"Reading extensively is the best way to... encourage a life-long love of reading." (Krashen)
Research findings by Amma Akrofi, published in the TESOL Journal, describe a method of teaching reading in some Ghana schools, whereby the students repeat words from the chalkboard, chorally, whenever the teacher points to them (p. 7). Most experts agree that this “look-listen-say-copy” strategy is not an effective way to learn how to read. However, without books, what is the alternative?
Stephen Krashen, an expert in second language learning states that “reading extensively is the best way to promote vocabulary development, increase awareness of sentence structure, and encourage a life-long love of reading.” Also, “students pick up new words 10 times faster through reading than through explicit vocabulary instruction” (in Coelho:100).
Akrofi confirms the need for a greater supply of storybooks in Ghana schools and states that “access to books is a major factor in promoting parent-child reading interactions. School reading programs that enable students to take books home to share with their parents and read repeatedly at their leisure can motivate children to learn and nurture their desire to read” (p. 11).
We are proud to say that at Bright Future School, where we made our first book donation in 2012, students have been signing out books from the school library ever since. Though there may be other impediments to literacy development in Ghana, we know that the crucial first step is access to a wide variety of good books in all schools.
Help us introduce more children in Ghana to the joy of reading by donating today.
If every school in Ghana had a well-stocked library, we know that young people would develop greater literacy skills, perform better in school and lead more successful lives
Ghana's official language of instruction is English
However, most children in Ghana don't have access to books
THE YOUNGER A PERSON STARTS READING, THE BETTER THEIR CHANCES OF DEVELOPING A LIFELONG LOVE OF READING AND BECOMING LITERATE CITIZENS
One of our goals at Books Matter is to create an environment where people enjoy reading. An article in the Daily Graphic (a Ghana newspaper), entitled “When last did you read a book?” explains how the act of reading, not the ability to read, is not second nature to many Ghanaians. This includes college graduates, who will read the necessary texts while in school, but upon graduation, revert back to a life where books do not play a role. Clearly, a love of reading was never developed in these people at a young age, most likely because they didn’t have access to a variety of interesting books.
Akrofi, A. (2003).English literacy in Ghana: The reading experiences of ESOL first graders. TESOL Journal, 12(2), 7-12.
Baah-Bentum, K. (2013. October 8). When last did you read a book?Daily Graphic.
Coelho, E. (2004). Adding English: A guide to teaching in multilingual classrooms. Toronto, ON: Pippin Publishing Company.
Opoku-Amankwa, K., Brew-Hammond, A., & Mahama, A.K. (2012). Literacy in limbo? Performance of two reading promotion schemes in public basic schools in Ghana. Education Research International, volume 2012. Retrieved August, 2013 from http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2012/479361/