Improving reading strategies and assessments used by educators to enhance learner academic success.

  • Veena Loopoo North West University
  • Robert Balfour North West University
Keywords: reading difficulties, language development, emergent reading


Learning to read is a crucial component of early education. Theorists have found a strong connection between reading skills and the level of academic and professional success enjoyed by an individual. The way an individual learns to read is crucial to achieving academic success; therefore, the methods used to teach reading need to be effective for optimal success. A substantial body of research demonstrates that literacy is fundamental to success in the formal education system and in most cases, the principal site for learning to read and write is assumed to be the primary school, usually in the early years. While there are many perspectives and methods used at school level, teachers will only succeed when they teach explicit strategies to decode words and their meanings and comprehension instruction.Using a mixed-methods approach, this article aimed to identify and explore teaching and assessment strategies employed by educators in Grade R at primary school level pertaining to the teaching of literacy. It emerged that although certain strategies do seem to promote greater acquisition of literacy, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to using literacy to promote the likelihood of achieving academic success.

Author Biographies

Veena Loopoo, North West University
Veena Loopoo is a teacher in the Foundation Phase at a school in KwaZulu-Natal. Her research foci include the teaching of reading and pedagogic approaches to language acquisition in the early years of childhood. Her fields of interest lie in the intersections of reading, pedagogy and language acquisition.
Robert Balfour, North West University
Robert J. Balfour is Professor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Teaching and Learning at North-West University. His research focuses on language policy, planning and education in South Africa. He also publishes in postcolonial literary studies, applied linguistics and poetry.