OLAC Record

Title:Reading skills in an African language: processing Bari orthography

This research focuses on the orthography of the Bari language of southern Sudan and the way that the orthography is read. The context for the research is a literacy project jointly run by the Regional Ministry of Education, Southern Sudan and the Summer Institute of Linguistics.

External evaluators of the project have suggested that morphophonemic spelling rather than the strictly phonemic spelling currently employed would facilitate the reading of Bari. They also suggested that the instructional strategies promoted by the project do not encourage the development of the Top-Down reading skills that many reading theorists currently consider to be essential to skilled reading.

The research took the form of an experiment designed to explore the reading skills employed by school children who had learned to read with material produced by the project and by teachers trained by the project. The experiment centred around a set of texts which the subjects read aloud. These texts were modified in various ways including morphophonemic spellings and increased underdifferentiation of the phonemes.

A classification of target deviations was developed and a measure of relative difficulty of the text modifications constructed. Insights were also sought from a study of individual responses to the words modified in the texts.

The study concludes that a morphophonemic orthography would have been readable and acceptable to the Bari community if introduced at an early stage, but that the possibility of change at the present time is remote. The study finds no evidence that the current level of underdifferentiation of the vowel phonemes presents a particular difficulty for Bari readers, but rather that a greater degree of underdifferentiation could be tolerated. The study finds no evidence that the Gudschinsky methodology inhibited the development of Top-Down skills.

Contributor (author):Hollman, John W.
Date (W3CDTF):1992
Description (URI):http://www.sil.org/resources/archives/61814
Extent:xviii, 234 pages
Language (ISO639):eng
Subject:Bari language
Subject (ISO639):bfa
Type (DCMI):Text
Type (OLAC):language_description


Archive:  SIL Language and Culture Archives
Description:  http://www.language-archives.org/archive/sil.org
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OaiIdentifier:  oai:sil.org:61814
DateStamp:  2013-04-27
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Search Info

Citation: Hollman, John W. 1992. SIL Language and Culture Archives.
Terms: area_Africa area_Europe country_GB country_SS dcmi_Text iso639_bfa iso639_eng olac_language_description

Inferred Metadata

Country: South Sudan
Area: Africa

Up-to-date as of: Mon Jun 15 4:56:21 EDT 2015