Considerations for Design and Production of Digital Books for Early Literacy in Ethiopia
This paper considers the implications of digital text production models for the development of reading materials for emergent and early readers in the Ethiopian context. We draw from several theoretical frameworks and also from comments of Ethiopian academics, writers, and publishers to ground descriptions of Ethiopian contexts of language and literacy. We then present three different models for the production and curation of digital stories for children and contemplate how these models align with existing literacy traditions and practices. We also raise questions about the potential effects on the development of literary culture and children’s literature in Ethiopia of projects aimed at rapidly producing large corpora of literature for children. Ultimately, we pose complicated cultural and linguistic questions that need to be taken into consideration to provide appropriate and original early literacy materials in Ethiopia.
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