Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Publication Date



The purpose of this Master’s Capstone Project is to synthesize information and answer questions related to a mother tongue literacy program among Darfur refugees in eastern Chad.

As the literacy specialist providing technical assistance to this program, I have selected questions that, from my perspective, are relevant to the program at this particular point in time. Some, like “Can children learn to read in two scripts at the same time?” or “How can we assess literacy development in a feasible way?” are questions that I wanted to revisit. Others, like “How can we create a literate environment at school, at home, and in the community?” are potential priorities for the program going forward.

While looking for research related to my program, I found very little literature that addresses all the aspects of our context—a mother tongue literacy program in a non-dominant language, encompassing both adult and children’s literacy in a refugee camp environment.

There is a growing body of literature on refugee education and education in crisis and conflict settings. There are longitudinal studies of mother tongue-based multilingual education efforts. There are guides to community-based mother tongue literacy programs. And there are reports of adult literacy programs and early grade reading interventions in developing countries. However, whether in peer-reviewed journals or in the grey literature, articles are usually relevant to one or two of the aspects above, not all of them.