The influence of a school readiness program on the language and phonological awareness skills of preschool children in rural areas of South Africa

Marike de Witt
Ansie Lessing
University of South Africa

Many children in developing countries are exposed to multiple risks for poor development due to poverty and associated poor health and nutrition. These factors, as well as insufficient knowledge of the prerequisites for emergent literacy and school readiness on the side of parents and practitioners, may contribute to the weak reading achievement of learners. The question underlying this research was formulated as follows: Will the phonological awareness of preschool children improve after the application of an intervention program to empower practitioners to support the preschoolers? A program, ‘Growing to Read’, was developed and conducted in a number of workshops. The aim of this article is to reflect on the results of the application of the program. Findings indicate an improvement in the language and phonological awareness skills of the children who participated in the program when compared to children who did not follow the program.

Australasian Journal of Early Childhood—Volume 41 Number 1 March 2016

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