This year’s International Literacy Day is celebrated worldwide on 8 September under the theme Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces and is an opportunity to rethink the fundamental importance of literacy learning spaces to build resilience and ensure quality, equitable, and inclusive education for all. As an active ELT professional deriving from his recent classroom action research project, Oluwatimilehin Amos Akinade shares his views on the matter as a way of raising awareness about the million young people and adults lacking basic literacy skills.
What role can language play in the development of children’s learning?
Language, a viable tool for communication plays a lot of roles in children's learning as it remains the basic foundation of learning. It determines the level of efficiency in object mastery and identifications; it equally enhances the ability of the children to communicate and express their intents to people around them, and it supports the children's reasoning tenacity and helps them develop and maintain communal relationships.
What obstacles to teaching reading, writing, speaking and listening in your subject, do students face?
Obstacles faced with students in teaching the four basic skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing ranges from the issue posed by students' individual differences, what works for student A, does not work for B. Getting students inspired and motivated is another thing to note. A student who can speak and read, sees listening and writing as a threat, and the one who can write and read, sees listening and speaking as not being important.
What resources do you use or would recommend for struggling readers?
The best resource I've used that I would love to recommend for struggling readers is to imbibe the idea of constant and consistent grade-level readings such as storybooks, magazines, journals and newspapers. Grade-level readings would not only make them be proactive in their reading exercise, but it would equally build up their ideas in a well-organised manner.
As a teacher or teacher educator, what are your own literacy areas for development?
As a teacher, my literacy areas for development are writing, reading, and speaking.
What are you currently doing to raise awareness or tackle the lack of basic literacy skills in your community?
What I am currently doing to raise awareness or to tackle the lack of basic literacy skills in my community, I'm adopting the research-based methodology to know the areas which are needed to focus on. However my findings show that the speaking and the writing aspect need immediate attention, thus, with the adoption of exploratory action research, solutions are being proffered.