Our ministry is focused on literacy: teaching people to read so they can have full access to the translated Word of God in their own language. This certainly involves printed words in the literacy curriculum that we develop. But there is a secret ingredient that goes into the reading materials. It is the illustrations! Great illustrations contribute to the reader’s understanding of the story, adding interest and details.
The reading books start very simply, with 3 or 4 little sentences using the three most frequent letters in the language. This keeps the lesson uncomplicated for the new readers. But because few words are intentionally used, the story may lack clarity or sparkle. Illustrations come in as the secret ingredient to improve comprehension and hold the attention of the readers.
For example, the literacy software helped one team know that in their language the best letters for writing the first story were i, n, and s. They wrote a little story that translates as:
This is Nini.
Nini is working.
Nini is scaling.
It’s a fine story that teaches the new syllables well. But with so few words, some details may not be completely clear. Adding a great illustration pulls everything together. Now we’ve got a good story that makes learning these syllables interesting.
Welcome Image Finder
We’ve never had a good way to share images for literacy, so our programming team is putting the finishing touches on the final part of the literacy software called Image Finder. It’s a database that organizes tens of thousands of images that teams have used in their literacy materials for others to use or adapt. It will be searchable by word-tags and regions. What a great resource and help this will be to teams all around the world!
Some prayer requests for this database
- praise that another mission group is sharing copyright on their literacy images to be added to the database, making this an even greater resource for everyone
- pray for Jerry to have wisdom in coordinating the addition and tagging of pictures
- for the translation of the software, instructions and tags into Spanish, French, Portuguese, etc.
we thank God for such a gifted team of software programmers, graphic artists,
local artists, and translators who are contributing their talents to see God’s
Word go out with power into the world!
And next time you are cooking away and add a pinch of your secret ingredient to the recipe, please use that as a prayer reminder for this image database project and literacy.