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A Landscape Review of Language and Literacy Research in African Contexts

This report addresses key issues based on recent research on language and literacy in the African context, including teacher education, and outlines key findings and recommendations for research and practice based on the review of the literature. The dramatic increase in enrollment of students in the last few decades has led to greater demand for teachers and attention to quality of education, as expressed in the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000 and later in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs, number 4) in 2015. Quality education is also a priority in the Global Affairs Canada’s new policy on international assistance. Twenty-first-century skills, such as active learning, problem-solving, critical thinking, independent thinking, and information and communication technology (ICT) skills, are key to quality education. Although these skills are often mentioned in the policy documents, there is need for more research on how these can be implemented in practice.

The report is divided into Part I and Part II. Part I reviews focal areas of research and is based on academic articles and reports. Part II presents case studies of policies and teacher education, with a focus on 21st century skills, from six countries associated with CODE’s work in Africa: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania. These case studies provide insight into the key issues discussed in Part I of the report.