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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

A simple reading plan shows the way

Posted on
December, 5th 2012
Recently I visited Pratham, a large non-profit organisation that promotes reading across India. I was intrigued by their claim that they could get young children to learn to read within six weeks and that they could help those lagging behind to catch up. If we could do the same, I thought, we could begin to overcome one of the biggest challenges to education in South Africa –...
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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 US Census Bureau, minorities represent almost 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 recognise the importance of teaching a curriculum that reflects this multicultural and multiracial world. Culturally responsive teaching means providing learning...
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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 that 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 question 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 Rapunzel...
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