‘Social-contextual’ approaches to family literacy programmes: policy and practice lessons from Nigeria, Mexico and Nepal

Millora, Chris. 2023. ‘Social-contextual’ approaches to family literacy programmes: policy and practice lessons from Nigeria, Mexico and Nepal. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, ISSN 0305-7925 [Article] (In Press)

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Abstract or Description

Family literacy programmes have been framed as effective strategies to improve the learning and literacy of children and adults, particularly among disadvantaged families. However, a number of these programmes have been critiqued as being framed within a deficit discourse, placing the ‘problem of illiteracy’ within ‘non-mainstream’ families. Drawing from a comparative analysis of family literacy programmes from Nigeria, Mexico and Nepal, this paper aims to increase understanding of the dynamics of an alternative, social-contextual approach to family literacy. It identifies the importance of starting with families’ skills, knowledge and everyday realities to shape family literacy programming (instead of the other way round); shifting the aim from community participation to community ownership; and offering programmes that are flexible to accommodate other demands of family life. These could be useful first steps for policymakers and practitioners who are committed to developing a more situated approach to designing and implementing family literacy programmes.

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Additional Information:

The work was supported by the Leverhulme Trust [ECF-2021-515]; UKRI Global Research Translation Awards [EP/T015411/1].


Family literacy programmes; literacy as social practice; situated literacies; family literacy policies; deficit discourse

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies
Educational Studies > Centre for Identities and Social Justice


22 August 2023Accepted
5 September 2023Published Online

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Date Deposited:

06 Sep 2023 10:21

Last Modified:

13 Feb 2024 11:33

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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