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GraphoLearn Diploma training programme


Niilo Mäki Institute started a literacy training program in 2012 for selected teacher educators (23) in Zambia, Namibia, Kenya and Tanzania. Enhancing the opportunities for African children with dyslexia to learn to read (2012-2014) project was supported by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland non-governmental organization development cooperation grant. The project was commonly known as GraphoLearn Diploma Training Programme. The aim of this programme was to equip teacher educators with the latest evidence based knowledge of learning to read and reading difficulties which they can apply in their teachings. Each country team was led by a selected local literacy expert.

The project was structured in a way that all project participants met up twice a year in joint training seminars. In the training seminars different aspects of emergent literacy were addressed:  grapheme-phoneme correspondences in transparent languages, phonological awareness, decoding skills, reading fluency and reading comprehension. GraphoGame learning environment was used in practical intervention case studies and data collection. The intervention case studies and local seminars were conducted under the guidance and supervision of more experienced African literacy experts. The findings were then later shared and discussed in the joint training seminars. The personnel from Niilo Mäki Institute provided expert consultations.

GL group

GL group in Lusaka, Zambia 2012.

The first expert meeting was held in Lusaka, Zambia in May 20012 and the joint training seminar in September 2012 also in Lusaka. In 2013 the joint training seminars were organized in Namibia and Tanzania, and in 2014 again in Zambia (due to incidences in Kenya) and Finland. In conjunction with the project deliberations in Finland, the project teams also had an opportunity to attend European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI) Sig5 (Challenges for the Future in Early Childhood Education) conference held in Jyväskylä in August 2014. Several African experts also presented their research papers at the conference.  

As a part of the training programme the teams developed basic assessment tools for emergent literacy which were collected in Literacy Assessment Tools booklets.