Plugging the Gap: Supporting Primary School Teachers to Create Culturally Appropriate English Language Teaching (ELT) Materials
This chapter reports on an innovative approach to the lack of culturally appropriate materials to support the development of shared reading, an important component of effective early years’ literacy instruction, with Grade 1 and 2 primary English language learners in the Sultanate of Oman. Specifically, we describe a workshop undertaken with Senior primary school teachers to emphasise the importance of shared reading and to produce culturally appropriate ‘big books’ needed to promote shared reading, which were in short supply. 26 of the ‘big books’ were subsequently shared with teachers across the country. The chapter draws upon interview data from workshop attendees and teachers who have made use of the big books produced. The innovation is shown to have had a positive impact, both in addressing the need for more ‘big books’ that reflect children’s local cultural norms and values, and in the reception of these materials by teachers, many of whom reported a greater enthusiasm for and interest in shared reading than was previously the case. The chapter concludes with reflections on the innovation’s success and the lessons learned.
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