Learning to Read in Hausa and the Transition to English
Commencing in October 2015 with support from the USAID, the five-year Northern Education Initiative Plus project (the Initiative) is strengthening the ability of Bauchi and Sokoto states to provide greater access to basic education—especially for girls and out-of-school children—and to significantly improve reading outcomes for more than 2 million school-age children and youth. This policy brief focuses on language of instruction and provides recommendations accordingly.
- The Mu Karanta! Let's Read! program has been designed as a mother-tongue-based early reading program in primary grades 1-3 (Mu Karanta!) with a transition to English in primary 2-3 grades (Let's Read!).
- Apart from the Mu Karanta! materials and Hausa textbooks, very few pupils' books for the primary grades in Sokoto and Bauchi are written in Hausa. Pupils' books in the primary grades for social studies, science, and math, when they are available at schools, are written predominantly in English.
- Typically, teachers are not skilled in English or teaching the subjects, and pupils have little exposure to the English language.
- In both Sokoto and Bauchi, however, two or more English programs can be operating within the same school. For example, in one school in Bauchi pupils are learning English from four different books with four different approaches.