Literacy and Educational Materials
Primer Design Software
Developing instructional materials in ethnic languages is a complex task requiring linguistic, cultural and pedagogical considerations. Primer design and literacy materials development are no exception.
However, those who develop primers can take advantage of certain steps in the design process for basic instructional materials that are common for any language. This is especially true when there is a cluster of related languages which have many similar features. In those cases, materials developed for one language may serve as a model or template to facilitate the creation of materials in other related languages.
Bantu Literacy Tool (BLT)
The Bantu languages of Africa offer an example of a cluster of languages that can benefit from using this model for the creation of materials. A computerized program developed by SIL simplifies primer design for Bantu languages by helping developers with a number of tasks, such as:
- determine a teaching order for consonants,
- find words that use only consonants already taught, and
- check stories for untaught words.
- Bantu Orthography Manual. Schroeder, Leila. 2008. SIL e-Books 9.
- Factors in designing effective orthographies for unwritten languages. Michael Cahill and Elke Karan. SIL Electronic Working Papers 2008-001
- List of resources for primer design available in the Lingualinks software
- A workshop guide for primer construction. Barnwell, Katharine, compiler. 1979.
- FieldWorks Language Explorer 1.0. Moe, Ronald. 2008. SIL Forum for Language Fieldwork 2008-011. Collection, management and publication of linguistic and anthropological data with Fieldworks software.
- Literacy Program and Materials Training for Africans: SIL Intermediate Course for African leaders in Literacy and Education