An evaluation of guided reading in three primary schools in the Western Cape

  • Alide Kruizinga
  • Renee R Nathanson


Given that the South African government intends to improve its literacy rates by implementing Guided Reading in the primary schools, teachers are challenged to give good quality Guided Reading instruction. The study which this article draws on evaluates how teachers understand and implement Guided Reading in Grade 1 and 2 at three public schools in the Western Cape. Data were drawn from observations of teachers using Fountas & Pinnell’s Guided Reading instruction and a Guided Reading Self-Assessment Inventory. Analyses of the above-mentioned quantitative and qualitative research data indicate that South African teachers have a superficial understanding of Guided Reading. The study suggests that South African teachers struggle to implement Guided Reading in the classroom, because they do not create Guided Reading groups based on ongoing assessment and the teachers do not have access to levelled Guided Reading books. Furthermore, the new policy requirements for Guided Reading appear to fail to offer teachers a sufficient explanation of Guided Reading. I argue that, without addressing these basic requirements, it is unlikely that Guided Reading will be implemented with any success in the South African classrooms.

Author Biographies

Alide Kruizinga
Alida Kruizinga completed the Master of Education studies in development through literacy: An evaluation of Guided Reading in three primary schools in the Western Cape in 2010.
Renee R Nathanson
Renee Nathanson is a lecturer in the Department of Curriculum studies at Stellenbosch University. Her research interests include reading comprehension, early literacy intervention and professional development for literacy teachers. E-mail address: