Creating Decodable Readers in Haitian Creole (College of William and Mary)

Team Members: Sandra Edwards-Thro, Lydia Boike, Aidan Fielding, Zhane Richardson

School: College of William & Mary

This project employs local teachers to create and teach reading materials that integrate Haiti’s mother-tongue language and native culture. At its core, it is a software application that enables writers to create books for beginning readers using a systematic phonics approach. Based on customized wordlists for sequential texts that start with the most basic letter-sound patterns and build to more complex ones, the app recommends or discourages words based on the level of reader the teacher is writing for. The books will be stored digitally on a server that students access with laptops. The project has selected Lascahobas, Haiti as its pilot location because several elementary schools there have already received laptops that are going unused. Teachers at three schools will use the app to produce books for a reading intervention program that they will then conduct over the summer. The process of creating books for their own classroom based on sound literacy acquisition principles will make them more capable of using these principles in their own classroom.