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Breakthrough to Literacy (BTL) is a mother-tongue literacy course for the first three years of schooling that incorporates learner-centred and language experience approaches. This method utilises as the basis for learning to read and write the aural and oral language skills the child brings into the classroom from home.The success of the BTL isiXhosa pilot programme resulted in the adaptation and development of BTL into all South Africa’s indigenous African languages as well as those of several other African countries, including Botswana, Lesotho and Zambia. At its peak, the BTL programme was available in 54 different indigenous African languages. Currently, BTL isiZulu, BTL Setswana, and BTL Siswati are listed on the Department of Basic Education’s National Catalogue.