Can the Use of a Book Levelling App Support the Development of the Knowledge and Skills Needed to Teach Reading in Rural and Township Schools for Pre-service and In-service Teachers?

Project status


Reading is the single most important factor in determining academic and economic outcomes in South Africa. Teachers need to have the pedagogic skills to teach reading, underpinned by an understanding of how children learn to read. To learn to read efficiently, a precise match between a child’s reading needs and the books used to practise is essential. However, learner access to appropriately matched books remains a challenge worldwide. When coupled with deficits in teacher education in many Global South countries in relation to the teaching of reading, the task of increasing literacy remains urgent. Using South Africa as a pilot case study, the project will investigate if the use of a simple app, which grades any book using AI and supports teaching reading pedagogy and subject knowledge, can increase the skills and knowledge of pre-service and in-service teachers in rural and township schools and so improve literacy outcomes.

Research team

Dr Jane Carter, University of the West of England; Dr Selma Babayigit, University of the West of England; Dr Khulekani Amegius Gazu, University of Zululand, South Africa; Dr Paul Matthews, University of the West of England; Dr Pravina Pillay, University of Zululand, South Africa

Sign up to our email newsletters