liu.seSearch for publications in DiVA
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Exploring home literacy practices among Rwandan families
Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education and Adult Learning. (NURLI-projektet)
2011 (English)In: International journal of research in education, ISSN 2227-166X (print), 2227-1732 (online), Vol. 3, no 1, 1-11 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

This study reports on home literacy practices of 24 Rwandan rural and urban families with children attending both nursery and primary schools. The poor home literacy environment prevailing in Rwandan families is reportedly said to obstruct early literacy and subsequent acquisition of a reading culture. Research provides evidence that a rich home literacy environment plays a vital role in nurturing early literacy skills and impacts later reading achievement and intellectual self-fulfilment of the children. The purpose of this study is to explore literacy activities that are taking place in Rwandan homes and to raise parents’ awareness with regard to conducive home literate behaviours to display. Voluntary families in selected areas were invited to respond to a questionnaire and participate in an interview about home literacy practices in their respective families. The data obtained indicate that generally home literacy practices are not abundant in most family settings. There are also low levels of parental engagement with home literacy activities with their children due to lack of information of its importance, and lack of knowledge, means, and time to set up a rich home literacy environment. However, all the participants were excited about learning more of home literacy practices and suggested that sensitizations on the best practices to augment and enrich home literacy settings be done among all Rwandan families.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Academic Research Society , 2011. Vol. 3, no 1, 1-11 p.
Keyword [en]
Home literacy practices, literacy environment, literacy skills, literate behaviour
National Category
Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-78149OAI: diva2:531509
Available from: 2012-06-07 Created: 2012-06-07 Last updated: 2016-04-29
In thesis
1. The Making of a Reading Society: Developing a Culture of Reading in Rwanda
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Making of a Reading Society: Developing a Culture of Reading in Rwanda
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Following a growing concern among education stakeholders about the lack of a reading culture and low literacy levels among Rwandans in general and university students in particular, the aim of this thesis is to increase the awareness of Rwandans about the development of a reading culture and early literacy. To achieve this aim, four studies with participants representing different experiences related to reading culture were performed. These qualitative studies draw on different perspectives on the development of a reading culture and emergent literacy by using open-ended questionnaires and interviews. The thesis takes sociocultural and emergent literacy theories as points of departure.

The first study investigates students’ reflections on their previous reading experiences, and discuss ways to develop literacy and a reading culture in Rwanda. The next one sheds light on parents’ involvement in literacy practices at home and the third study concerns what literacy knowledge teachers expect from their pupils when they start nursery and lower primary school. An example of a literacy event (storytelling) is given in the fourth study where children’s narratives of fairy tales are followed by their discussions on gender issues, which in turn can develop the children’s interest in reading. This can also help them relate texts to their life and teach them to think critically.

In sum, the studies show that there is a limited reading culture in Rwanda. That is attributed to the colonial and post-colonial education system, reliance on verbal communication, limited access to reading materials, and ultimately the low status of the mother tongue Kinyarwanda within the sociolinguistic configuration of Rwanda. Also, the participating students and teachers point out the necessity of involving parents more in the creation of an environment that nurtures children’s emergent literacy development so that it becomes a shared responsibility translated into a teacherparent partnership for children’s success at school. Hence, the findings inform the use of this thesis which is to promote literacy and a reading culture in Rwanda by engaging the whole nation in a national effort to build a sustainable culture of reading. To paraphrase the old African saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, I want to conclude by saying that it takes a nation to develop a culture of reading.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2012. 76 p.
Linköping Studies in Behavioural Science, ISSN 1654-2029 ; 165
Reading culture, oral tradition, emergent literacy, Rwanda, students’ literacy experiences, responsibility for early literacy, children’s literature
National Category
Social Sciences
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-81016 (URN)978-91-7519-840-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-09-28, I, 101 house I, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2012-09-05 Created: 2012-09-05 Last updated: 2013-05-06Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Ruterana, Pierre Canisius
By organisation
Faculty of Arts and SciencesEducation and Adult Learning
Educational Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 235 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link