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Literacy in Kiswahili.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter


Publication date2005
Host publicationHandbook of Orthography and literacy
EditorsR. M. Joshi, P. G. Aaron
Place of PublicationMahwah, New Jersey
PublisherLawrence Earlbaum Associates
Number of pages16
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Kiswahili is a little-studied but widely spoken language with its origins in East Africa. This chapter introduces the topic of literacy in Kiswahili by summarising some information about the language and its history. Following this, work on the development of reading and spelling in Kiswahili is reviewed. Learning to read Kiswahili is generally a rapid, all-or-nothing process. However, spelling development is not so straightforward, even in this regularly spelled language, because a variety of factors other than the phoneme–grapheme relationship contribute to spelling. This chapter concludes with an illustration of how the study of this language can illuminate our knowledge of literacy development in languages other than English.