Malawi Early Grade Reading Activity: Scripting Study Report

The Malawi Early Grade Reading Activity (EGRA), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by RTI International, is designed to support the Malawi Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) in improving the reading performance of Malawian learners in Standards 1–3. One of the primary goals of the Activity is improving the quality and availability of pedagogical materials for early grade reading; to do so, EGRA developed a teacher’s guide with scripted lessons plans (SLPs) for classroom teachers to follow when teaching lessons in both Chichewa and English. A goal of this study was to investigate teacher use of the SLPs in Standard 1 and 2 classrooms. EGRA included teacher training and in-class support for teachers as they used the SLPs. Teachers received several days of specific, targeted training each year regarding phonics-based reading instruction and the gradual release of responsibility model (I do, We do, You do). They also received theory- and practice-based training in the use of the SLPs to deliver high-quality instruction and practicum sessions during which they delivered lessons to groups of current Standard 1–3 learners. The purpose of this study was to shed light on how teachers were using the SLPs in their classrooms to better understand the ways in which the trainings and the materials themselves were supporting teachers, and the ways in which the trainings could be modified.