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Literacy in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts: Effective Approaches to Adult Learning and Education

  • August 2016

The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) has launched a new publication on successful youth and adult literacy programmes entitled Literacy in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts: Effective Approaches to Adult Learning and Education (PDF 4,8 MB). This compilation of case studies will be shared with literacy stakeholders on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of International Literacy Day on 8 September 2016.

The publication showcases examples of effective and promising educational programmes which offer literacy opportunities by providing instruction in mother-tongue as well as in minority-languages.

Importance of multilingual and multicultural approaches to literacy

The programmes included in this compilation indicate that bilingual or multilingual approaches to teaching and learning function as crucial elements for the acquisition of literacy and numeracy skills among youth and adults. These approaches also strengthen cultural identity and support the empowerment of local communities in linguistically and culturally diverse societies.

All the 21 programmes presented in the compilation draw on the experiences of groups of people, including indigenous groups, minorities, migrants and refugees, with the aim of reaching lifelong learners with literacy, numeracy and basic skill initiatives which support their personal development and that of their communities.

The publication also calls for the provision of contextualised bilingual or multilingual literacy programmes in order to effectively support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in different regions of the world.

The case studies featured in this publication can also be found in the UNESCO Effective Literacy and Numeracy Practices Database (LitBase).

  • Author/Editor: Ulrike Hanemann; Cassandra Scarpino
  • Literacy in multilingual and multicultural contexts: Effective Approaches to Adult Learning and Education
  • UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, 2016
  • ISBN
  • Available in: English, French