Dr Funke Omidire was promoted to Senior Lecturer in the Department of Educational Psychology. Her current research is funded (3 years) by the Research Development Programme, (RDP). It is an intervention study with a pre/post design aimed at adapting Quality Talk for use in South Africa. Quality Talk was developed in school-based intervention research by Karen Murphy (Murphy et al. 2009). It is an evidence-based approach to reading and instruction. It involves discussions that promote students’ high-level comprehension of text, where high-level comprehension refers to critical-reflective thinking and epistemic cognition about and around text. The approach is premised on the belief that talk is a tool for thinking, and that certain kinds of talk can contribute to high-level comprehension.
The results generated from research into the use of Quality Talk have been described as promising and have indicated positive changes in critical-analytic thinking, higher –levels of comprehension, increased fluency and development of argumentation skills (Murphy, Greene & Firetto, 2014). The value of Quality Talk for the improvement of literacy among students is not in doubt. It is however important to take into consideration the specific context of South Africa in terms of diversity, multilingualism and high risk/need setting. This necessitates the adaptation of Quality Talk to the South African context. Three Doctoral students are working on the project and four Master’s students will join the team in 2018.