Current Literacy issues across practice, policy and research


Literacy Today No. 40, September 2004



If you define yourself as a reader, it is generally understood that you read for pleasure. But what made this happen – when did we become readers? For the fortunate, this experience came from being read to at home as a child, or becoming excited by books at school.



A difficult balance

Early years consultant Ros Bayley argues for a more understanding relationship between literacy specialists and early years practitioners, to help clear confusion over the foundation stage’s link with the National Literacy Strategy.



Big plans for small talk

Liz Attenborough explains how a new advocacy kit from the National Literacy Trust’s Talk To Your Baby campaign will help professionals to argue for the importance of early language development.


Discovering reading together

The Scottish Executive’s Read Together campaign encourages parents and carers to share books with their children. National coordinators Lindsey Fraser and Kathryn Ross explain why the small grants scheme has helped to make the initiative a success.


So, you want to tell a story?

A recent partnership between First Steps and Storysack creator Neil Griffiths has developed a new approach to improving children’s storytelling skills. Sue Dean, manager of Steps Professional Development, explains.


The story of a reader

Project manager Amelia Foster describes how the Trust’s Reading Connects initiative, now funded by the Department for Education and Skills, will work with schools to develop reading-rich environments.


Watching language

The British Film Institute has released Screening Shorts, a resource designed to teach literacy skills to key stage 3 pupils through film. Education officer Richard Newall explains.


Teach and learn

Norwood Girls’ School decided to help its pupils struggling with basic literacy skills by reversing the roles; turning the learner into the teacher. Partnership consultant Elizabeth Gowing explains.


Writing Together

Project coordinator Nikki Marsh reports on the Writing Together project, and gives advice for schools looking to get the best out of a visit by a professional writer.


Social inclusion: the policy challenge

Project director Viv Bird reports findings so far from the Literacy and Social Inclusion project, a Basic Skills Agency national support project being delivered by the National Literacy Trust.



The impact of the literacy hour

Stephen Machin and Sandra McNally of the London School of Economics report their recent findings on the effectiveness of the literacy hour, from a study based on the original National Literacy Project.


Supporting early oral language skills

Julie Dockrell, Morag Stuart and Diane King of the University of London report on their research initiative, Talking Time, highlighting the importance of oral language development in the early years.


Evaluation of the WILSTAAR scheme

Ian St James-Roberts, of the Thomas Coram Research Unit, University of London, discusses his evaluation of the scheme for identifying and treating early language difficulty.


Young children, language and television

Dr Deborah Linebarger of the University of Pennsylvania discusses her research on the potential language benefits of children’s television programmes for infants and toddlers.


Looking After Literacy in public care

Sheila Wolfendale and Trevor Bryans of the University of East London report on their evaluation of the Kent Looking After Literacy initiative for children in public care.


Research digest

Practitioner-led research fund; Language intervention and reading development; The linguistic and compositional characteristics of secondary writers; Evaluation of adult literacy and numeracy initiative; Abstracts; Titles



Five-year Strategy for Children and Learners; Transition from Reception to Year; ICT in Schools: the impact of government initiatives five years on; Evaluation of Extended Schools Pathfinder Projects; Children at the Centre: evaluation of early excellence centres; Creative Reading: young people, reading and public libraries; Critical Literacy; The best of Language Matters; and Learning’s not a Crime: education and training for offenders and ex-offenders.




National Literacy Trust News

Conferences; Pitney Bowes organizes celebrity envelope auction; Postman Pat zip pulls raise funds for the Trust; Would you like to help the National Literacy Trust this Christmas?; Reading Connects joins National Reading Campaign; British Land Company supports RIF.


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