African Storybook Promotes Literacy in the Tiv Language in Nigeria

Terkule Aorabee (Saide ASb Champion Nigeria)

Dr Joyce Dankaro, Head of Department Tiv Language Studies at the College of Education Katsina Ala, Benue State Nigeria, has used the African Storybook platform in creative ways to promote the implementation of Tiv Language Curriculum in the North Central State of the country. Of the three languages spoken in the North Central state of Nigeria, Tiv is the most predominant with about 15 million people speaking it. This translates to approximately five percent of the entire population of this huge African country.

Despite Tiv being the predominant language and the fact that Tiv Language studies are compulsory in Benue State Primary schools for Grades 1-6, the scarcity of suitable material for reading, comprehension and Tiv grammar remain a huge challenge. To address the shortage of appropriate texts and materials for Tiv language studies, Dr Dankaro has facilitated two important initiatives. First, she introduced the Tiv Language students at the College of Education Katsina Ala to the ASb platform. As part of a translation skills project, she got the students to download selected, ASb approved storybooks and to translate those written in Tiv into English, as well as getting them to translate English books into Tiv. This project has ensured that there now is a significant collection of children’s storybooks available in Tiv.

Next Dr Dankaro set about compiling Tiv language anthologies of selected ASb storybooks, one for each of the following grades, 2, 3, 4 and 5 with each anthology comprising approximately 60 pages and colourfully illustrated with the original ASb illustrations. The anthologies have been further enriched with the addition of spellings exercises and comprehension questions, thus enhancing their usefulness in Tiv language studies classrooms in the selected grades.

  

These two initiatives have contributed greatly, not only to popularising the use of storybooks and the tools on the ASb platform, but to promoting literacy in the Tiv language in a unique way. It is hoped that with these wonderful collections of African Storybooks supporting teaching and learning in the Tiv language in every primary school in Benue State, that lots of children will be stimulated to read more in Tiv and even to create and publish their own stories on the ASb platform.