The effects of language preference and home resources on foundational literacy retention during school holiday closures in Ghana
Lessons from the Complementary Basic Education Programme
Akyeampong, K., Carter, E., Rose, P., Ryan, J., Sabates, R., & Stern, J. M. B. (2022). The effects of language preference and home resources on foundational literacy retention during school holiday closures in Ghana: Lessons from the Complementary Basic Education Programme. Prospects, 52(1-2), 115-136. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11125-021-09590-6
This article assesses the extent to which children's language preference and their home environment matter for literacy retention. Using data from the Complementary Basic Education (CBE) program in Ghana, the authors found that large numbers of disadvantaged students reverted to not even being able to read a single word following school closures over a four-month holiday period. Widening literacy gaps were found for girls who reported they did not receive instruction in a language that they understood or did not have the resources, support, or activities at home to enable them to continue to learn while schools were closed. For boys, widening literacy gaps were only influenced by resources, support, or activities at home, but not by language preferences. The article findings suggest that schools and teachers must pay closer attention to language preference, particularly for girls, in order to ensure that language of instruction is not a barrier to literacy retention. The article also provides further evidence to support the growing claims that home supports are essential for reducing inequities in learning outcomes during school closures.