Literacy Policy and Practice in Ethiopia: Building on the TELL Program and EGRA Results

Cristine Smith, Rebecca Stone, and John Comings, Center for International Education, University of Massachusetts

The purpose of this study on early grade reading and English language learning in primary education in Ethiopia was to explore current policies and practice and make evidence-based recommendations for short-, medium-, and long-term steps that can be taken by the Ministry of Education to improve early grade reading and English language learning in Ethiopia.

AIR contracted three international researchers (the authors of this report) with professional experience in literacy and language education to conduct this investigation of policies, practices, attitudes, and beliefs about reading and English language instruction. One national researcher, Almaz Debru, an English instructor at the Kotebe College of Education, was also contracted to support the efforts of one of these international researchers during her three-week field visit.

Findings from this study indicate that children are not learning to read well before completing primary school. The authors recommend actions that can be taken within the next two years to immediately improve reading instruction and that can probably be implemented with existing resources.