Untapped source of multicultural literature

5th January 1996 at 00:00
As Diane Hofkins says, a media outcry about the death of "literature from a variety of cultures" - revealed in the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority snapshot report on children's reading (TES, December 22) is unlikely. She also points out the main reason for the omission: lack of quality world literature from British trade publishers in cheap editions. Trade publishers are of course market-led and, as the lack of interest in the media reflects that of the market, they are not likely to step up production.

There has, however, been a recent upsurge in quality multicultural publishing by educational publishers. The project in which I was recently involved, for instance, commissioned new full-length stories and poems for primary and early secondary pupils by acclaimed writers from a variety of cultural backgrounds - including John Agard, Pratima Mitchell, Errol Lloyd, Debjani Chatterjee, Grace Hallworth, Beverley Naidoo and Lemn Sissay. All these works are priced well below the average cost of a trade paperback.

Unfortunately, there are still many people in the educational world (particularly the English-teaching advisory sector) who regard any books produced by educational publishers as inferior to those produced by trade - somehow "unreal" as opposed to "real". As long as this publishing class-distinction exists, a rich source of multicultural literature (and the teaching support accompanying it, such as tape and video readings by the authors) will remain unknown and unavailable to many teachers.


General editor Longman Book Project 11 St George's Road Truro Cornwall

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now