Current Literacy issues across practice, policy and research


Literacy Today No. 50, March 2007



Editor Michael Marshall writes about libraries and how many children’s books they have available.



Basic Skills: Two Cheers for Leitch

Thomas Sticht, International Consultant in Adult Education, returns to the theme of “life cycles” education, which is concerned with the knock-on effect of parental illiteracy, and discusses how this policy is supported by one of the three themes of the White House Conference on Global Literacy.


Reading Recovery Rediscovery

Margaret M Clark OBE, Visiting Professor at Newman College of Higher Education, Birmingham, on the recent ‘discovery’ of Reading Recovery and her hopes that some of the lessons learnt during earlier research into the initiative will be heeded.



Integrated Literacy Works!

Thomas Sticht, International Consultant in Adult Education, writes about helping workers improve their literacy and numeracy through Functional Context Education.


Read On – Write Away! A Decade of Success

Ian McCollum, training and development manager of Read On – Write Away! writes about two of the latest literacy initiatives from Derbyshire and Derby City Council.


The Primary Framework for Literacy – the Next Step

Now that the renewed Framework for Literacy has been successfully launched and schools are adapting it, Jane West covers in more detail the actual content of the Framework and why it is an essential tool in the quest to improve literacy skills.


Workplace Skills for Life and the Challenges it Faces in the Future

Robert Nurden of The Network, a Skills for Life organisation based at Lancaster University, writes about the current state of play for SfL in the workplace and the challenges it faces in the future.


The Literacy Leader

Neale Pitches, former teacher and principal, and executive chairman of South Pacific Press and Lift Education in New Zealand, writes about how the Literacy Leader professional development course is helping teachers and school leaders break the cycle of poor literacy performance and raise children’s literacy levels.


Book Review

Robin Close reviews Linking Science & Literacy in the K-8 Classroom, by Rowena Doublas, Michael P.  Klentschy, and Karen Worth, with Wendy Binder.



Document Reviews

The documents reviewed in this issue are Current Provision and Outcomes for 16 to 18- year-old Learners with Learning Difficulties and/or Learning Disabilities in Colleges, and The Foundation Stage, both of which are published by Ofsted.



Boys’ Underachievement in Education: an exploration in selected Commonwealth countries; Getting Healthy: guidelines for local authorities on introducing health-related work into family literacy, language and numeracy programmes; Improving Literacy Outcomes for English Language Learners in High School: Considerations for States and Districts in Developing a Coherent Policy Framework; Looking at English: teaching and  learning English in post-primary schools; NCLB/ESEA: It’s Time for a Change! Voices from America’s Classroom; and Prosperity for All in the Global Economy – World Class Skills: final report



We report on the Fulfilling Their Potential 2007 conference, hosted by Chelsea FC’s education department, which looked at how libraries can work in partnership with other organisations to help children fulfill their educational potential.



Learning Recovery

Dr John Kirkland and Dr David Bimler of Massey University discuss the need for an alternative approach to help unlock the learning capacity in children who are in a ‘cognitive cul-de-sac’.



Literacy news from Canada, the USA, Australia and New Zealand.


Literacy and Numeracy of British Army Recruits

Dougal Hutchison, of the National Foundation for Educational Research, and Greg Brooks, of the University of Sheffield, studied a number of British Army recruit literacy and numeracy assessments with some surprising results.


Embedding Literacy, Language and Numeracy

This research found that learners on vocational courses with embedded literacy, language and numeracy on vocational programmes had higher staying-on rates, more positive attitudes and higher success rates.


Teacher Education in Adult Literacy, Numeracy and ESOL

This research review concludes that teacher education programmes for adult literacy, numeracy and ESOL need to be based more firmly on what is known about how adults learn.



Media Watch

Media reaction to the Leitch review of skills, controversy over the Government’s new-style exam league tables, KPMG’s claim that the Every Child a Reader project could save the taxpayer as much as £2 billion a year, school teachers’ lack of confidence in identifying or teaching children with dyslexia in mainstream schools, the  launch of the Family Engagement Toolkit and the proposed overhaul of the Key Stage 3 curriculum.


Research digest

Ongoing research, article abstracts and article titles of research from education and science journals.



We report on answers to written parliamentary questions, including those on speech therapy, Reading Recovery, the Family Engagement Toolkit, Gaelic and British sign language.




National Literacy Trust News

Passionet Star Reads; From Reader to Writer conferences; Reading Connects Family Engagement Toolkit; Talk To Your Baby Walkie Talkie buggy label; and Family Reading Campaign activity cards to encourage reading in the home.


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