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At the Emergent stage, children continue to develop an understanding that print carries a message. Digital Diversity is a series of blog posts from FrontlineSMS about how mobile phones are being used throughout the world to improve, enrich, and empower billions of lives. Although, officially, India is home to 778 million “literates” and 273 million illiterates, what is glossed over is the fact that an estimated 389 million “literates” are, at best early-literate.
In 1996, I was watching a DVD of Pedro Almodovar’s classic film, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, with some student friends in Ithaca, New York. How does SLS work?  SLS switches on lifelong and inescapable reading practice for millions of television viewers.
For the nearly 200 million children in India’s primary schools, the rudimentary alphabetic skills they pick up in school are practiced the same day at home while watching their favourite TV programmes. Independently collected data has shown that even 30 minutes of weekly SLS exposure over 3-5 years, as part of Bollywood film songs, more than doubles the number of functional readers in primary schools.
On average, every dollar spent on SLS in India delivers 30 minutes of weekly reading practice to 5,000 weak-readers, for one year. Now I remember, my capability of reading and writing in English has been helped significantly by my passion of hearing English pop songs and then try to capture the whole lyrics by wrote it down while heard the song over and over again.
SLS is equally important for deaf persons in communities, whose needs are almost always forgotten, and in India there are a few millions deaf persons.
National Geographic VoicesResearchers, conservationists, and others around the world share stories and commentary on the National Geographic Society's conversation platform Voices. Society Field Inspection 2016: Gulf of CaliforniaDescribed by Jacques Cousteau as the "aquarium of the world," the Gulf of California in Mexico is threatened by coastal development, climate change, and other human activities. Support National GeographicWe've supported more than 11,000 grants to scientists and others in the field.Learn more about our work.
Two years after being discovered deep in a South African cave, the 1,500 fossils excavated during the Rising Star Expedition have been identified as belonging to a previously unknown early human relative that National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Lee Berger and team have named Homo naledi. With at least 15 individuals of all ages and both sexes represented, the find adds an unprecedented amount of information to our understanding of early human evolution in Africa. In addition, the absence of any other animal remains or large debris in the fossil chamber strongly suggests that these non-human beings intentionally deposited their dead within this cave.
Now that kids worldwide have taken up their schoolbooks once again, we dug into the National Geographic archives for a look at reading around the world.
A Persian holy man reads from the Koran while two others listen in what is now Iran, in this 1921 National Geographic photo.As reported in a 1921 article on Persian caravans, these men are Muslim dervishes, or members of a religious order who have taken a vow of poverty. In this 1926 photograph by Luis Marden, a man passing through Questa, New Mexico, stops to ask a policeman for directions.
An Augustinian nun of the HA?tel-Dieu Hospital in Quebec City, Canada, reads silently while another prays.This picture was featured in a 1971 National Geographic article about the life of French Canadians in Quebec.
An eight-year-old girl curls up with her mother as she reads a fairy tale in Russia in 1995. Two schoolboys in Ewoku, Ghana, hunch over a book in 1997.Their teacher points to the text as they read the words out loud, following along with their fingers. In this 2000 photo, a man cradles the Ramayana in his hands during morning prayer in Dhading, a district in Nepal. For a 2006 National Geographic story on the brain chemistry of love, photographer Jodi Cobb traveled the world looking for images of romance.In Florence, Italy, in 2005, she was struck by this woman reading a newspaper in a restaurant.
In this 2010 photo, a Kyrgyz shaman in Mongolia reads cards to tell someone's fortune.Before the Soviet Union fell in 1991, its ban on all religion extended to shamanism. In a 2013 National Geographic article, Peter Hessler wrote about his return to Fuling, China, a town on the Yangtze River where he had taught English in the Peace Corps a decade and a half before. Bridesmaids read wedding programs while waiting for a marriage ceremony at an evangelical church in Kano, Nigeria. Fifty-five million people left Europe, and they encountered some of the same heartbreaking problems as today's refugees. Southeast Asia's bearcat has a movie-theater aroma, but it's not the only animal that smells like snack foods. South America, the fourth-largest continent, extends from the Gulf of Darién in the northwest to the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego in the south.
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As this edition of Digital Diversity shows, with some imagination everyday technology can be re-purposed to do extraordinary things.
The education NGO Pratham’s Annual Status of Education Report for 2011 found that in Class 5, a shocking 51.8% cannot read a Class 2 level text. How will the early-literate transition from basic alphabetic familiarity to functional reading ability?
That successful pilot led to another ongoing pilot on a nationally telecast Hindi film song programme, from 2002 to the present. With India on board, the cost-effectiveness of SLS established and none other than Bill Clinton calling SLS “A small thing that has a staggering impact on people’s lives”, I believe the time has come for our idea to travel all over the world.
He is a Schwab Social Entrepreneur, Ashoka Fellow, and Faculty, Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad.
He shares exciting stories in Mobile Message about how mobile phones and appropriate technologies are being used throughout the world to improve, enrich, and empower billions of lives. Chinese language as the longest surviving and flourishing language with basically the same set of literary characters as 4,000 years ago is made stronger everyday by SLS.
I have spent a lot of time in India and know how much Indians adore Bollywood — I also know how entrepreneurial Indians are, and resourceful, so I am not surprised.
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To learn firsthand what's going on in and around this marine treasure of global importance, the National Geographic Society sent its top scientists and officials to the region in January 2016.
According to the photo caption, they alternated between silent meditation over their holy book and cries of "Ya Hakk! It is home to the world's largest river (the Amazon) as well as the world's driest place (the Atacama Desert). The Orinoco flows in a giant arc for more than 2,736 kilometers (1,700 miles), originating in the Guiana Highlands of northern Brazil and discharging in the Atlantic Ocean in Venezuela.
If a media asset is downloadable, a download button appears in the lower right hand corner () of the media viewer. While growing up in Naperville, Illinois, he received a butterfly-collecting kit from his father and built a go-kart from scratch.A behind-the-scenes tour of a museum during college inspired Paul to pursue paleontology. Focusing on the key concepts in science maths and social studies, Windows on Literacy™ taps into children's natural curiosity about the world. Brij Kothari of Planet Read shares how he got Bollywood to marry karaoke, and how it doubled the number of readers in Indian primary schools. Our own studies at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, further confirm that over 50% of ‘literates’ in India cannot read the headline of a newspaper.
SLS suggests subtitling the lyrics of existing film songs and music-videos on television, in the language they are sung in.
Eye-tracking research from around the world has established that SLS causes an automatic and inescapable read-along response. This constant and synchronous reinforcement of reading skills makes it difficult for a child to remain functionally illiterate by Class 5.
As it turns out, the first thing that youth and adult functional literates tend to pick up in India are newspapers. Since 2006, SLS has also been piloted on one weekly programme each in 8 major languages, giving regular reading practice to an estimated 200 million early-readers. They toured the desert islands off the southeastern coast of the Baja Peninsula and they listened to presentations by more than a dozen experts, including several whose Baja California research is funded by the Society. Several thousand years later, the Greek philosopher Socrates feared that reading and writing would destroy the practice of memorization and recitationa€”which is, ironically, an opinion we know he held because his student Plato wrote it down.Because early writing mimicked speech, people read long, unbroken chains of words by sounding them out aloud. The photograph ran in the article "Nevada Learns to Live With the Atom," in which National Geographic reported on U.S.
Mountains and coastal plains generally run in a north-south direction, while highlands and river basins generally run in an east-west direction. The Orinoco River basin covers an area of about 948,000 square kilometers (366,000 square miles) and encompasses approximately 80 percent of Venezuela and 25 percent of Colombia.A vast savanna or grassland region, known as the Llanos, is the primary biome of the Orinoco River basin. If you have questions about how to cite anything on our website in your project or classroom presentation, please visit our FAQ page. Early-readers when exposed to SLS, try to read along, and in the process, find their reading skills improving. Today SLS seems on the verge of being scaled up nationally in collaboration with the Broadcasting Corporation of India, Prasar Bharati and the state TV network, Doordarshan.
Had learned quite a few French words during my French movie days, by following subtitles and listening, but now have forgotten almost all! The practice of placing spaces between words in written texts evolved over time, and the act of reading silently, without speaking or moving onea€™s lips, was not common until later.Now that kids worldwide have taken up their schoolbooks (or computer laptops) once again, our editors went into the archives to find images of reading captured by National Geographic photographers over the past century. Then I said something casually – maybe India would become literate if Bollywood Hindi film songs on TV were shown with the lyrics subtitled in Hindi.

Tamil songs subtitled in Tamil, and so on in every language (India has 22 official languages). As viewers like to sing along to songs and are curious to know the song lyrics, reading skills are practiced subconsciously. Interestingly, newspaper reading among regular SLS-viewers shot up from 34% to 70% in five years.  Furthermore, SLS makes a meaningful contribution to female literacy because Bollywood on TV has a higher female viewership. The caption also said that the holy men sometimes offered a lemon or a flower to those who passed them, expecting a gift in return. Built using 51,000 glass bottles, the structure remained standing after the nuclear blast took place less than 50 miles (80 kilometers) away. A biome is a community of animals and plants that spreads over an area with a relatively uniform climate. Typically, a weak-reader faces a high motivational barrier to keep on reading when confronted with print.
In the context of songs – marked by repetition, lyrics that can be anticipated, and subtitles that are sounded in the audio – the entry barrier to reading practice is significantly lowered.
Like most grassland biomes, the Llanos is the perfect habitat for many bird species, including the scarlet ibis, bellbird, and umbrellabird. Situated on the far western edge of the continent, the Andes stretch from the southern tip to the northernmost coast of South America. Along with the Uruguay River, the Paraná River empties into the Rio de la Plata estuary between Argentina and Uruguay. There are hundreds of peaks more than 4,500 meters (15,000 feet) tall, many of which are volcanic.
The highest peak in the Andes, Aconcagua, stands at 6,962 meters (22,841 feet) and straddles the Argentina-Chile border. The altiplano of Peru and Bolivia, for example, has an elevation of about 3,700 meters (12,300 feet). The Patagonia region of Argentina and Chile consists of lower-elevation plateaus and rugged glaciers.Most plants in the alpine biome are small, and their leaves are stiff and strong to protect them from frost and drought. South American coastal plains are found on the northeastern coast of Brazil, on the Atlantic Ocean, and the western, Pacific coast of Peru and Chile. The Brazilian Highlands act as a wedge that pushes moist sea winds away from the coastal plains. The leaves of this endangered species all grow from one woody stem, allowing moisture to run down the leaves to the base of the plant. Outside the Andes, South America has two principal highland areas: the Brazilian Highlands and the Guiana Highlands.
They are trapped between the cold Peru Current to the west and the Andes Mountains to the east. Located south of the Amazon River in Brazil, the Brazilian Highlands are made up of low mountains and plateaus that rise to an average elevation of 1,006 meters (3,300 feet). This cold surface water results in thermal inversion: cold air at sea level and stable, warmer air higher up. The heavily forested plateau of the Guiana Highlands covers southern Venezuela, French Guiana, Guyana, northern Brazil, and a portion of southeastern Colombia. The basin, which covers most of northern South America, is fed by tributaries from the glaciers of the Andes. Every second, the Amazon River empties 209,000 cubic meters (7,381,000 cubic feet) of freshwater into the Atlantic Ocean.The Amazon River is the life force of the equally vast Amazon rain forest, which makes up about half of the rain forest of the entire planet.
This tropical biome has as many as 100 different tree species on a single acre, including the rubber tree, silk cotton tree, and Brazil nut tree.
Other important plant species include palms, ferns, and ropelike vines known as lianas that network throughout the rain forest’s dense canopy. The average rainfall is about 1 millimeter (0.04 inches) a year, and some parts of the Atacama have never had rain in recorded history. The diversity of animal life in the Amazon rain forest is unsurpassed in the rest of the world.
More than 2 million species of insects are native to the region, including hundreds of spiders and butterflies. Larger animal species are also rare, and include the grey fox, a type of deer called the huemul, and the viscacha—the largest member of the chinchilla family. Thousands of native birds include brightly colored macaws, parrots, toucans, and parakeets.
While Atacama lacks flora and fauna, it is a rich source of copper and a chief source of revenue for the Chilean economy.

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