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Promoting Literacy in Cocoa Communities

Reading Development in Environments with a High Risk of Illiteracy
How does inconsistent access to language and reading instruction in new language impact outcomes? How can we best design policies to ameliorate the negative consequence of poverty on literacy? (Funded by Jacobs Foundation Early Career Fellowship)

As part of the
Transforming Education in Cocoa Communities (TRECC) program funded by the Jacobs Foundation, and with a team of Ivorian researchers and graduate students, we are conducting a cognitive, linguistic, and reading assessment in children growing up in rural cocoa communities in Cote d'Ivoire. Children in these communities face many challenges to learning to read: high poverty rates, poor school attendance, and child labor. Children face the added challenge of learning to read in a new language, different from the language spoke in their community. Education is almost exclusively French, while there are over 60 languages spoken in Ivory Coast.

Read our latest updates on our blog.

See some photos of the schools and communities we work with.

Meet our Research Team:
Dr. Kaja Jasinska, Principal Investigator

Dr. Clarisse Hager, Researcher
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PhD in General Linguistics (University of Geneva), postdoc research on bilingual education, Consultant for the research project "Promoting Literacy Development in Rural Cocoa Growing Communities"







Ariane Amon, Doctoral Student, Linguistics
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Ph.D student in Linguistics with specialization in Psycholinguistics at the University Félix Houphouet Boigny of Cocody, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. Area of expertise: Psycholinguistics, Language pathology, Neurolinguistics, Clinical Linguistics, Language Acquisition. Other interests: Phonetics, Phonology, Morphology, Syntax of African and Ivoirian languages.




Christelle Kakou, Masters Student

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My name is KAKOU Christelle Edwige. I have a Master degree in business law, and I’m now studying human rights and humanitarian actions. I have a huge interest in Research, specifically concerning children education in Africa and I intend to carry on my studies at Doctoral level. It’s an honor for me to participate in the TRECC research project and I hope to bring valuable contribution to the development of literacy for children in Cote d’Ivoire.




Blahoua Axel Seri, Masters Student
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My name is Bahoua Axel SERI, student in Master of Ethics and Governance with specialization in sustainable development at Centre de Recherche et d’Action pour la paix (CERAP, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoie). Passionate by research and eager to make valuable contribution to scientific innovation to serve sustainable development in Africa, I am planning to continue studies at the doctoral level. I am very happy to take part in the TRECC project.





Guei Sosthene Auguste, Masters Student

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My name is GUEI Sosthene Auguste Gregoire. I have a multidisciplinary background – Master degree of English, Engineering diploma in Business management and administration, and I’m now studying Sustainable Development with specialization in Corporate Social Responsibility. I have a queen interest in Research, specifically on development issues related to Education and Sustainability in Africa and I plan to develop further my skills and qualifications by carrying on my studies at Doctoral level. It’s a privilege for me to be selected to participate in the TRECC research project and I hope to bring valuable input to the development of literacy in economically and socially disadvantaged children in Cote d’Ivoire.



Salomon Koffi, Doctoral Student, Linguistics
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Bonjour! Je m'appelle Salomon Koffi, locuteur baoulé et membre de l'équipe TRECC. Je suis très passionné de la recherche et des nouvelles technologies de la recherche linguistique. Je suis étudiant en Sciences du Langage option phonétique et inscrit en troisième année de Doctorat à l'Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny d'Abidjan-Côte d'Ivoire. Je fais une étude acoustique, aérodynamique et laryngographique des consonnes implosives de l'éga (langue kwa au milieu des langues kru) et du m'batto (langue kwa entre l'attié et l'agni). Merci! Hello! My name is Salomon Koffi, Baoule speaker and member of TRECC team. I am very passionate about research and new technologies of linguistic research. I'm studying Linguistics, Phonetics option and registered a third-year PhD at the University Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. I'm doing an acoustic, aerodynamic and laryngographic study about implosive consonants of Ega (kwa language amid the Kru languages) and M'batto (kwa language between Attie and Agni). Thank you!