Current Literacy issues across practice, policy and research


Literacy Today No. 43, June 2005



In the editorial of the first issue of Literacy Today, in October 1994, National Literacy Trust director Neil McClelland explained: “The crusade for the next 10 years is to develop partnerships in order to create a society which really values literacy for the purposes of individual satisfaction, personal self development and empowerment.” In particular, he focused on the centrality of the family if we are to build a literate nation.



The language of discussion

Speaking, listening and discussion are important elements of literacy. Maths teacher Colin Hannaford argues that when classroom teaching is more about instruction than discussion, many pupils are prevented from becoming properly literate.



Going keyboard crazy for mental literacy

John Bell explains how, armed only with a plastic keyboard, he created a range of quick-fire literacy activities and saw literacy levels at Admirals Junior School, Thetford, improve dramatically.


Learning to succeed

At Ebor Gardens Primary School in Leeds, the Success For All programme, which groups pupils according to reading ability, has developed an atmosphere of cooperation and encouragement among pupils, as well as improving standards. Literacy coordinator Denise Maruszczak explains.


Reading one-to-one

Angela Monaghan, chief executive of Reading Matters, explains how the charity is supporting secondary pupils’ reading skills through mentoring by adults from the local community.


Drama into writing into drama

Pat Farrington, manager of the Writers in Schools Project in south Islington, London, explores how drama activities led by professional writers can support the development of pupils’ writing skills.


Celtic biliteracy

The impact of exposure to more than one language in the early stages of education is frequently questioned. Dr Fiona Lyddy, of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, examines emerging biliteracy in Celtic languages in the UK and Ireland.


Adult literacies in Scotland

Fiona Macdonald, Learning Connections development coordinator at Communities Scotland, looks at recent developments in Scottish adult literacy policy and provision, and how they differ from England’s Skills for Life strategy.


Writing and creative energy

Writer and researcher Jane Mace discusses the place of writing in the adult literacy core curriculum, and a new campaign to promote writing as an exciting and creative means of self-expression.


Read more, write better – get involved

In October, the BBC will launch its biggest ever campaign on adult literacy, RaW – reading and writing: read more, write better. Jane Quinn, BBC learning executive, outlines plans so far.


Making the vital links

Teacher and author John Townsend outlines some of the key ingredients of motivating reading materials for emergent adult readers, and the vital links provided by good books and good support.



Effective teachers of writing

Colin Mills of University College Worcester describes his study of effective teachers of writing and their successful classroom practice, suggesting a range of strategies that others can adopt in their own lessons.


Setting in the literacy hour

Kate Wall of the University of Newcastle summarises her study of one school’s approach to the National Literacy Strategy, comparing attitudes to literacy hour lessons among both mixed ability and set groups of pupils.


Benefits of early literacy-intensive teaching

Amedeo D’Angiulli of Thompson Rivers University and Linda S. Siegel of the University of British Columbia report on a Canadian programme, which shows children from low socio-economic status and minority groups benefit from early literacy-intensive teaching.


Domestic literacy in the eighteenth century

Morag Styles of the University of Cambridge and Evelyn Arizpe of the University of Glasgow summarise their historical research on literacy in Jane Johnson’s nursery library.


Research digest

Transition from foundation stage to key stage 1; Funding for practitioner-led research; Ongoing research; Abstracts; Titles



Boosting Reading in Primary Schools; The National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies and the Primary Curriculum; The  Effects of Synthetic Phonics Teaching on Reading and Spelling Attainment; Teaching Children to Read; Measuring Standards in English Primary Schools; Summer Reading Challenge 2004; Public Libraries; and Developing Embedded Literacy, Language and Numeracy.




National Literacy Trust News

New celebrity reading posters; Premier League Reading Stars launched for 2005; Talk To Your Baby focuses on baby’s first word; New RIF projects launched.


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