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Expanding educational opportunities in Ghana: bilingualism and biliteracy for young learners

Project Overview

Drawing of teacher talking to studentsCAL partnered with the Education Development Center (EDC) on a USAID-funded project to improve access to primary education, especially literacy learning, for children in Ghana. The project, Education Quality for All (EQUALL), operated in 20 districts. Working with the Ghana Education Service, CAL assisted in developing Literacy Standards and Milestones and Standards and Milestones for Listening and Speaking. CAL also led an effort to strengthen the primary schools’ culture of reading in one district. Gradually other districts adopted the Culture of Reading strategies. To assess the reading skills that pupils had developed as a result of EQUALL’s bilingual reading program, a CAL staff member worked with Ghanaian linguists to develop a test of reading in thirteen Ghanaian languages and English.

Drawing of students talkingWith funding from USAID, the Ghana Education Service built on this work to develop a bilingual/biliteracy program for all of Ghana’s early primary schools with technical support from EQUALL. As a result of this project, the National Literacy Acceleration Program (NALAP), children are learning to read in one of the eleven Ghanaian languages approved for schools. Beginning in Kindergarten 1, they begin to learn oral English so that by Grade 2, when they are able to read in a Ghanaian language, they can begin to read English. CAL’s role in NALAP was to lead development of the English as a second language (ESL) lessons for the first five grades, experimental ESL books for Primary 1 through Primary 3, and training for a National Resource Team of NALAP trainers and for a team of College of Education instructors.

View information on Ghana’s sociolinguistic landscape.

Illustrations on this site appear in the NALAP Pupil Books. The artist is Nanahene.