posted on
December, 4th 2012
I remember ‘pretend’ play as a child. Sometimes alone, murmuring quietly to myself in a story, slipping through characters and time, being whoever I wanted to be and making things happen in ways that were larger and brighter than life. Or with my sister, moving in an enchanted space where I’d be the princess and she, being the youngest, would have to jump at...
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An alternative approach to literacy learning

Posted on
December, 4th 2012
Illiteracy in South Africa is a grave problem and we’ve tended to approach it with the solemnity it deserves. Each year, we hold up the grim results of the national assessment of literacy in schools and design serious plans to improve them. We stack the curriculum primly with words and phonics, all in the correct order and printed on worksheets. All well and good, but where...
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Promoting multiculturalism through stories

Posted on
December, 4th 2012
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, minorities represent almost one half of America’s population under the age of 5. This statistic portends a more ethnically diverse America, with new and growing populations playing more significant economic, social and political roles. Perhaps it’s no surprise that kindergarten and elementary school teachers today recognize the importance of teaching a curriculum that reflects this multicultural and multiracial world. Culturally responsive teaching means...
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Schools and reading clubs were given the opportunity to win quality reading material in a variety of languages through a mini library competition run in the Nal'ibali reading-for-enjoyment supplements in 2012. After SMS'ing their details, the following winners were randomly selected from hundreds of entries received. Nokukhanya Ndlovu, KZN Nokukhanya Ndlovu, a local teacher at the Sandasonke Primary School in KwaZulu-Natal is dedicated to getting the...
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Start a storytelling tradition at home

Posted on
December, 4th 2012
After publishing my first book on family storytelling and parenting over a year ago, many friends and readers have asked me, especially around Father’s Day, to offer my advice to new dads. My first reaction is, “I wouldn’t presume,” because as the father of two boys—ages 14 and 11—I’m still learning the ropes myself. So I’ll refrain from offering any advice. But what I will do is...
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Reading with comprehension is a human right which doesn’t happen for most South Africans. Is this blanket statement really true or are we ignoring the fact that significant numbers of people are reading in a different form of language than is expected of them – particularly the younger generation criticised for writing CVs and matric exams in so-called txt-tese, SMS language or chat speak? Are...
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The retelling of the classics

Posted on
December, 4th 2012
In the May issue of FAIRLADY we featured a great article entitled ‘Good books bad feelings’ that posed the question whether you should read scary or sad books to your children. Now we take the questions a bit further. Should children’s books also have a distinct African flavour? What if Snow White was living with seven dwarfs somewhere in the Lesotho Mountains and what if...
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