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Investigating bilingual literacy: Evidence from Malawi and Zambia - Education Research Paper No. 24, 1998, 99 p.

Table of Contents

E Williams


MARCH 1998

Serial No. 24
ISBN: 1 86192 041 5

Department For International Development

Table of Contents

Department for international development education papers

List of other DFID education papers available in this series

Other DFID education studies also available


1 Introduction

1.1 Reading and English in education
1.2 Reading and second language learning
1.3 Outline of research

2 Background: Malawi and Zambia

2.1 General
2.2 Linguistic background
2.3 Educational background

2.3.1 Zambia
2.3.2 Malawi
2.3.3 Teacher training

3 Teaching reading in Malawi and Zambia

3.1 Initial reading in Zambia
3.2 Initial reading in Malawi
3.3 Beyond initial reading
3.4 Reports on reading lessons observed

3.4.1 Malawi
3.4.2 Zambia

3.5 Observations on lessons

4 Reading research: 1992

4.1 Description

4.1.1 Aims
4.1.2 Test methods
4.1.3 Schools and year levels
4.1.4 The testees

4.2 Results of English test

4.2.1 General
4.2.2 Comments on general English test results
4.2.3 School year
4.2.4 Gender effects
4.2.5 Location effects
4.2.6 Gender and location effects

4.3 Results of local language tests

4.3.1 Mean scores by year
4.3.2 Pupils from different language backgrounds
4.3.3 Correlations of English and local language results

5 The 1994 research

5.1 Description

5.1.1 Aims
5.1.2 Methods
5.1.3 Schools and testees
5.1.4 Administration

5.2 Results of the English reading test

5.2.1 General
5.2.2 Overall means
5.2.3 Location (urban/rural)
5.2.4 Gender
5.2.5 Location and gender

5.3 Results of the local language reading tests

5.3.1 Overall results
5.3.2 Malawian pupils results on Zambian test
5.3.3 Location and sex in local language 1994 results
5.3.4 Testees from non-Chichewa or non-Nyanja speaking homes
5.3.5 Comparison of English and Chichewa 1994 results
5.3.6 Gender and location discrimination of English tests

6 Individual reading sessions

6.1 Structured interviews and individual reading sessions
6.2 The subjects
6.3 Selection of issues for interviews
6.4 Findings from interviews

6.4.1 Age of starting
6.4.2 Pupil absences
6.4.3 Preferred language for reading
6.4.4 Family socio-economic status
6.4.5 Family composition
6.4.6 Literacy in the home
6.4.7 Books per household
6.4.8 Preferences in text types

7 Individual reading sessions

7.1 General description
7.2 The English reading passage
7.3 Findings of individual English reading investigation

7.3.1 Understanding the gist of the text
7.3.2 Direct reference questions
7.3.3 Inference questions
7.3.4 Difficulties in the text reported by pupils
7.3.5 Guessing based on the appearance of words
7.3.6 Use of context
7.3.7 Inferencing word meaning from world knowledge

7.4 The local languages reading passage
7.5 Findings of individual Malawian reading sessions
7.6 Findings of individual Zambian reading sessions

8 Discussion

8.1 Main findings
8.2 Standard and non-standard Nyanja in Zambia
8.3 Accounting for local language differences
8.4 Implications of findings for learning in English across the curriculum
8.5 Possibilities for improvement in education and reading

8.5.1 Improving English reading
8.5.2 Rethinking the role of English?

8.6 Conclusion


Appendix A - Approaches to teaching initial reading

Appendix B - Transcript of two lessons

Appendix C - Texts for two lessons

Appendix D - Extracts from English "word find" reading test, 1992

Appendix E - Extracts from Chichewa and Nyanja reading tests 1992

Appendix F - Extracts from English reading test, 1994

Appendix G - Extracts from Chichewa and Nyanja tests, 1994

Appendix H - Histograms of 1994 test results

Appendix I - Text for Chichewa/Nyanja individual reading