The Literacy Project
CR’s Literacy Project is a language arts program that teaches English with a focus on reading. The goal of the project is to improve students’ English abilities by improving the teaching and learning of reading and writing in English, to develop a culture of reading in schools, and to provide professional development opportunities for English teachers.
The amount of time spent reading is the single most important factor in improving reading ability. The research shows that time spent on free and voluntary reading both inside and outside the classroom is more important that the time spent on phonics, vocabulary and grammar in improving students’ ability to read and write. (Mason and Krashen, 1997).
Motivating Students to read: Three critical factors
1. Access – to a wide variety of reading materials that are easily accessible to students and enthusiastically promoted by the teachers. More books mean more reading.
2. Choice –a choice of reading materials that reflects students’ reading ability and interests. Choice in books strengthens self-confidence, rewards interests, and promotes a positive attitude towards reading by valuing the reader and giving him or her a level of control.
3. Talking and Sharing – with classmates, teachers, friends and family the books they love and recommending them to other readers in the class.
Pleasure reading is particularly important for second language learners like CR students. Second language learners encouraged to read for pleasure have outperformed traditionally taught students on standardized tests of reading comprehension and other literacy measures. (Elley 1998, Mason and Krashen 1997).
CR teachers spend about half of English class on free reading. Through our partnership with Pratham Books, we have been able to increase access to books in the classroom by over 400%.