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Wordless books launched in Tonga as part of PLSLP programme

Textless picture books or “wordless” books that depend on the pictures to tell a story have been launched in Tonga as part of PLSLP programme.

The Pacific Literacy and School Leadership Programme (PLSLP), is a 3-year, $6million, multi-country initiative aimed at improving literacy achievement in the early years and building capability within schools and Ministries of Educational to sustain continuous improvement in learning outcomes over the longer term.

Funded by New Zealand Aid Programme, PLSLP is managed by a consortium of the University of Auckland (UoA) and the Institute of Education of the University of the South Pacific (USP), working in partnership with the Ministries of Education in Cook Islands, Solomon Islands and Tonga.

PLSLP is working with over 6,000 students; 200 teachers and school leaders, across 42 schools on 10 different islands within the three countries.

Project manager for PLSLP, Rebecca Spratt says in addition to the wordless texts, PLSLP has developed some other books in each country.

“We have developed some more books in other countries and currently in Cook Islands we are developing three non-fiction books for years 1-3 published in 6 different dialects of Cook Islands Maori and in Solomon Islands we are developing 6 non-fiction titles for years 1-3 in big book and student book size,” she said.

“In Tonga we are developing 6 fiction readers for years 1-3 in big book size, and 6 dual-language readers (Tongan and English) which will be the first dual-language readers published for Tonga,” she added.

Spratt also says that a final core component of PLSLP has been to support collaboration within and between schools, recognising that teachers and leaders are often professionally isolated and benefit from peer-to-peer learning and collective problem-solving.

The textless picture books will be introduced through training workshops to teachers at PLSLP schools in Tongatapu, Vavaʻu and ‘Eua. LoopTonga
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