Advertisement

Language-Focused Instruction for Literacy Acquisition in Akshara-based Languages: Pedagogical Considerations and Challenges

  • Chandrika Mathur
  • Sonali NagEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Literacy Studies book series (LITS, volume 17)

Abstract

In this chapter we explore the role of language- and meaning-focused instruction for supporting literacy acquisition in akshara-based languages, drawing upon examples from Hindi and the Devanagari script. Instruction of lower- and higher-level literacy skills typically targeted in pre- and primary school years are examined with a particular focus on the phonological, orthographic and morpho-syntactic domains. The role of affective-motivational aspects in learning and a strong cultural embedding of teaching-learning materials and pedagogical strategies are highlighted, with implications for native speakers and second language learners, in contexts of diglossia, and with demographically diverse groups. Such a multi-component curriculum is dependent on the perceptiveness and sensibilities of teachers, their attitudes towards teaching and learning, specific pedagogical skills and concrete knowledge-bases. We discuss the challenges this holds.

Keywords

Akshara knowledge Cultural embedding Devanagari First language Hindi Literacy instruction Morpho-syntax Pedagogy Reading Second language Teaching-learning materials (TLMs) Writing Teacher training 

References

  1. Aboud, F. E. (2006). Evaluation of an early childhood preschool program in rural Bangladesh. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 21(1), 46–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adams, M. (1994). Beginning to read: Thinking and learning about print. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  3. Amritavalli, R. (2007). English in deprived circumstances: Maximising learner autonomy. Hyderabad, India: Foundation Books.  https://doi.org/10.1017/UPO9788175968684.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Annual Survey of Education Report. (2017, Jan). Annual survey of education report, 2016. ASER Center: New Delhi, India.Google Scholar
  5. Arulmani, G. (2016). Contexts and circumstances: The cultural preparation process approach to career development. In M. McMahon (Ed.), Career counselling: Constructivist approaches (2nd ed., pp. 79–90). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. ASER 2016, (2017). Annual Status of Education Report (Rural) 2016: Provisional Report. http://img.asercentre.org/docs/Publications/ASER%20Reports/ASER%202016/aser_2016.pdf. retrieved on 20th April, 2018.
  7. Aturupane, H., Glewwe, P., & Wisniewski, S. (2013). The impact of school quality, socioeconomic factors, and child health on students’ academic performance: Evidence from Sri Lankan primary schools. Education Economics, 21(1), 2–37.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09645292.2010.511852.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Badheka, G. (1932/1986). Divaswapna. http://www.mavjibhai.com/EBOOKS/Divaswapna_Eng.pdf
  9. Bhattacharjea, S., Wadhwa, W., & Banerji, R. (2011). Inside primary schools. A study of teaching and learning in rural India. Mumbai, India: Pratham.Google Scholar
  10. Bhide, A. (2018). Copying helps novice learners build orthographic knowledge: Methods for teaching Devanagari akshara. Reading and Writing, 31, 1–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Educational Initiatives. (2010). Student learning study. Ahmedabad, India: Educational Initiatives.Google Scholar
  12. Geetha, V. (2012). Literacy and reading: A Tamil experiment. Contemporary Education Dialogue, 9, 63–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gupta, A. (2004). Reading difficulties of Hindi speaking children with developmental dyslexia. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 17, 79–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hammer, C. S., Hoff, E., Uchikoshi, Y., Gillanders, C., Castro, D. C., & Sandilos, L. E. (2014). The language and literacy development of young dual language learners: A critical review. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 29(4), 715–733.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jayaram, K. (2008). Early literacy project: Explorations and reflections. Part 1: Theoretical perspectives. Contemporary Education Dialogue, 5(2), 133–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kalia, V., & Reese, E. (2009). Relations between Indian children’s home literacy environment and their English oral language and literacy skills. Scientific Studies of Reading, 13(2), 122–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Karanth, S. (1995). oduva ata ‘Reading Games’. Bangalore, India: SBs Publishers.Google Scholar
  18. Kshirsagar, S., & Poovaiah, R. (2015). Investigating frequently used stroke sequence, of handwritten Devanagari letters, by observing second script learners. Paper presented in the International Conference on Research into Design, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.Google Scholar
  19. Krishnamurti, J. (1985). Life ahead. London, UK: Victor Gollancz Ltd.Google Scholar
  20. Khubchandani, L. M. (1981). Language, education and social justice. In search of tomorrow, Issue 2. Pune, India: Centre for Communication Studies.Google Scholar
  21. Kumar, K. (1994). Child’s language and the teacher. New Delhi, India: National Book Trust.Google Scholar
  22. Kurrien, Z. (2014). Helping young children learn. Hyderabad, India: Orient Blackswan.Google Scholar
  23. Mathur, C. (2013a). Hindi ki Duniya 1, Textbook. Hyderabad, India: Orient Blackswan.Google Scholar
  24. Mathur, C. (2013b). Hindi ki Duniya 1, Workbook. Hyderabad, India: Orient Blackswan.Google Scholar
  25. Mathur, C. (2013c). Hindi ki Duniya 2, Textbook. Hyderabad, India: Orient Blackswan.Google Scholar
  26. Mathur, C. (2013d). Hindi ki Duniya 3, Textbook. Hyderabad, India: Orient Blackswan.Google Scholar
  27. Mathur, C. (2013e). Hindi Ki Duniya, A Guide of Teachers 1, For Course Book 1 & 2. Hyderabad, India: Orient Blackswan.Google Scholar
  28. Menon, S., & Thirumalai, B. (2016). Curricular materials in early language and literacy classrooms in Karnataka and Maharashtra. In D. Nawani (Ed.), Teaching-learning resources for school education (pp. 394–404). New Delhi, India: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  29. Mohanan, K. P. (1986). The theory of lexical phonology. Dordrecht: Reidel.Google Scholar
  30. Nag, S. (2007). Early reading in Kannada: The pace of acquisition of orthographic knowledge and phonemic awareness. Journal of Research in Reading, 30(1), 7–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Nag, S. (2013). Low literacy attainments in school and approaches to diagnosis: An exploratory study. Contemporary Education Dialogue, 10(2), 197–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Nag, S. (2014). Akshara-phonology mappings: The common yet uncommon case of the consonant cluster. Writing Systems Research, 6, 105–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Nag, S. (2017). Learning to read Kannada and other languages of South Asia. In L. Verhoeven & C. Perfetti (Eds.), Reading acquisition across languages and writing systems. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Nag, S., & Narayanan, B. (this volume). Orthographic knowledge, spelling and reading development in Tamil: The first three years. In M. Joshi & C. McBride (Eds.), Handbook of akshara languages. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.Google Scholar
  35. Nag, S., & Sircar, S. (2008). Learning to read in Bengali: Report of a survey in five Kolkata primary schools. Bangalore, India: The Promise Foundation.Google Scholar
  36. Nag, S., & Snowling, M. J. (June, 2011). Reading comprehension, decoding and oral language. The EFLU Journal, English and Foreign Languages University, 2, 75–93.Google Scholar
  37. Nag, S., Snowling, M. J., & Asfaha, Y. (2016). Classroom literacy practices in low- and middle-income countries: An interpretative synthesis of ethnographic studies. Oxford Education Review, 42(1), 36–54.  https://doi.org/10.1080/03054985.2015.1135115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Nag, S., Ramkumar, S., Miranda, R., Sutar, L., Krishna, M., Aravind, S., Kala, B., & Arulmani, G. (2014a, October). Home and school learning environment: Field notes from eight urban, public-funded nursery and primary schools (Working Paper). Bangalore, India: The Promise Foundation.Google Scholar
  39. Nag, S., Snowling, M. J., Quinlan, P., & Hulme, C. (2014b). Child and symbol factors in learning to read a visually complex writing system. Scientific Studies of Reading, 18(5), 309–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Nag, S., Vagh, S. B., Dulay, K. M., & Snowling, M. J. (2018). Home language, school language and children’s literacy attainments: A systematic review of evidence from low- and middle-income countries. Review of Education: An International Journal of Major Studies in Education.  https://doi.org/10.1002/rev3.3130.
  41. National Achievement Survey. (2014). Class V: Subject wise report. New Delhi, India: NCERT.Google Scholar
  42. Patel, P. G. (2004). Reading acquisition in India: Models of learning and dyslexia. New Delhi, India: Sage Publishers.Google Scholar
  43. Poe, E. A. (1962). The raven. In Selected stories and poems (pp. 223–227). New York, NY: Airmont Books.Google Scholar
  44. Ray, S. (2004). Abol Tabol: The nonsense world of Sukumar Ray (Translated from Bengali into English by Sampura Chattarji). New Delhi, India: Penguin.Google Scholar
  45. Reese, L., Garnier, H., Gallimore, R., & Gldenberg, C. (2000). Longitudinal analysis of the antecedents of emergent Spanish literacy and middle-school English reading achievement of Spanish-speaking students. American Educational Research Journal, 37(3), 633–662.  https://doi.org/10.3102/00028312037003633.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Sahi, J. (2015). ‘In our own words: A resource book for primary school teachers’, Eklavya, 2015, Bhopal, India.Google Scholar
  47. Saigal, A. (2012). Demonstrating a situated learning approach for in-service teacher education in rural India: The Quality Education Programme in Rajasthan. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28, 1009–1017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Sen, R., & Blatchford, P. (2001). Reading in a second language: Factors associated with progress in young children. Educational Psychology, 21(2), 189–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sircar, S., & Nag, S. (this volume). Spelling and reading words in Bengali: The role of distributed phonology. In M. Joshi & C. McBride (Eds.), Handbook of akshara languages. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.Google Scholar
  50. Suteyev, V. (2002). Me too: A picture story. Translated into Hindi from Russian. Bhopal, India: Eklavya Publishers.Google Scholar
  51. Tagore, R. (1918). tootakaahini ‘The Parrot’s Tale’. Sobuj Patra, Kolkata: India http://dsal.uchicago.edu/digbooks/digpager.html?BOOKID=PK1664.D6_1988&object=25. Retrieved on 20th April, 2018.
  52. Teale, W. H., & Sulzby, E. (1986). Introduction: Emergent literacy as a perspective for examining how children become writers and readers. In W. H. Teale & E. Sulzby (Eds.), Emergent literacy: Writing and reading. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corporation.Google Scholar
  53. Vagh, S. B. (2009). Learning at home and at school: A longitudinal study of Hindi language and emergent literacy skills of young children from low-income families in India (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Graduate School of Education, Harvard University.Google Scholar
  54. Vaid, J., & Gupta, A. (2002). Exploring word recognition in a semi-alphabetic script: The case of Devanagari. Brain and Language, 81, 679–690.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Verhoeven, L. T. (1994). Transfer in bilingual development: The linguistic interdependence hypothesis revisited. Language Learning, 44(3), 381–415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Vygotsky, L. S. (1986). In A. Kozulin (Ed.), Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  57. Wijayathilake, D., & Parrila, R. (2014). Predictors of word reading in good and struggling readers in Sinhalese. Writing Systems Research, 6, 120–131.Google Scholar
  58. World Declaration on Education For All: Meeting Basic Learning Needs. (1990). World Conference on Education for All, Jomtein, Thailand, March 1990. http://www.un-documents.net/jomtien.htm. Retrieved on 8th April, 2018.
  59. Winskel, H., & Iemwanthong, K. (2010). Reading and spelling acquisition in Thai children. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 23, 1021–1053.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rishi Valley Institute of Teacher Education, Rishi Valley Education Centre, Krishnamurti Foundation India (KFI)Chittoor DistrictIndia
  2. 2.Department of EducationUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  3. 3.The Promise FoundationBangaloreIndia

Personalised recommendations