Over the years, literacy education in Jamaica has been plagued by two closely related problems: (1) the absence of a consistent, officially accepted, socio-linguistically based language policy and teaching methodology for transmitting literacy to creole speakers; and (2) the resultant persistently low literacy levels across the population. Creole linguists have repeatedly expressed the view that the native English-based creoles of the English speaking Caribbean significantly affect the transmission/acquisition of Standard English literacy (see Bailey, Carrington, Craig, Stewart).
The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of using differentiated instruction to improve students’ overall reading abilities in a Standard 1 Belizean classroom. Data were collected by conducting teacher interviews, pre- and post-literacy assessment, and analysis of teachers’ weekly reading plans. The pre- and post-tests assessed students in three areas: phonological awareness, phonics, and reading comprehension.
Phonemic awareness is considered by many educators to be the critical fundamental tenet for childhood literacy. However, the challenging aspect of teaching young children is to teach in such a way that it becomes fun-filled, memorable, and relatable for them, thus ensuring lifelong learning. The results of this study showed that nursery rhymes and jingles could improve children’s phonemic awareness in an ethnically diverse setting.
This paper highlights works published in the Caribbean Journal of Education (CJE) from literacy and language arts scholars on that special group of islands in the Western Hemisphere called the Caribbean. It is a territory that received the first documented European visit in 1492 when Columbus landed in what he named “San Salvador”.
The Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) in Jamaica is administered to students in the year in which they are expected to conclude their primary education. It assesses students for placement in secondary schools, where they are expected to continue their education by building on the foundation that they received at the primary level.
This paper reports on the development of an observation instrument that is designed to assess teachers of language and literacy in the Caribbean, and to provide an avenue for feedback to these teachers. The instrument contains four broad dimensions (planning, execution, classroom environment, and reflection), each with several items that are based on literature in the field, and validated by literacy professionals in the Caribbean. The items on the instrument were piloted across the region and modified before the final version was produced.
Literacy acquisition and development among primary-age children is a main focus of inquiry and research for different institutions and organizations in the Caribbean. In Jamaica, educational bodies such as the School of Education, University of the West Indies, and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture (MOEYC), have implemented literacy projects like the Language Materials Workshop (LMW), the New Horizon Project, the Jamaica All-Age School Project, and UNICEF-Jamaica Literacy through Literature in Zone 40, Clarendon (Webster and Walters 1998).
In Guyana it is recognised that the output of schooling at all levels starting at the primary level is inadequate to meet the challenges of the 21st century. This paper describes an attempt by the author, as Director of the National Centre for Educational Resource Development to address the problem of literacy at the primary level through curriculum development, specifically the use of Skills Reinforcement Guides.
This paper reflects on the ways in which traditional notions of literacy are being challenged by new technologies, arguing that alongside a re-conceptualization of literacy, educators need to re-think literacy curriculum content and their approaches to teaching. Taking a view of literacy as a social practice, it discusses how increasing numbers of people in technologically rich environments are taking opportunities to produce complex digital texts as part of their everyday life.
Through the ages, storytellers have known that well-told ‘complicated stories’ are, first and foremost, a source of entertainment for people of all ages. However, research suggests that, even as we are entertained by fiction, we benefit from listening to or reading fiction in other ways as well. Fiction illuminates ‘imagined-worlds,’ and socially constructed perspectives of identity and culture as it guides readers into critiquing portrayals of self and others, minimizing the caricaturing of the ‘Other’ (Clifford & Kalyanpur, 2011).