Lifting Literacy Levels with Story Books: Evidence from the South Pacific, Singapore, Sri Lanka and South Africa

Elley, Warwick; Cutting, Brian; Mangubhai, Francis; Hugo, Cynthia
Date of publication: 
Mon, 1996-01-01

Over the past two decades, a number of researchers and language specialists have been addressing this problem, with
some success, in the primary schools of the South Pacific, South-East Asia, Sri Lanka and South Africa. Briefly, the
approach used has been to "flood" the classroom with high-interest illustrated story books, in the target language, and to train the teachers in a simple method of ensuring that the pupils interact with the books frequently and productively. This paper will outline the rationale for the approach used in these projects, the research findings on its effectiveness. In each of the studies cited, the pupils have been learning English as their second language, but there is good reason to assume that the principles adopted would be equally applicable in other languages.