Current Literacy issues across practice, policy and research


Literacy Today No. 38, March 2004



The importance of a child’s first experiences of literacy within the home. It is assumed parents will expect their child to achieve at school; certainly the Government is encouraging parents to lay the foundations for future academic achievement before school begins.



Changing expectations

Alan Wells, director of the Basic Skills Agency, reflects on his own experiences at school, and the impact of poverty – aspirational as well as financial – on educational achievement.


Foundations of literacy

Children’s literacy development often relies on their first experiences of speaking and listening. Teacher and writer Sue Palmer argues for more emphasis on early language development in the first years of schooling.



A new way of seeing

Hilary Pearce, of the British Film Institute’s education department, explains how their new resource can help teachers use film to develop children’s early literacy skills.


Young writers tune into the music

In the second of her two-part article, Lynda Graham reports on the Croydon Writing Project and the relationship between ‘performance’ reading aloud and the teaching of writing.


Lambeth finds Black Caribbean success

Headteacher Anita Wright reports on a London Borough of Lambeth study on factors associated with educational success among Black Caribbean pupils.


Assessment for literacy?

Assessment for Learning gives pupils a more active role in their own assessment, encouraging them to set relevant and personal targets. Literacy coordinator Jill Keane describes piloting its implementation, and how it can support literacy teaching.


One Toe at a time

Toe by Toe is a phonics-based programme for teaching basic literacy skills to learners of all ages. Psychologist Dr Tommy MacKay explains why it was chosen by the West Dunbartonshire Literacy Initiative and Frank Cowling reports on its use at HMP Wandsworth.


Buddying benefits

Derbyshire’s Read On – Write Away! literacy initiative makes maximum use of support from local people. Director Carol Taylor explains an approach to volunteering that aims to improve the skills of all parties.



PEEP – supporting parents as first educators

A recent evaluation of the Peers Early Education Partnership highlighted the importance of parental involvement in children’s early learning. Dr Maria Evangelou of the University of Oxford reports her findings.


Children’s attitudes to reading

Children’s attitudes to reading have changed significantly since 1998, according to research carried out by Marian Sainsbury, principal researcher at the National Foundation for Educational Research.


Morphological awareness improves spelling and vocabulary

Professor Terezinha Nunes, Oxford Brookes University, and Professor Peter Bryant, Oxford University, report their findings on the impact of children’s awareness of morphology on spelling and on vocabulary.


Evaluating Further Literacy Support

Dr Roger Beard, Professor Diane Shorrocks-Taylor and Godfrey Pell of the University of Leeds report on their evaluation of the National Literacy Strategy’s Further Literacy Support intervention.


Researching adult learners’ lives

Lancaster University’s Yvon Appleby reports early findings from Adults Learners’ Lives, a research project investigating the connections that adults make between basic skills learning and their everyday lives.


Research digest

Evaluation of teacher-researcher programme model; Impact of Skills for Life on teachers’ perceptions; ‘The Write Voice’ project; Abstracts; Titles



Meetings with the Minister; Literacy and numeracy strategies and the primary curriculum; Survey of literacy,  numeracy and ICT skills; A strategy for children’s literature; Drama and literacy: survey of effective practice; Teaching reading in secondary schools.




National Literacy Trust News

Starbucks book drop to mark NLT anniversary; Reading Connects extends to primary sector; Reading Champions expands for 2004; RIF works with Excellence in Cities; Conferences.


<< Back to latest issue