PRAESA has trained teachers, ECD practitioners, trainers and others in the education field to offer the kind of rich interactions, resources and activities that children need in order to become successful readers and writers. In addition, it has long been regarded as a thought-leader in the area of language and literacy development in multilingual settings. Some of the material developed during the course of our training work is shared here.
Learning to love literacy
In 2023, PRAESA ran an online course that focussed on the power and potential of book-sharing for children’s language and literacy development. The course was aimed at adults in Sub-Saharan Africa who engage directly or indirectly with children in home, school and community settings. The six course sessions offered insight into why sharing books and stories with children from birth onwards is so powerful, provided practical guidance on choosing books for reading aloud in multilingual contexts, shared advice and live demonstrations of how to read aloud to children in engaging ways and explored ideas on how to create learning moments from read-aloud stories.
- Session 1: The power of reading aloud
- Session 2: The power to participate: Getting to know compelling stories
- Session 3: Filling our inner libraries: The search for compelling books
- Session 4: Exploring books: Day by day
- Session 5: Where does reading aloud lead us?
- Session 6: The end … is the beginning
Or view the full playlist here.
- Course report
- Handout 1: Stories for children: Birth to 7 years
- Handout 2: Books for older children: 8 years and older
- Handout 3: Traditional stories: For retelling or reading to children
- Handout 4: Story resources: Children with disabilities
- Handout 5: Resources: Literacy learning and development
- Handout 6: Useful story and book resources
Educating ourselves, educating our children
In 2018, PRAESA hosted a five-day NCF curriculum orientation workshop at the University of Cape Town aimed at those who develop programmes for new and practising teachers and caregivers of young children. The workshop explored how to ensure high quality learning opportunities in the daily educational life of young children as well as the pedagogical fundamentals that enhance and transform the training of those working with babies, toddlers and young children. Participants included academics; trainers of trainers; teachers, programme managers, municipal ECD staff and lead ECD practitioners; policy implementers; and training institutions. Download the workshop report here.
Ensuring affordable quality in early childhood education
The 2017 Ensuring affordable quality in early childhood education: What will we do with the children on Monday? conference was a collaboration between PRAESA, UNICEF South Africa, The Froebel Trust, the Department of Higher Education and Training, and the Centre for Early Childhood Development. The conference offered a range of opportunities for participants to observe, experience, discuss, analyse and act to ensure the fundamentals of quality in an inclusive, principled and transformative curriculum approach in early childhood education. Through keynote talks and interactive workshops, the conference brought theory and practice together to reaffirm what quality in early childhood education means for all young children, including making links with the South African Education Birth to Four and CAPS (for Grade R) curriculum frameworks.
- The full conference report
- Tina Bruce’s 10 transglobal principles of early childhood education
- André Viviers’ welcome address
- Rujeko Moyo’s blog about the conference
- Summary of the workshop on emergent writing
- Summary of the workshop on storytelling and early literacy
- Summary of the workshop on nature and young children
- Summary of the workshop on maths and young children
- Summary of the workshop on observation and schemas
- Carole Bloch’s presentation on emergent literacy
- Sara Stanley and Nolubablo Mbotshwa’s presentation on developing literacy through Storyplay
- An extract from the Georgie McCall and Peter Hadebe’s workshop on nature and young children
- Karen Murris’ presentation on her reflections on the conference
- An excerpt from Tina Bruce’s keynote address
- An excerpt from André Viviers’ welcome address
- An excerpt from Karen Murris’ workshop reflections
Issues in the development of multilingual children’s literacy and literature in South Africa
While attention is increasingly focused on the development of a reading culture and on children learning to read and write, the foundational significance of a multilingual children’s literature as part of larger cultural, political and economic transformative action in South Africa tends to be overlooked. The intention of this two-day seminar in 2017 was to press ‘pause’ together with others working in the South African multilingual children’s literacy and literature domain in order to share information about some of the progress made and challenges faced in order to inform ongoing collective and individual action. The seminar attended by about 50 people was funded by IBBY International and PEN International, and organised by PRAESA, with support from IBBY SA and PEN SA. Download the seminar report here and watch seminar participant the late Cebo Solombeba, University of Fort Hare, perform an isiXhosa poem about the promises government makes to society.
Early literacy training handouts
Download and use our training handouts on the following topics: