N F Saliwa Publishing cc has developed a series for Foundation Phase in different African Languages that covers literacy, Numeracy (Maths) and Lifeskills. This series combines the new education system, and the old way of teaching African languages which results in excellent literacy.

The series is unique in that each book in the series develops a particular skills. It starts with basics such as learning to hold a pencil and drawing to writing and teaching African language learners using African games and concepts that learners are familiar with to help them understand and grab concepts easily.

The books have been written by first language trained teachers who know the socialisation of these children, who have academic training to develop the material and who have been in foundation classes and have personally interacted with foundation phase learners.

The artists or illustrators who drew the pictures were sourced from informal settlements of Cape Town, and we therefore discovered raw talent and afforded an opportunity to people whose talent may never otherwise have been discovered.


The Books have been developed by primary school teachers who are very well-versed with skills needed for Early Childhood Development. The series concentrates on the phonics system for Grades R-3. The series recognises that African languages have their own language system that is different from English and for learners to excel in reading, they have to be able to master the language system of these languages. The series also explores cultural games and activities that surround learners on a daily basis, thereby applying the language to their socialisation. In Grade R, we have a series that is available in all 9 African languages.

In this series, learners are introduced to a number of skills, to name but a few: a) left-right directionality as well as being taught all other basics of reading, namely eye-hand-co-ordination using a), b), c), d), e), f) their fingers on the letters, auditory discrimination as the teacher or parent will be reading out to them as well as visual discrimination. b) They are directed to hold a pencil, then introduced to phonics, vowels, single consonants. c) They are also introduced to the concept of being able to write their names. d) They are slowly introduced to language and culture.

e) The books instil pride in their culture and in their country and continent. f) Each book has a teacher's guide at the back. For now, Grades 1 to 3 are available only in isiXhosa because we are against the idea of adapting learnerís books from one language to another, especially from English into African languages because language systems are different. We therefore will develop each language according to the way it is supposed to be developed, written and taught. The isiXhosa Grade 1 readers introduce learners to Oononye, oonombini, oonontathu, oonone, oonontlanu and these are language units and phonics that are unique to isiXhosa whose teaching help the learners to be able to read fluently at the end of Grade 1. By the time they complete Grade 3, they can read isiXhosa fluently and can write it perfectly. We also have wonderful storybooks and posters that are available in all 9 African languages and an English series of South African Childrenís Stories.