British Journal of English Linguistics (BJEL)

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The Contribution of ‘Room to Read’ Libraries and Reading Materials to Literacy Development in Selected Primary Schools of Zambia


This study sought to explore the contribution of Room To Read (RTR) libraries and reading materials to literacy development in selected primary schools of Zambia from the Lense of respondents. The study employed a descriptive research design which guided the researchers to unfold an in-depth description and understanding of the contributions that Room to Read Libraries made to literacy development and instruction. The study used simple random and typical case purposive sampling to select participants and institutions. The sample size of the study was 50 respondents drawn from two (02) Debs Personnel, one (1) from each district, ten (10) librarians, one (1) from each school, ten (10) Head teachers, one (1) from each school, eight (08) Primary School teachers and Twenty (20) primary school learners, from the selected Primary Schools in Chilanga and Kafue Districts of Zambia. Data was collected through direct observation, interviews, and focus group discussions. The data collected was subjected to content analysis where themes and emerging trends were extracted in readiness for presentation. The findings of the study revealed that most of the respondents alleged that the reading materials were supporting the new policy of using a zonal language to teach initial literacy, while a few of the respondents were not in agreement but said that the reading materials do not support the new policy of using a familiar language to teach initial literacy. Reason being that most of these reading materials were kept in locked storerooms and libraries. Most teachers stated that Room to Read reading materials were useful towards literacy instruction in primary schools as it helped improve learners’ skills in reading and writing, as well as enhanced learners’ motivation to learn, and improved learners’ vocabulary. The study recommended that Ministry of Education should undertake the initiative of building more school libraries and putting library study hours on the timetable in all the primary schools to intensify the reading culture and reading materials to improve literacy levels among learners in Zambia.


Keywords: Library, Literacy, Reading, reading culture, reading materials. room to read

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