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Global Reading Network Hosts Successful Workshop on Mother Tongue Language

More than 100 people participated in person and online in the Global Reading Network’s day-long celebration of International Mother Language Day on February 22. The in-person event took place at University Research Co., LLC (URC) in Bethesda, Maryland.

Sakil Malik, Director of the Community of Practice, welcomed participants and described the origins of International Mother Language Day, explaining that its genesis was a bloody student protest for the use of mother tongue in West Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in 1952.

Following that, sessions spotlighted a wide range of topics relating to the vital importance of using mother tongue languages to facilitate children’s literacy and learning:

  • Developing Reading Materials in Mother and Familiar Languages: Considerations from Conception to Evaluation (Presenters: Julia Frazier and Annie Smiley, FHI 360; Diane Prouty, Creative Associates; Rachel Christina and Carrie Lewis, Education Development Center, Inc.)
  • Towards Equitable and Inclusive Quality Education: The Role of Language in Mathematics Literacy—Insights from sub-Saharan Africa (Presenters: Mamokgethi Phakeng (formerly Setati), University of Cape Town; and Anthony Essien, University of Witwatersrand)
  • Increasing the Availability of Books in the Languages and Cultures of the Children Who Read Them: The Enabling Writers Program (Presenters: Tony Bloome, USAID; Amy Pallangyo, Global Reading Network and Reading within Reach (REACH); and Deepa Srikantaiah, REACH)

The workshop actively involved live and online participants, who asked questions and shared their own experiences. The workshop concluded with a discussion of takeaways from the day’s activities. Watch the Global Reading Network website for access to materials from the workshop.

Enabling Writers Initiative Launches in Haiti

Last week, the Haiti Enabling Writers Workshop project launched with a blended training in Port au Prince. The Enabling Writers initiative is designed to train teams of local writers to produce hundreds of decodable and leveled books reflecting the cultures and languages of the young people who will read them. The initiative uses the Bloom writing software, winner of the All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development competition.

SIL LEAD’s Bloom trainer was on-site to support the team in learning not only how to use Bloom for book writing, but also how to train others to use Bloom. In addition, distance training was provided on the foundational pedagogy and concepts of early grade reading and decodable and leveled book development.  The trainers and the Haiti team report a successful week of training. In the coming month, the Haiti project team will prepare for training a local team of 20 to 30 writers and begin book development in Haitian Kreyol. Learn more about the Enabling Writers initiative here.



Wednesday, March 1, 2017