Lecture Pour Tous, helping all children read in Senegal

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Since 2016, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been supporting Senegal to implement a national early reading program using three national languages Wolof, Seereer and Pulaar. The reading program Lecture Pour Tous trains Grades 1, 2 and 3 teachers in effective reading instruction.

The teachers receive ongoing support from program-trained coaches to improve their teaching. Families and communities are engaged in supporting their children’s literacy. Children who learn to read in a language they understand can transfer some of the skills into reading French, the official language.

By 2021, the program aims to help at least 60% of grade 2 students read and understand grade-level text.

Video Transcript 
REGION DE KAOLACK, SENEGAL LECTURE POUR TOUS HAS SUPPORTED SENEGAL’S MINISTRY OF EDUCATION TO HELP CHILDREN LEARN TO READ SINCE 2016. MORE THAN 340,000 STUDENTS IN OVER 3,500 PUBLIC PRIMARY SCHOOLS ACROSS 6 REGIONS HAVE BENEFITTED. Sokhna [student]: My name is Sokhna. I am 9 years old. I am in Grade 2 at El Hadj Amadou Cissé Elementary School [in the Kaolack region]. 7,500 TEACHERS HAVE BEEN TRAINED IN EFFECTIVE READING INSTRUCTION. THEY ALSO RECEIVE ON-GOING SUPPORT FROM COACHES TO IMPROVE THEIR TEACHING. THE PROGRAM HAS ALSO STRENGTHENED SENEGAL’S BASIC EDUCATION SYSTEM AND ENGAGED FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES IN SUPPORTING CHILDREN’S LITERACY. THESE EFFORTS HAVE GREATLY IMPROVED STUDENTS’ READING PERFORMANCE. Fanta [teacher]: My name is Fanta Cissoko. [I teach at] Sam 2 El Hadj Amadou Cissé Elementary School. I have been teaching with the Lecture Pour Tous program for 3 years. AN EVIDENCE-BASED TEACHING APPROACH, TEACHER LESSON PLANS, AND BOOKS HELP CHILDREN LEARN TO READ IN NATIONAL LANGUAGES. THEY LEARN TO SOUND OUT SYLLABLES AND WORDS. AND, EVENTUALLY, THEY LEARN TO READ AND UNDERSTAND SENTENCES AND STORIES. Fanta [teacher]: When I write something on the board, before I read it, my students will read it to me. This is all thanks to Lecture Pour Tous. I started Lecture Pour Tous with a Grade 1 class. Watching them progress in Grade 2, I’ve seen the students can really read. Lecture Pour Tous has made a big difference. When I started teaching years ago, my students weren’t able to read much, but since they introduced Lecture Pour Tous into our school the students are now reading well [in national languages], even in French. I’m surprised to see the children reading so well with Lecture Pour Tous. This program is really effective for teaching. STUDENTS ARE TAUGHT TO READ IN ONE OF THREE NATIONAL LANGUAGES—PULAAR, SEEREER AND WOLOF—BECAUSE IT IS EASIER FOR CHILDREN TO LEARN TO READ IN A LANGUAGE THEY UNDERSTAND. Fanta [teacher]: When I teach Lecture Pour Tous reading lessons, they help my students read really well. The program makes my job easier and even helps the children read in French. Sokhna [student]: Especially when you are learning with [Lecture Pour Tous], it helps you understand the French you’re learning. BEFORE, STUDENTS WERE ONLY TAUGHT IN FRENCH, SENEGAL’S OFFICIAL LANGUAGE. HOWEVER, IT IS NOT WIDELY SPOKEN AT HOME WHICH MADE IT DIFFICULT FOR CHILDREN TO LEARN TO READ IN SCHOOL. STUDENTS ARE NOW LEARNING TO READ MORE QUICKLY AND CAN TRANSFER THESE SKILLS TO LEARNING TO READ IN FRENCH. Sokhna [student]: [When I grow up, I want to] work in a company, just like my dad. Fanta [teacher]: When I was their age, reading lessons were conducted in French and I had a lot of trouble reading in Grade 1. In comparison, my students are reading much better because of the Lecture Pour Tous program. [The program] is helping them read fluently. Before, I used to have difficulty teaching my students, but now I’m committed to the Lecture Pour Tous approach because it is helping my students read. THE PROGRAM’S 2017 BASELINE STUDY SHOWED THAT NEARLY ALL GRADE 2 STUDENTS WERE UNABLE TO READ AND UNDERSTAND GRADE-LEVEL TEXT. BUT AFTER ONLY TWO YEARS, NEARLY 30% CAN DO SO. BY 2021, THE PROGRAM AIMS TO HELP AT LEAST 60% OF GRADE 2 STUDENTS READ AND UNDERSTAND GRADE-LEVEL TEXT.

Last updated: February 26, 2021

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