Making space for expressive and creative writing in African primary Schools: a two-site action research study in Kenya and South Africa

Paula Gains, Barbara Graham
Reading & Writing | Vol 2, No 1 | a14 | DOI: | © 2011 Paula Gains, Barbara Graham | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 May 2011 | Published: 25 May 2011

About the author(s)

Paula Gains, Molteno Institute for Language and Literacy (MILL, South Africa)
Barbara Graham, Summer Institute of Linguistics / Bible Translation and Literacy (Kenya)

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Similar concerns about the development of children’s creative writing abilities in Kenya and South Africa prompted two Mother Tongue (MT) education practitioners in Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) and Molteno Institute for Language and Literacy of Linguistics (MILL) to undertake parallel intervention studies to increase teachers’ competence in writing pedagogy and improve the quantity and quality of learners’writing. Most early literacy teachers have had no experience themselves of expressive writing, so it is not surprising that this activity rarely, if ever, features in public school early literacy classrooms. The hypothesis which formed the basis for this action research study was that educators, exposed to extensive and expressive writing themselves, will be more skilled in the generation of such activities with learners. This paper reports on the workshop processes in the two sites, identifying similarities and di"erences in the experience. Whilst the hypothesis, though tested, remains unproven,this paper presents findings that are of relevance to further study in the area of writing pedagogy research and also to teachers and teacher educators involved in writing in the primary school.


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