Current Literacy issues across practice, policy and research


Literacy Today No. 35, June 2003



At one time or another we have all been on the receiving end of the old maxim, “think before you speak.” But often we need to speak first to understand what it is we really think. After all, it is through talk that we develop and unravel ideas, communicate with others and improve our speaking and consequently our writing skills.



The fourth R

The modern primary classroom offers few opportunities for reading aloud. Sue Palmer argues that a return of listening to literary language out loud will help children with their own writing.



An early start helps everyone

Pauline Henniker explains the Early Start approach to improving the literacy skills of both children and adults.


Read aloud and learn

Teaching children to read and understand their textbooks makes them confident and self-reliant learners for life, according to maths teacher Colin Hannaford.


Learning mentors lead on literacy

An imaginative initiative has helped low-attaining pupils to take responsibility for their learning and improve their writing skills. Maggie Northcott, from St Helens Education Action Zone, reports.


Making links

The national strategy for Teaching and Learning in the Foundation Subjects has much in common with Literacy Across the Curriculum. Barbara Welford and members of the Key Stage 3 National Strategy team explain how the two fit together.


Nervous talk

In the second part of his interview for Literacy Today, George Low talks to writer and former inspector Graham Frater about the importance of verbal communication and his latest Basic Skills Agency research.


Inside education

Neil Galbraith, English lecturer and coordinator of HMP Channings Wood’s Higher Access Programme, explains his unique course and why it is only the first hurdle in getting prisoners into university.


Feature: Reading Promotion

On the ball

Deputy editor Sam Brookes speaks to Robbie Earle about his role as a Reading Champion, and how he uses his experiences as a writer, broadcaster and former Wimbledon footballer to promote the pleasures of reading to children.


The Big Read

The BBC’s poll to find the nation’s favourite book will initiate a wide range of reading activities over the summer, for people of all ages. BBC education executive Paul Manners explains.


Reaching out to families

How can libraries encourage family reading among those who are not already regular visitors? Sarah McNicol, of the More Families Reading evaluation team, reports on this project’s approach.


Get connected

Reading Connects, a National Literacy Trust initiative, is helping secondary schools to promote reading across the whole school community. Project manager Amelia Foster provides some ideas.



Interactive whole class teaching

The National Literacy Strategy includes an official endorsement of ‘interactive whole class teaching’. Dr Frank Hardman and researchers from the University of Newcastle report on the impact of this endorsement on the use of whole class talk.


Raising boys’ achievement

Eve Bearne and Dr Molly Warrington report interim findings from the University of Cambridge’s major three year investigation.


Emergent techno-literacy

Dr Jackie Marsh reports on her study which examined the impact of television, computers and mobile phones on children’s early literacy.


Oral language difficulties

Professor Geoff Lindsay and Professor Julie Dockrell summarise their research on specific speech and language difficulties and literacy.


The language of African-Caribbean success

There is a greater need for schools to work together with the home and community to encourage academic success, according to early findings by Jasmine Rhamie and Dr Susan Hallam.


Research digest

REAL conference; Cross-year peer tutoring in reading; Developing embedded basic skills.



Watching and Learning 3; Strategies in Action; Accelerating Reading and Spelling with Synthetic Phonics; Take them to the Library: early years provision in children’s libraries; and Basic Skills in the Workplace.




National Literacy Trust News



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