Project: Development of Bilingual Literacy in Minority Schools of Georgia
Date: 2012-2014
Status: Completed


“Development of Bilingual Literacy in Minority Schools of Georgia” is being implemented with the financial support of USAID under the program – “All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development”.
Minority language is the language of instruction in minority schools of Georgia. Minority schools have been implementing the bilingual programs since 2010. The most subject are taught in native language of ethnic minorities in bilingual programs as well. Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia adopted bilingual education strategy and action plan 2009- 2014 in 2009 and Decree on Regulations of Bilingual Educational Programs in August 2010. The term “multilingual education” was officially written in the article two of the law. Literacy in native language as well as biliteracy became a crucial issue for minority schools.
CCIIR Project supports Bilingual Education Reform implemented by Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia.
Target groups:
• 216 minority schools in Georgia
• 432 minority teachers of primary school
• 30 000 pupils of primary school and their parents.
The idea of the project is to improve reading literacy in native language of ethnic minority students of Georgia as well as enhance state language command.
The project will have 3 components. The following activities will be implemented in the framework of the project:
Component 1. Development of Bilingual Leveled Reading Texts
Centre for Civil Integration and Inter-Ethnic Relations (CCIIR) developed and piloted leveled reading texts “Reading Ladder” in Georgian language in the framework of the project “Supporting Multilingual Educational Reform in Georgia” in 2011-2012 funded by OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities. The “Reading Ladder” consists of 20 consistent stages. Totally 416 texts were developed and conditionally allocated to 20 stages. The “Reading Ladder” was developed through reading formula that is based on the best practices of book leveling (Pincell and Pountas, Scholastic, Rigby, Reading Recovery) and at the same time incorporates the elements that are specific for Georgian language. The developed textbooks are piloted in public schools of Georgia and the formula and textbook will be changed based on piloting results. The reading ladder consists of fictions, non-fictions as well as the texts to develop phonics. The texts are from various genres, such as myth, legends, fairy-tales and classic literature. The “reading leader” consists of serial stories as well. The serial texts is called “Stories of Tako, Toko and Pako” and consists of 216 stories. The most of the stories are value-based.
Component Outputs: Printed 580 copies (5 copies for each Armenian Minority School) Georgian -Armenian Versions of Reading Ladder (20 stages/ 416 textbooks); Printed 500 copies (5 copies for each Azerbaijanian Minority School) Georgian - Azerbaijanian Versions of Reading Ladder (20 stages/ 416 textbooks).
Component 2. 1. Development computer program for bilingual leveled reading texts
The developed “Reading Ladder” will be digitalized and computer program will be developed. The project envisages digitalizing 416 textbooks. The computer program will be based on reading teaching strategies. The digitalized texts will make reading materials more attractive for readers. The developed computer program will have two versions: (a) CD version; (b) Internet version (www.reading.ge). The computer program design will enable parents to be involved in learning process without knowledge of state language. The parents will be able to assist their kids in development reading skills in Georgian as well as in their native language.
Component 2. 2. Development of Multilingual Illustrative Dictionary integrated in computer program for bilingual leveled reading texts
The dictionary will be based on existing printed dictionaries and “Reading Ladder” texts. The program enables to find corresponding language unit in all three languages (Georgian, Armenian, Azerbaijanian). The program will be integrated in leveled textbook computer program and It can be used separately as well as directly during the reading process. The dictionary will consist all words used in leveled bilingual textbooks and will include frequency vocabulary for primary grades students. Each word will be accompanied with illustration (pictures, photos, cards, etc) and/or relevant semantics.
Component 3. Development of Teacher Training Module and Conducting Professional Development Programs for Teachers
While new materials are being developed, project management and expert team will identify the new skills required for reading skills development in Native language of minority students, biliteracy instruction and incorporation bilingual leveled texts in teaching/learning process. The teacher’s professional development program will consist of 45 contact hours. The training program will be implemented for 6 months. Totally, approximately 432 primary school teachers (Minority Language/Reading Teacher) will participate in the program. All Minority language/reading teachers of minority schools will have an opportunity for professional development. The professional development program will also include training in strategies to use technology in teaching process. The gender sensitive approach in the classroom will be included in the training programs and discussed during training sessions.