You begin with the A,B,C

28 Mar

Have you ever wondered how many things can you do with your phone? In my case I can be in touch with all my family and friends in Chile using text, buy groceries, set my appointments and reminders, take pictures, view videos, hear music, read the newspaper, play games and I think that for the least that I use it, is for talking. Maybe you can think I am a mdependent, and in a certain way, you are right.

And have you imagine what happened with all these if you do not know how to read or write? If you use it just for talking you are missing a lot.

For me the biggest problem that mwave face is, what happened with the illiterate people?

That is why my interest starts at a very basic level, mliteracy. Yes! That exists and also it has been very successful in Africa as a way to teach how to write and write to women in isolated communities. So now it is not all about talking, it is also texting and learning in a m way.

A good example is the Jokko Initiative that took place in Senegal. This program was part of the Tostan organization which, in partnership with UNICEF, developed this project. Jokko means communication or dialogue in Wolof (one of Senegal languages). This program was done in 25 villages and between 800 peoples. The idea was first to teach people how to use their cell phone, and then they use the MSM text message form to improve their literacy knowledge and develop community empowerment.
“While more research needs to be done to identify how best to harness cell phones in promoting literacy–the results from the pilot study are promising as they show that teaching people how to read and write messages on a cell phone can be a positive addition to a successful literacy program,” says Theresa Beltramo, Economist and Evaluation Coordinator for Center of Evaluation for Global Action (CEGA) at the University of California, Berkeley.

2 Responses to “You begin with the A,B,C”

  1. Amy Newell March 28, 2012 at 11:32 PM #

    I would love to hear more about how the mobile phone is used to teach language? Are the people in the picture in a language class? How is the instructor incorporating the use of mobile phones into the class? What languages are taught primarily? Are they Wolof and Mandinka, or languages such as English and French?

    • graciabulnes March 30, 2012 at 1:41 PM #

      Hi Amy, the main idea of the project is to teach them to send/receive text message in Wolof. It is a basic literacy tool so people can communicate within their community. It is also a way saving on mobile phone plan and practice their writing/reading skills.
      Thank you for your interest!

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