The Community Library Project is dedicated to the idea that all people should have access to libraries and books. Observations and reading fluency assessment data collected over the past two years indicates that although most of our younger members can read, few can read very well, even in their native language, Hindi.
(The following paragraphs are just a gist of the programme we conducted through the month of June, 2017. Please click here in order to read the detailed report.)
For the past two summers we have run intensive Hindi reading fluency programs which have employed reading interventions shown to improve reading skills among readers of English and other languages. In our 2016 program, we saw significant growth in reading rate and accuracy among Hindi readers. This report looks at our 2017 summer reading program, which we ran in collaboration with the NGO Swechha. For the majority of participants in the program, the three week intervention included partner reading, independent reading, repeated reading drills and ‘homework’ reading. Participant growth was measured with pre and post assessments of reading rate and accuracy. Participants who could not effectively read connected text received intensive instruction in phonemic awareness, letter identification and basic reading. For this group, progress was measured by a Hindi phonics inventory, which included assessments of of letter identification and word reading.
Of the 26 participants for whom we obtained pre- and post-test fluency data, growth in reading rate was significant and widespread. Overall, the mean reading rate increased by 15 correct words per minute, from 65 correct words per minute to 80 correct words per minute. More than 80 percent of participants made gains of five or more correct words per minute; more than 60 percent of participants made gains of at least 10 correct words per minute; and 35 percent of participants made gains of 20 or more correct words per minute. Gains were noted in all subgroups examined. There was small, but not insignificant, growth in average reading accuracy. Marked growth was noted among the four participants in our intensive phonics program, both in letter identification and word reading. Results support the idea that interventions developed for readers of English and other languages will also be effective in increasing achievement among readers of Hindi and other Indian languages.