The Reading Association of South Africa (RASA) held its 11th annual conference at Claredon Primary School in Pietermaritzburg, Kwa-Zulu Natal from the 30th of September to the 2nd of October 2016. The theme of the conference was “Engage, connect, reflect, refresh”. Prof. Donald Bear of Iowa State University, United States, gave a keynote address entitled “Their way is your way: Developmental word study and reading instruction”.
Two staff members of the Centre for Evaluation and Assessment (CEA), Mrs Karen Roux, and Ms Nangamso Mtsatse conducted a workshop entitled “Lexiles: Practical application of a text measurement tool in the South African context”. The interactive workshop demonstrated how to use a text measurement tool, specifically Lexiles, in South African classrooms. Mrs Roux and Ms Mtsatse analysed the readability of language assessments in South Africa, including texts from the Annual National Assessment (ANA) and the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS). By using Lexiles they were able to ascertain the semantic difficulty and syntactic complexity of released passages from the aforementioned studies. The output from the measurement tool provided valuable insights for language test development in the country. Delegates of the conference were shown the value of using a text measurement tool and how to correctly use it as part of their teaching strategies and professional development.
Mrs Karen Roux (left) and Ms Nangamso Mtsatse (Right) of the Centre for Evaluation and Assessment at the RASA 2016 National Conference Both Mrs Roux and Ms Mtsatse are part of the RASA Gauteng branch executive committee and will also be part of the organising committee for the 12 th Annual RASA Conference to be held at UNISA in October next year.