Our proposal is to develop and trial an early years’ literacy intervention, which will address the literacy achievement gap in South Africa. Literacy skills are associated with positive outcomes in terms of employment, health, productivity and wealth creation but, in South Africa, a high proportion of children struggle with literacy. Our programme will target the literacy and language skills of all pre-Grade-R (4- to 5-year-old children), and is designed to meet SDG 4 by better enabling children to reach their developmental potential once they start school. The programme is designed to be (a) inclusive, cutting across structural inequalities such as gender, ethnicity, race, religion and geography; (b) contextually appropriate by including materials across languages and sites in different locations; and (c) sustainable, by drawing on and contributing to open-source materials and involving training of trainers and teacher training, the effects of which will outlast the funded programme of research.
Research Team: Professor Jane Oakhill, University of Sussex; Professor Kate Cain, Lancaster University; Dr Shelley Bonita O'Carroll, Wordworks; Dr Daleen Klop, Stellenbosch University