ILDs 2014-2017

ILD 29 (double bill):

  • 1  Figured Worlds: An Ethnographic Study of Literacy Practices in a Village Community in Malawi  Ahmmardouh Mjaya investigates the everyday literacy experiences and understandings of community members in their lived worlds, including the role of artefacts in literacy practices. He argues that what literacy-mediating artefacts allow the community members to become is more important than what they actually do. (December 2017)
  • 2 Reading Aloud in Britain Today (RABIT) This fascinating seminar was jointly led  by Sam Duncan of UCL. Her research focuses on ways in which reading aloud in a widely-unacknowledged range of contexts must be considered an aspect of literacy development. (December 2017)

ILD 28:  Helping hunter-gatherers to become ‘paper people’: Literacy challenges among the San in Namibia  Candi Miller of the University of Wolverhampton had us all enthralled as she told us about her work with the San, facilitating literacy activities and the creation of a radio soap, which empowers and affirms their culture rather than threatening it.  A summary of the seminar discussion will follow in due course. (November 2017)

LD 27: Learner-generated materials, collective classroom knowledge: Research with adult literacy facilitators in Guatemala  In this fascinating seminar, Marta Paluch of the University of Sussex shared her experience of working with adult literacy facilitators, and the process of collective construction of knowledge. Marta also included a very helpful PowerPoint presentation to illustrate the discussion. (June 2017)

ILD 26: Literacy in Northern Nigeria  Mary Anderson led this discussion, basing her input on her experience training teachers on the DfID-funded Teacher Development Programme. Areas of concern include the literacy levels of teachers, and the tensions between the Islamic and western educational systems. The following reflections focussed on the role of the electronic media, and whether more use could be made of locally-produced materials rather than books published by commercial companies. Some significant facts, figures and references about Northern Nigeria can be found here. (April 2017)

ILD 25: Training Literacy Facilitators in Central Tanzania  Margaret Beckett of SIL led this discussion, which focussed on the literacy programme she is involved with in rural Tanzania. People there speak many languages, and some may also have a knowledge of Swahili. As a sub-title, Margaret used the memorable phrase ‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast’, thus effectively emphasising how important it is to understand and appreciate local voices and local values.  (January 2017)

ILD 24: Professional Communication and Client Care: Literacy implications for vocational and professional adult education  This was the title of Tara Furlong’s paper for a discussion about the higher levels of literacy needed for professional communication. (November 2016)

ILD 23: Understanding Literacy: what theoretical approach: what theoretical approaches can help make literacy teaching and learning more effective?  This discussion was led by Dr Ian Cheffy of SIL International, and was accompanied by a very helpful spidergram that showed the linkages between adult literacy and the theory of adult learning. (May 2016)

ILD 22: Literacy and female infanticide was led by Dr Priti Chopra of the University of Greenwich, UK. This was an interesting and moving seminar about how literacy may empower communities and challenge attitudes to female infanticide in Bihar, northern India. (November 2015)

ILD 21: Transformational Change was led by Dr Ian Cheffy of SIL. This was a very interesting presentation about the change in identity, confidence, and community participation that women demonstrate when they become literate. (October 2015)

ILD 20: Adult Literacy: Policies and Structures was led by Professor Lalage Bown OBE, Emeritus Professor of Adult and Continuing Education at Glasgow University. This stirring discussion, kindly hosted by Redcliffe College in Gloucester, UK,  challenged us to consider how literacy practitioners and academics need to be politically literate in order to protect and promote the literacy agenda amongst governments and aid agencies. (May 2015)

ILD 19: Literacy in Afghanistan was led by Professor Alan Rogers (University of East Anglia). It provided the basis for a stimulating discussion of issues arising from his work with USAID and UNESCO. More details will be available in due course. (March 2015)

ILD 18: McCaffery – Is Education for All? was led by Dr Juliet McCaffery. Her presentation was inspired by observations of the tension between many indigenous and nomadic people’s lack of interest in literacy and formal education, and the education provided by governments in both the developed and developing world. (January 2015)

She went on to give us insights into Gypsy and Traveller culture and attitudes toward literacy in the UK. Here, there is a pronounced lack of educational attainment by these minorities, which is perceived as a problem by local and national government. However, this correlates with a lack of understanding of the groups’ land needs on the one hand, and fear of loss of their culture on the part of the Gypsies and Travellers.

ILD 17: From Orthography to Literacy Practice was led by Margaret Beckett of SIL. This was a lively seminar that gave us a glimpse of the community transformation that literacy can bring: a sense of pride in local language and culture, plus empowerment and connection to a wider world (including Facebook!). Such steps forward are tempered by a range of problems, from the traditional dominance of rote learning to issues of orthography and the medium of education in schools. (December 2014)

An ILD on the subject of Adult Literacy in policies and structures was to have been led by Professor Lalage Bown, whose unfortunate ill-health meant that her ILD had to be postponed. We nevertheless had an interesting and useful discussion. (September 2014)

ILD 16: Incorporating Literacy into Community Development Projects led by Dr Katy-Newell-Jones of Feed the Minds. (April 2014)

ILD 15 – Literacy in and out of school in a Brazilian bairro led by Professor Maria Lucia Castanheira of the University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, and Professor Brian Street, President of BALID. (February 2014)

ILD 14:  International Advocacy on Literacy and Development: Challenges and Opportunities led by David Archer of Action Aid. (January 2014)

ILDs 2011-2013 here