Nal'ibali literacy supplement expands to new language and format
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Nal'ibali literacy supplement expands to new language and format

In response to the demand to publish its bilingual literacy supplement in even more South African languages, the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign is proud to announce the launch of an English-Sepedi version. Produced by the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (PRAESA) in partnership with Times Media, the Nal’ibali newspaper supplements already appear in combinations of English-isiXhosa, English-Sesotho, English-Afrikaans and English-isiZulu as part of the campaign’s mission to give children and their caregivers access to good quality stories in home languages.

“Being read to in your own language should not be considered a nice optional extra for children. It’s really an essential and powerful part of language learning and developing literacy. When you read regularly to children in their home languages, you give them a strong language foundation that makes not just reading, but all learning easier,” explains Carole Bloch, Director of PRAESA, which is driving the Nal’ibali campaign.

Nalibali supplement edition 92

As of April 2015, Nal’ibali’s supplement, which has been published weekly since 2012 in an eight-page format, will appear fortnightly as a large 16-page edition. The new format will feature up to three new children’s stories in every publication, including abridged versions of local children’s books in partnership with local publishers.

Says Nal’ibali Content Development Manager, Arabella Koopman, about the change in format and frequency: “In addition to our regular fun literacy-based activities, news articles and showcasing of children’s writing, the larger format allows us to share three complete stories every fortnight. This will give our readers a selection of stories to choose from and more opportunities to connect with their children – ensuring they grow into satisfied readers. ”

To date more than 20 million copies of the Nal’ibali supplement have been produced for use in homes, schools, educare centres, libraries as well as reading clubs and programmes. And, with each edition printed, an additional 30 000 copies are delivered for free to over 300 reading clubs, schools, libraries and literacy organisations that form part of Nal’ibali’s network of mentorship and support.

It is hoped that the introduction of a new language edition will facilitate the growth of even more reading clubs in South Africa – a key literacy development strategy for the PRAESA campaign, which was awarded the prestigious international children’s literacy accolade, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award this March.

“Times Media has been a partner in the Nal’ibali since its inception three years ago and our involvement is a testament to our commitment to growing a reading culture in all South African languages. We look forward to sharing the supplement and its stories with even more readers,” comments Patti McDonald, Times Media Education Consultant.

As from 12 April 2015, Nal’ibali supplements will appear in the following Times Media newspapers on a fortnightly basis:

  • Western Cape: Sunday Times Express, Sundays (English-isiXhosa)
  • Eastern Cape: Daily Dispatch, Tuesdays and the Herald, Thursdays (English-isiXhosa)
  • Gauteng: Sunday World, Sundays (English-isiZulu)
  • KwaZulu-Natal: Sunday World, Sundays (English-isiZulu)
  • Free State: Sunday World, Sundays (English-Sesotho)
  • Limpopo: Sunday World, Sundays (English-Sepedi)


If you miss the bilingual supplement release, you can always access them online here!

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