Current Literacy issues across practice, policy and research


Literacy Today No. 63, June 2010





Raising standards

Dr John Dunford, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, writes about the unlikely partnership of David Cameron and Nick Clegg in the coalition government.


Purple reign at the DfE

Frances Rafferty writes about the new ministerial appointments in the Department of Education and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.



The changing role of the English language

Dr Mike Milanovic, Chief Executive of Cambridge ESOL, writes about the key role played by the English language in schools and many social and professional contexts.


The importance of meaning in word structure in developing children’s reading

Reading volunteer and former primary teacher and BBC Schools Television producer, Pat Farrington, argues that more emphasis needs to be placed on meaning when teaching children how to break compound words into their constituent parts.


Measurable outcomes versus quality of experience: evaluating the school library

Dr Andrew K. Shenton explains why many of the traditional library performance measures, such as the number of book issues, are becoming increasingly inappropriate.


Improving literacy and numeracy in the workplace

Tom Wilson, Director of unionlearn, presents findings from a report on the success of union-led learning activities.


National Literacy Trust

Words for Work – an innovative new project prepares young people for the workforce

Sally Melvin, Words for Work Project Manager at the Trust, writes about a new project designed to improve speaking and listening skills.


Why talking in the classroom can be a good thing

Judy Clark, Talk for Writing Adviser for the Trust, on a different type of approach to teaching writing in schools.


Will literacy policy in schools be less prescriptive under the coalition?

George Dugdale, Policy Adviser at the Trust, speculates about the coalition Government’s plans for education.



NLT Director, Jonathan Douglas writes an open letter to the MPs of the new Parliament and urges them to address the issue of literacy in the UK.


Classic books help to unlock every child’s writing potential

With primary teachers reporting a lack of home storytelling, Oxford University Press has worked with Pie Corbett, government advisor in Talk for Writing, to create Stories for Writing to help improve children’s writing ability.



Document Reviews

We review The coalition: Our programme for government from HM Government; Children’s Media Literacy from Ofcom; and The Modernisation Review of Libraries: A policy statement from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport..



Building Innovation: Learning with technologies. Narrowing the Gaps: Guidance for literacy subject leaders. Pupil Absence in Autumn Term 2009. Reading 2009: National Assessment of Educational Progress at Grades 4 and 8. State of Learning in Canada: A year in review. State Test Score Trends through 2007-08, Part 5: Are there differences in achievement between boys and girls?




We report on the latest research and policy news from Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand.


Young people’s reading and home resources: Findings from our national survey

Dr Christina Clark, Head of Research at the National Literacy Trust, reports on the findings of a national survey exploring the types of resources young people have at home that support literacy and how home resources relate to reading enjoyment, attitudes and behaviour.


Boys and Girls: Differences in the influence of interest on reading comprehension

Jacqueline Gillespie and Hélène Deacon of Dalhousie University, Canada, report on research examining the influence of level of interest on children’s reading comprehension.


Fingerspelling: New ideas for teaching ASL speakers

Jennifer Downing and Hélène Deacon of Dalhousie University, Canada, report on research into improving deaf children’s literacy.


Early years foundation stage of little benefit

Research from the Office for National Statistics that found little difference between those children who experienced the Early Years Foundation Stage and those who didn’t.


Literacy and the labour market in New Zealand

David Earle, Senior Analyst at the New Zealand Ministry of Education, uses the findings from the country’s Adult Literacy and Life Skills survey to examine the combined effects of literacy and qualifications on employment and hourly wages.


Research Digest

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



Media Watch

Threats of strike action over the implementation of the Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland; the new Department for Education; and poor literacy and numeracy among 16 to 19- year-olds.



Catch-up support, libraries, Support for All and the primary curriculum.


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