“What’s Hot” Literacy Report from the International Literacy Association

Education SCAN with Label 26 OctoberThe 2018 International Literacy Association’s “What’s Hot in Literacy” report, compiled following a survey of literacy specialists across the globe, lists the following topics as extremely important (percentages of respondents agreeing therewith provided below):

Early Literacy – 87%

Equity in Literacy Education – 86%

Teacher Education – 85%

Strategies for Differentiating Instruction – 85%

Access to Books and Content – 82%


Yet, topics currently being discussed in literacy circles included:


Digital Literacy – 63%

Early Literacy – 57%

Summative  Assessment – 57%

Formative Assessment – 56%

Strategies for Differentiating Instruction – 55%

Clearly, inconsistencies exist between what should be at the forefront of literacy work and what is being interjected into cultural and professional streams of thought by reason of harsh and ill-informed political realities.  Instead of listening to such static, a deductive analysis reveals:

  • New teachers are entering classrooms without adequate skills;
  • Far more attention should be paid to equity in literacy education;
  • Access to books and content remains a necessary component of improved literacy rates;
  • Assessment is overused, while remaining under analyzed. Questions remain as to how and if assessment techniques in any way influence student learning and/or growth.

Instead of focusing on “hot” topics, therefore, the quantitative wisdom found in the respondents’ comments should be heeded by legislators, parents, those new to literacy professions, and education-focused administrators.  Several such gems of wisdom can be found in the ILA report, and are shared within this blog posting:

“Economic status, culture, geography (especially in rural areas), and disability all affect an individual’s access to literacy development.  There is not an equal playing field, and our governments do not provide supports necessary to overcome the disparities.”  Special Education Teacher, Canada

“Employing various strategies for differentiating instruction could be one very important way to solve the problem of illiteracy in my community.” – Researcher, Nigeria.”

“Digital literacy is being overemphasized…Modeling, moving from support to independence, and critical thinking are far more important than the mode of presentation. – Literacy Coordinator, Cameroon

“We need to get literacy back in the hands of those who are passionate about reading, not passionate about testing.” – Educator, United States

“Early literacy creates the foundation for learning in all subject areas.  Yet, curriculum demands reduce language arts/literacy time allotments drastically after primary grades.” – Classroom Teacher, United States

“I think it’s interesting how literacy trends come and go, but there are some basics, some essentials, that we can’t leave behind.  Kids need basic skills, and they need to learn to LOVE reading.  All the rest follows from that. If we develop wide readers, they have the tools they need to learn what they want.” – Professor, United States


Let us all become staunch literacy advocates who carry these pearls with us to libraries, classrooms, board rooms, and the halls of our nation’s governmental agencies and legislative bodies!

Learn more at:  http://www.LiteracyWorldwide.org/whats-hot-report