What works in early reading materials

Access to books is key to learning to read and sustaining a love of reading. Yet many low- and middle-income countries struggle to provide their students with reading materials of sufficient quality and quantity. In this paper, we seek to capture the practices RTI has developed and refined since 2008, particularly in response to the challenges inherent in contexts with high linguistic diversity and low operational capacity for producing and distributing instructional materials. These practices constitute our approach to developing and producing instructional materials for early grade literacy. We also touch upon effective planning for printing and distribution procurement, but we do not consider the printing and distribution processes in depth in this paper. We expect this volume will be useful for donors, policymakers, and practitioners interested in improving access to cost-effective, high-quality teaching and learning materials for the early grades.

Concept Paper on Open Licensing for Ministries of Education in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

This concept paper is targeted at Ministries of Education in developing countries, without an existing policy for Open Educational Resources (OERs), that are considering open licensing of early reading materials developed, in whole or in part, with USAID funding. The purpose of the paper is to: a) provide further background on the rationale for open licensing; b) explain what open licensing is and how Creative Commons licenses operate; and c) answer ministries’ most pressing questions about the implications of open licensing.

Strengthening the Textbook Production Chain in Morocco: Study Conclusions and Recommendations Appendix C: A Cost-Effective Textbook Strategy

This is Part 4 of a four-part comprehensive evaluation of the public textbook procurement system in Morocco. This final section of the Strengthening the Textbook Production Chain in Morocco series addresses the issue of how to ensure a long-term, sustainable system of textbook financing for all students in government schools. It also explores options available to the Ministry of Education of Morocco, based on examples from countries that have responded to the same challenges.

Strengthening the Textbook Production Chain in Morocco: Study Conclusions and Recommendations Appendix B: A Review of the Domain of Electronic Textbooks

This is Part 3 of a four-part comprehensive evaluation of the public textbook procurement system in Morocco. It is an overview of the challenges and opportunities of school-based digital teaching and learning, intended to provide a framework for policymakers in Morocco who are considering further investments in information and communication technology (ICT) for learning in government schools. Specifically, it addresses the area of digital textbooks. The overview poses questions that policymakers should ask and provides examples of how other countries have responded to such questions.

Strengthening the Textbook Production Chain in Morocco: Study Conclusions and Recommendations Appendix A: Analysis of Textbook Procurement Chain and Market for Supplemental Reading Materials (research conducted in 2015)

This is Part 2 of a four-part comprehensive evaluation of the public textbook procurement system in Morocco. It documents the Ministry of Education's textbook procurement system processes and presents the results of a survey of supplemental early reading materials in Arabic available in the Moroccan market. It also offers recommendations on how to increase the use of supplemental reading materials in the classroom.

Nigeria Reading Access and Research Activity (RARA): Development of Teaching and Learning Materials for Early Grade Reading Instruction

This document focuses on the instructional materials for early reading in Hausa developed under Nigeria RARA. It documents the process through which the materials were conceptualized. The intention is to provide guidance to similar projects implemented by donors, ministries of education, non-government organizations (NGOs), and private publishers. The lessons documented are most applicable in contexts in which existing materials do not adequately support early reading instruction or are very scarce. While Nigeria RARA materials are exemplars of a research-based approach to materials development, they are pilot versions. Similar initiatives are encouraged to build upon this model and make improvements of their own.

What works in early grade literacy instruction

Over the past decade, RTI International has pursued the goal of quality, inclusive, differentiated early grade literacy instruction in nearly 30 early grade reading or early grade literacy programs in low- and middle-income (LMI) countries. Across our diverse portfolio, we have supported Ministries of Education (Ministries) in diverse contexts in their development and implementation of research-based early grade literacy programs and have learned important lessons based on our experience working with Ministries to design, develop, and implement early grade literacy programs. This paper describes the core elements that we have found to improve early grade literacy instruction and learner outcomes: the approach to teaching (Teach), the availability of quality, relevant learner materials (Text), the effective use of instructional time (Time), the use of formative assessment to guide instruction (Test), and provision of instruction in the most effective language (Tongue). This paper focuses on the acquisition of literacy in alphabetic and alphasyllabic languages in the early primary years (most typically, academic levels 1 through 3) and the kinds of exposures, instruction, and support learners need to become fully literate. These are the elements of a literacy program that can be taught, that should be present in teaching and learning materials and in teacher trainings, and that relate specifically to what happens in a classroom.

Summary of the Early Grade Reading Materials Survey in Zambia

information on the available supply of early grade reading (EGR) materials. The approach included the development of a questionnaire and a protocol for data collection. The survey results will serve primarily to inform the Global Reading Repository by providing a detailed description of the current supply of EGR materials in African languages. This document specifically summarizes the findings from Early Grade Reading Materials Survey conducted in Zambia.

Summary of the Early Grade Reading Materials Survey in Uganda

The purpose of the Reading Materials Survey was to develop an approach to collecting information on the available supply of early grade reading (EGR) materials. The approach included the development of a questionnaire and a protocol for data collection. The survey results will serve primarily to inform the Global Reading Repository by providing a detailed description of the current supply of EGR materials in African languages. This document specifically summarizes the findings from Early Grade Reading Materials Survey conducted in Uganda.

Summary of the Early Grade Reading Materials Survey in Tanzania

The purpose of the Reading Materials Survey was to develop an approach to collecting information on the available supply of early grade reading (EGR) materials. The approach included the development of a questionnaire and a protocol for data collection. The survey results will serve primarily to inform the Global Reading Repository by providing a detailed description of the current supply of EGR materials in African languages. This document specifically summarizes the findings from Early Grade Reading Materials Survey conducted in Tanzania.

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