Current Literacy issues across practice, policy and research


Literacy Today No. 41, December 2004



Adult Literacy and education, 1970-2000



Adult literacy is testing my wits

Both the US and UK governments have declared that millions of their adults have problems with basic literacy skills. Tom Sticht, an international consultant in adult education, examines the statistics, policies and learners’ attitudes from both sides of the Atlantic.



Creating new heroes

Reading superhero comics is often seen as a sign of poor literacy. However, an innovative project at HMP Reading & YOI used them to engage men in a creative project that would also develop their literacy skills. Project manager David Kendall explains.


Family learning in the secondary school

While common in many primary schools, family learning is less developed in the secondary sector. Christine Smith, of Four Dwellings High School, Birmingham, describes the development of one of the first programmes for parents of secondary-age pupils.


Leading literacy

Graham Tyrer, deputy headteacher of Nicholas Chamberlain Technology College, explains how a focus on literacy and leadership helped the school to come out of special measures and achieve the best English results in its history.


Interactive literacy

Educational consultant and author Maureen Lewis describes how ICT-based reading texts, original texts conceived and written for the ICT medium, are developing new approaches to literacy teaching.


Creating resource-rich environments

Creating a stimulating and resource-rich learning environment can help to support early writing in the foundation stage. Judith Stevens, early years adviser for the London Borough of Lewisham, provides tips on creating supportive, resource-rich environments.


Role-playing literacy

Organised role play in the early years can encourage children to explore unfamiliar language from different true-to-life scenarios. Sue Marshall, head of Oak House Nursery School, explains the importance of role play and how her new film resources can provide support.


Bookmark support on reading difficulties

Bookmark is a new online resource providing support to all those working with children with reading difficulties. Alexandra Strick, freelance project manager, reports.



Narrative skills linked to mathematical achievement

Recent research has shown a link between early oral storytelling abilities and achievement in maths. Dr Daniela O’Neill, of the University of Waterloo, Canada, discusses her findings.


Speech impairments: the case for early intervention

Dr Julia Carroll of the University of Warwick discusses her research, comparing children who have a family history of dyslexia with children with speech difficulties.


Australian assessment in literacy and numeracy

An Australian longitudinal study is investigating literacy and numeracy in primary schools and the kinds of assessment tasks being used. Marion Meiers, senior research fellow at the Australian Council for Educational Research, reports findings so far.


Perspectives on inclusive early education

Dr Cathy Nutbrown of the University of Sheffield and Professor Peter Clough of Queen’s University, Belfast, describe UK approaches to special educational needs and inclusive early education.


Noisy boys and invisible girls?

Dr Debra Myhill and Dr Susan Jones of the University of Exeter report on gender stereotypes and the implications for achievement among boys and girls.


Changing faces of adult literacy, numeracy and ESOL

Much has changed in adult literacy policy and practice since the original BBC campaign of the 1970s. Yvonne Hillier, City University, London, and Mary Hamilton, University of Lancaster, report.


Research digest

Stamping, clapping and chanting improve literacy?; Grammar investigation; Eighteenth century  literacy; Abstracts; Titles



Boys on the Margin; Writing to Learn; Link Up Evaluation; and Basic Skills for Offenders in the Community




National Literacy Trust News

Bank of England hosts literacy dinner; Christmas Book Drive; New projects at football clubs


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