My name is Babette le Roux. As a teacher and a researcher I was troubled by the poor performance of South African learners in national and international literacy assessments. Knowing that early intervention is key, I directed my attention to ways of supporting informal learning opportunities at home.
That interest led to a doctoral study with the theme: The role of family literacy to support emergent literacy in young learners. The aim of the study was to investigate how family literacy programmes can assist to bridge the literacy gap between informal learning at home and formal learning in school so that young learners can come to school better prepared.
I implemented the Wordworks Home-School Partnership Programme and the outcomes confirmed a greater sense of community, improved confidence in parenting for literacy development, improvement in quality of parent-child interaction and a raised awareness of literacy learning opportunities at home. Implementation of the programme also strengthened the relationship of trust between parents and teachers and created a new level of confidence to approach the school whenever parents need to seek clarity on curriculum issues. The teacher-facilitators also reported less tension and stress around children’s reading in the classroom; that the children who had participated in the programme have much more confidence in the classroom and feel less intimidated by reading and learning.
Family Literacy Programmes have much to offer if we are serious about improved literacy outcomes.
Babette’s thesis can be found here:http://wordworks.org.za/academic-studies/