The Millennium Villages Project is undertaking an innovative, science-based pilot of reading in Malawi and the Chichewa language. As would be predicted by cognitive science findings, the method works quite well for poorer populations. Please visit below link for details.
Students learn one letter every two days or so, starting with the most common letters. Capitals and small letters are taught separately. Students spend most of their time practicing reading and the teacher is expected to pass by every student, listen to reading and provide corrective feedback, even for a few moments.
A demonstration of the method is on YouTube http://youtu.be/1EtyH7_ubls