Beyond Early Grade Reading: Sustaining Learning Gains in Upper Primary

April 2, 2019 - 8:30am to 12:00pm

View the recording of the event here

For the past 20 years, stakeholders in international education have focused on teaching and learning in early grades, with an emphasis on early grade reading. Consequently, there is a plethora of research on successful instructional practices in the early grades. However, there is little existing research on strategies for teaching and learning in the upper primary grades, particularly in low- and middle- income countries. Donors have noted the need for further collaboration with education practitioners and researchers to ensure learners achieve grade-level proficiency in literacy and numeracy by the end of upper primary.

Join us for a presentation and discussion of promising practices in teaching and learning in the upper primary grades. Panelists will present teaching and learning practices in literacy, biliteracy, mathematics and science in the upper primary grades. Following the presentations, a moderated discussion will focus on questions such as:

  • How do we support learner literacy and language learning as students transition into lessons in international and/or official languages in primary 4?
  • What kinds of bilingual approaches can teachers use?
  • How do we support both literacy and language learning in content area subjects?

The event will feature diverse perspectives from international education researchers on teaching and learning practices in the upper grades and will include an opportunity for questions and discussion with the presenters. Breakfast will be served.


Lori Assaf, PhD
Professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Honorary Professor of International Studies and Program Coordinator for Undergraduate Elementary Education, Texas State University

Lydiah Kiramba, PhD
Assistant Professor, Educational Linguistics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Bonny Norton, PhD, FRSC
Professor & Distinguished University Scholar, Department of Language & Literacy Education, University of British Columbia

Alisa Phillips
Senior Education Advisor, World Vision U.S.

Kristy Smith
Education Technical Advisor, World Vision International 

Patience Sowa, PhD
Senior Research Education Specialist, RTI International


Rebecca Rhodes
Education Officer, Team Lead, Reading and Literacy Team, USAID