Local Literacies: Theory and Practice

Waters, Glenys

While many books have been written about basic literacy, few offer detailed information on how to plan and carry out a community literacy project. Fewer still give guidance in tackling the additional barriers of language, culture, and logistics in developing countries and in treating the local community as an active partner rather than a passive recipient in the literacy process. In Local Literacies: Theory and Practice, Glenys Waters includes these elements and presents a practical guide for developing a literacy program.

Beginning with a discussion of the theories of learning and reading, the author provides a detailed description of how to plan and organize a literacy program when the practitioner has little to go on but wit, knowledge, and determination. With approximately one half of the book given to the development of instructional methods and materials in reading, writing, and basic math, Local Literacies will be especially helpul to those doing literacy work in linguistically diverse settings in much of the developing world.

The reader will quickly discover that this is a book written by a person who has “been there and done that.” Waters has spent more than twenty years in Australia and Papua New Guinea, both as a practitioner and a consultant in programs of literacy for adults and children. This personal experience, plus a thorough knowledge of the professional literature, makes Local Literacies a “must” for the pioneering literacy worker.

This book is also available in the LinguaLinks Library 5.0 software along with other Literacy resources.

Table of Contents:


  1. How Learning Takes Place
  2. 1.1 How children learn
    1.2 Informal learning styles
    1.3 Formal learning styles
    1.4 Encouraging purposeful learning
    1.5 Helping students construct meanings effectively
    1.6 Two case studies on learning
    1.7 Strategies for building a good learning environment

  3. The Learning Context
  4. 2.1 The learner
    2.2 The facilitator or teacher
    2.3 The context
    2.4 The learning task

  5. Planning a Literacy Programme
  6. 3.1 Determining the needs
    3.2 Designing a literacy programme: Some factors to consider
    3.3 A typical programme
    3.4 Literacy for adults
    3.5 Literacy for children
    3.6 Literacy for youth
    3.7 Transfer materials

  7. Reading
  8. 4.1 The reading debate
    4.2 Ways of teaching reading
    4.3 What is reading?
    4.4 How do people learn to read?

  9. Reading Readiness
  10. 5.1 Reading readiness activities
    5.2 A skills-based approach to reading readiness

  11. Principles of Primer Construction
  12. 6.1 Look at the sound system of the target language
    6.2 Consider principles from reading research and experience
    6.3 Choose a method and design a layout
    6.4 The primer as part of the reading lesson
    6.5 The primer as part of the literacy programme

  13. Phonics, Syllable, Word, and Sentence Approaches
  14. 7.1 Phonics approach
    7.2 Syllable approach
    7.3 Word and sentence approaches

  15. Whole Language Approaches
  16. 8.1 What is the whole language approach?
    8.2 Shared reading
    8.3 Literature-based reading programmes for Papua New Guinea
    8.4 Big Books for sharing enjoyable reading experiences
    8.5 Whole language approach case studies
    8.6 Language experience approach
    8.7 Implementing a whole language programme

  17. Integrated Approaches
  18. 9.1 Eclectic methods
    9.2 Interactive whole language
    9.3 Teaching language development using themes
    9.4 Samples of activities for primer lessons

  19. Assessment of a Literacy Programme
  20. 10.1 Assessment of programmes
    10.2 Assessment of materials
    10.3 Assessment of students’ reading
    10.4 How to do case studies
    10.5 Involving students in assessment

  21. Materials Production
  22. 11.1 Writers’ workshops
    11.2 Writing good stories
    11.3 Materials production workshops
    11.4 Puffing books together

  23. Teaching Writing
  24. 12.1 Formation of letters
    12.2 The process of writing
    12.3 The reading-writing connection

  25. Mathematics

    13.1 School mathematics versus “real” mathematics
    13.2 Working with numbers
    13.3 Telling the time
    13.4 Practice problems using money

  26. What Is Literacy?
  27. 14.1 The many definitions of literacy
    14.2 Literacy within the culture
    14.3 The literacy system


Retail Price:
xii, 425 pages
Literacy methods
Field manuals
ISBN 13:
ISBN 10:
7.5 × 9.25 × 0.88 in
2 lb
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