A Wits Honours Graduate who specialised in Early Literacy, Reuphus Leso, says the background of the children in terms of language plays a huge role in children not being able to read with comprehension.

This comes after the International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) reported in December that almost 80% of grade 4 learners in South Africa are unable to read with comprehension.

For the past 5 years Leso has been practising as a foundation phase teacher and recently started his own reading classes, reading to young children to cultivate the culture and love of reading in them, which also helps increase their vocabulary.

“In most cases those background languages exclude English and we use English as a language of instruction and that creates a gap.”

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