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Ganz Ohr - All Ears – a training course for reading mentors

Ganz Ohr - All Ears – a training course for reading mentors

Ganz Ohr is an Austrian project developing and delivering an accredited national training course for volunteer reading mentors

Age group

Primary Age,Adults,Family Literacy

Policy Area

Creating a literate environment

People Involved

Families, Government and policy makers, Health and social workers, Librarians, Municipalities and job centres, Educational specialist, Volunteers


• Early literacy intervention
• Promote reading in institutions such as home for the elderly, nursing homes and hospitals
• Foster local cooperation between institutions involved with literacy, education and migrant communities
• Literacy promotion for children
• Encourage families to use libraries
• Offer meaningful activities for adults reading with and to children


Ganz Ohr or All Ears has been training volunteer reading mentors to work in local libraries with young children and their families since 2011. Volunteers read to children in small groups using a dialogic approach, and motivate children to read and develop their enthusiasm for reading. Since 2013, there has been a formalised curriculum for the volunteers and the training programme has been expanded.

Ganz Ohr was piloted in public libraries in the Austrian federal state of Vorarlberg and has now spread to several other states. During the pilot phase, reading mentors completed a training programme spread over three weekends. Since 2013 however, there has been a national curriculum for the reading mentor training programme developed by the Austrian Library Service (Österreichisches Bibliothekswerk), the Styria Literacy Centre, the adult and parent education department of Austria’s Catholic Church and eight other service centres in the nine federal states responsible for library development and organisation. In 2015, the Styria Literacy Centre began training reading mentors using this formal curriculum which provides the opportunity to train professional reading mentors through an accredited course. The programme also extends the original target group for Ganz Ohr to include hospitals and homes for the elderly as well as people speaking languages other than German. The training consists of three modules over four months which cover the techniques of reading aloud, the role of reading mentors and project presentation. The volunteers can also choose from one or more additional modules that look at children’s language and literacy development, reading to older people and reading in other languages. The module tutors are all experts in these areas and work closely with BookStart Austria.

Project Materials

Training modules (German)

BookStart materials