The family literacy practices of ten adult participants at the Tembaletu Adult Basic Education Centre in rural KwaZulu-Natal : a case study.
This study examined the family literacy practices of ten adult participants who attend the Tembaletu Adult Basic Education (ABE) Centre in rural KwaZulu- Natal. The aim was to explore the influence of the ABE programme on these practices? The concept of family literacy in this rural context was interrogated. This is a qualitative case study, and the data collection techniques included individual interview, focus group interviews, observation, and document analysis. Findings revealed that women engaged in varied literacy practices in their homes. Story telling was more common than reading to children. The participants in the study for the first time are able to engage with their children in school related literacy activities. The extent to which the participants and their children supported each other in their literacy development was dependent on the levels of literacy. The Adult Basic Education programme had a direct impact on the literacy practices in the families of the participants. The benefits reported by the participants included personal empowerment, enhanced self-image, and the acquisition of literacy life skills that are crucial to the health and well being of their families. The study highlights tensions between the content of adult programmes and family literacy practices valued by the participants. Other key issues that emerged in the study are: the link between family literacy and culture; gender and family literacy; family literacy in the context of HIV/Aids. The findings in this study valuable perspectives on emerging family literacy in a rural context - an area of study that is in its infancy in South Africa.