The Literacy Project
CR’s Literacy Project is a language arts program that trains teachers in the best practices for teaching English. The program focuses on phonics for beginning readers, and also includes vocabulary development, fluency, and comprehension. There is a strong emphasis placed on reading and the importance of allowing students access, choice and time for reading books. In June 2019, 21 schools and approximately 3000 students and teachers will participate in The Literacy Project.
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%.