Original Research

Developing early readers: Patterns in introducing critical reading skills and strategies to South African children

Celeste Combrinck, Surette van staden, Karen Roux
Reading & Writing | Vol 5, No 1 | a45 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/rw.v5i1.45 | © 2014 Celeste Combrinck, Surette van staden, Karen Roux | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 December 2013 | Published: 14 November 2014

About the author(s)

Celeste Combrinck, Centre for Evaluation and Assessment, Department of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Surette van staden, Department of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Karen Roux, Centre for Evaluation and Assessment, Department of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

This study draws on the preProgress in International Reading Literacy Study (prePIRLS) 2011 data. It aims to illustrate the effect of early home literacy activities and the early introduction of reading skills and strategies in the school setting on reading literacy achievement amongst South African Grade 4 learners across the 11 official languages. South African learner performance is consistently poor across a variety of international assessment programmes. The prePIRLS 2011 study results place South African Grade 4 learners’ results substantially below the international centre point of 500 at 461 (SE = 3.7). As part of the reading achievement assessment, prePIRLS 2011 gathered background information in the form of learner, parent, teacher and school questionnaires. This study investigates two aspects as reported by parents and school principals of Grade 4 learners: firstly, parents of Grade 4 learners reported in the Learning to Read survey (or Parent Questionnaire) on the frequency with which early home literacy activities were conducted in the home before the learner commenced schooling. Secondly, principals of learners reported on the grade level (from Grade 1 to Grade 4 and beyond) at which a number of critical reading skills and strategies were introduced to learners. Fourteen such skills are identified, ranging from basic skills to skills with increased complexity. This study links the frequency of early home literacy activities, as reported by Grade 4 learners’ parents, and the introduction of the 14 reading skills, as reported by school principals, to learner achievement scores in the prePIRLS 2011 assessment.

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Crossref Citations

1. An investigation into the English reading comprehension of Grade 10 English first additional language learners at a senior secondary school
Chaka Chaka, Nada N. Booi-Ncetani
Reading & Writing  vol: 6  issue: 1  year: 2015  
doi: 10.4102/rw.v6i1.62