International Handbook of Reading Education

International Handbook of Reading Education

International Handbook of Reading Education

International Handbook of Reading Education


This work represents the first attempt to study how the process of learning to read is being handled in a broad cross-section of First, Second, and Third World countries. Each of the 26 chapters focuses on a specific country, and was written by an international scholar indigenous to that land. All follow the same basic pattern, and examine such issues as language, reading policy, illiteracy, the rate and diagnosis of reading disabilities, reading readiness programs, teacher qualification procedures, sources and availability of materials, the financing of reading education, and research thrusts.


John Ryan

Reading, until quite recently a subject of interest mainly to teachers and specialists, is now a nationwide and, indeed, a worldwide concern. in 1990, proclaimed International Literacy Year (ILY) by the United Nations, special programs and campaigns to promote literacy and education were conducted in more than one hundred countries. International Literacy Year had one simple but vital message: education matters. Nothing is more essential to our progress, as individuals and societies, than the development of human competence and potential through education and training. and literacy, the ability to read and write, is the vehicle of education, the means through which ideas, information, knowledge and wisdom are expressed and exchanged. Education is the door to the future and literacy is the key.

The challenge of creating a literate world is enormous. Nearly a billion adults, more than one in four, are illiterate and over 100 million children between the ages of six and eleven years are without schools to attend. Yet, the task is essential. Hopes for a more just, productive and peaceful world depend upon economic, social and cultural transformations that are impossible without widespread education. Education is a part--often a large part--of the solution to nearly all the major problems confronting humanity: peace, population growth, preservation of the environment and all other undertakings that call for collective reflection and action. Thus, the growing interest in education and, more particularly, in the most basic of educational skills, reading, is neither surprising nor misplaced. Reading is our common concern and collective responsibility.

This volume, containing twenty-six case studies on countries in all parts of the world and at all stages of development, makes a rich and timely contribution to the discussion of reading goals, policies, practice, research and results. Inevitably, these studies differ considerably in length, scope and style as well as in . . .

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