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Early Reading Curriculum Advisor

Location: Remote
Program area: Books for Asia

Fixed-compensation contract, deliverables to be completed within three (3) months

Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, The Asia Foundation addresses critical issues affecting Asia in the 21st century:  governance and law, economic development, women’s empowerment, environment, and regional cooperation. We work with innovative leaders and communities to build effective institutions and advance path-breaking reforms. Together with our partners, we are committed to Asia’s continued development as a peaceful, just, and thriving region of the world.

The Asia Foundation’s Let’s Read program is seeking an early reading curriculum advisor. Reporting to the associate director to provide essential support in the creation of Standardized Early Reading Objectives and Benchmarks Guidelines and Reading Activities.

Responsibilities

Deliverable #1 – Standardized Early Reading Objectives and Benchmarks Guidelines

The Let’s Read program seeks to create simplified reading acquisition objectives and benchmark guidelines for its English Language Learning program. The guidelines should include but are not limited to:

  1. Print Concepts
  2. Letter Recognition
  3. Letter-Sound Correspondence
  4. Phonemes
  5. Comprehension
  6. High-Frequency Words
  7. Vocabulary
  8. Chunking

The guidelines will be used within the Let’s Read program to inform the creation of leveled readers and supplementary reading activities (see Deliverable #2) to be used by parents, families, and caregivers. 

The guidelines should be disaggregated into three broad levels: pre-reading, beginning to read, and learning to read. Objectives and benchmarks are to be set for each level.

Let’s Read’s primary audience is children, families, and caregivers outside of formal education settings throughout Asia and the Pacific. Therefore, the levels can map to, but should not correlate or align to, specific grade levels or to any single education system. Rather, the distinction between levels should follow researched-based best practices for English language reading acquisition. Specific nuances of the leveling will be mutually agreed upon between the Advisor and the Let’s Read team lead.

Deliverable #2 – Reading Activities

The Let’s Read program seeks to create 20 supplementary, child-centered reading activities for each of the three reading levels, for a total of 60 activities. The reading activities will align with the objectives and benchmarks created in Deliverable #1.

Let’s Read believes that literacy acquisition is a holistic process that requires exposure to all aspects of literacy, including listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Exposure to these components, particularly outside of formal classrooms, can best be accomplished through enjoyable and accessible experiences that connect a child’s surroundings to the concepts being practiced.

Let’s Read’s primary audience is children, families, and caregivers outside of formal education settings. The program expects that the activities created will most often be completed in non-formal, home environments without the support of trained educators and should thus be designed with this in mind. The facilitators of the activities will most likely be parents, family members, and/or caregivers with no formal training in education and potentially minimal levels of formal education themselves.

As Let’s Read works in a variety of contexts and communities throughout Asia Pacific, including in under-resourced and low socioeconomic communities, the reading activities need to be doable with few additional items or resources on the part of the family. The activities should be able to be accomplished with no more than a writing tool and a piece of paper. Ideally, many of the activities will be able to be accomplished through talking and observation alone.

Activities should not require associated images or worksheets. Activities can assume a minimal level of prior knowledge by the audience, e.g., understanding what a circle is in the instructions, “Draw three circles next to each other.”

Activities need to be generic to the given level (pre-reader, beginning to read, learning to read) and not specifically reference any books. The activities should be written at a very basic level, using a minimum number of words and preferably no more than 256 characters.

When accessed through the Let’s Read app, the activities will have a read-aloud feature, so that illiterate or low-literate households can listen to the activities.

Requirements

  • Master’s Degree (Preferred)
  • 10 years of experience as a reading specialist or equivalent
  • 3 Years of experience developing an early reading curriculum or equivalent
  • Knowledge and proficiency in phonological and alphabetical principles
  • Good communication skills with team members
  • Organizational and writing skills

Why work at The Asia Foundation?

At a critical moment in history, you will have the opportunity to contribute to the development, stability, and growth of the Asia region. You will help promote a more constructive engagement between government and citizens and advance learning and awareness about The Asia Foundation. You will work with and learn from dedicated, intelligent, and accomplished colleagues and local partners and, in the process, improve your skills and expertise.