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Literacy Research in Indian Languages ( LiRIL ). Shailaja Menon & D D Karopady July 5, 2012. Literacy: a key goal of education. Not just end in itself, but means to most other learning. Significant literacy research done on English Language in the West.

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Literacy research in indian languages liril

Literacy Research in Indian Languages (LiRIL)

Shailaja Menon & D D Karopady

July 5, 2012


Literacy research in indian languages liril

Literacy: a key goal of education.

Not just end in itself, but means to most other learning.

Significant literacy research done on English Language in the West.

LiRIL – Literacy Research in Indian Languages -- the first such research in India.

Introduction

2


Literacy research in indian languages liril

The Situation

Reading scores for Indian students close to the bottom of the pile (PISA 2010).

~ 65% Grade 5 students in rural India cannot read Grade 2 text (ASER 2010).

3


Literacy research in indian languages liril

Response

Large-scale efforts to boost literacy skills like Akshara, Room to Read, etc.

- not based on empirical data of how children

learn to read and write in Indian languages &

contexts.

- based on understandings generated in

Western contexts and in the English language.

4


Literacy research in indian languages liril

Why Study Indian Languages/Contexts?

  • ~ 90% of government schools offer regional

    language instruction (Grades 1-5)

    (7th All India School Education Survey).

  • Indian languages differ significantly from

    English and other alphabetic scripts.

  • Alphasyllabaries - Often transparent and

    rule - bound, but pose own challenges.

  • Our instructional contexts & curricula

    under-researched.

5


Knowledge bases related to literacy in the west in english

Knowledge Bases Related to Literacy in the West (in English)

Acquisition of Reading and Writing

Stages, Phases, Error Patterns, Developmental Norms, Predictors, Components

Teacher Beliefs and Knowledge

What do teachers need to know, to teach literacy effectively?

How do their beliefs impact instruction?

Instructional Process

What kinds of instructional programs work best and why?

6


Literacy research in indian languages liril

Foundation of Strong Literacy Programs

  • Typical and Atypical Development: What are the most important predictors of reading/writing success? Are there identifiable phases that children go through?

  • Developmentally Appropriate Curricula: Should bebased on what most children are typically able to do at different phases of the acquisition process.

  • Supportive Instruction: Which instructional models are more supportive than others? Why?

  • Remedial Instruction: What are typical challenges for students struggling with reading/writing in a given script?

  • Teacher Education Programs: What kinds of knowledge and beliefs are helpful for a supportive literacy teacher?

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Literacy research in indian languages liril

The Research

  • Meeting of field organizations in early literacy across India (New Delhi, April 2011): Strongly felt need to generate knowledge-bases in Indian languages.

  • Collaborative study initiated.

  • Longitudinal research over 5 years.

  • Three languages (Kannada, Marathi and Hindi).

  • Combination of quantitative and qualitative methods.

8


Literacy research in indian languages liril

Objectives

  • Study the acquisition of literacy in Kannada, Marathi and Hindi;

  • Understand the instructional contexts: curricular materials, teaching-learning practices, teacher knowledge and beliefs;

  • Identify the most significant predictors of literacy acquisition.

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Literacy research in indian languages liril

Core Assumptions

  • Literacy: set of cultural practices.

  • No universally definitive way of defining or teaching literacy.

  • “Normative”: about how things should be, not a simple description of what is.

  • Aim not to find the right method; but to map possible practicesrequired in today's economies and cultures.

  • Avoid traditional dichotomies in the field:

    - Sociocultural/multilingual approaches: ignore skill level;

    - Linguistic approaches: acultural, technical skills.

    (Luke & Freebody, 1999)

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Literacy research in indian languages liril

Theoretical Frame

Guided Participation

&Scaffolding

Personal

Institutional &

Shared Understandings

Community

Interpersonal

Reading/Writing Skills,

Strategies, Attitudes, Values

Participation Structures &

Interactions

Participatory

Appropriation

Paradigmatic & Narrative Curriculum

Rogoff, 1993

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Literacy research in indian languages liril

Methodology

Bi-annual tracking of 300-350 students

Analysis of Curricular Materials

Intervention Vs.

Govt. School

Teacher Interviews

Classroom Observations

Target Children

Case-Study Children

12


Literacy research in indian languages liril

Time-Line

2011-2012: Pilot Year1

- Assessment Battery (Kannada & Marathi, later Hindi)

- 7 aspects/sub-areas of literacy (bottom-up and

top-down skills)

- Piloting on 240 students (120 per site, Grades 1-5).

- Coding and analysis ongoing.

2012-2013: Pilot Year 2

- Developing qualitative frames of reference

- Revising/refining assessments

2013-2016: Main Study Phase I (Grades 1-3)

2016-2018: Main Study Phase II (Grades 4-5)

13


Literacy research in indian languages liril

Literacy Assessments

Student Assessment Battery

- Concepts of print

- Akshara & maatra recognition

- Phonological awareness

- Word Decoding

- Passage Reading

- Comprehension

- Spelling development

- Free writing

In-Depth Comprehension Assessments: Target Children

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Literacy research in indian languages liril

Implications

  • First ever longitudinal study of its kind in India.

  • Will develop insight into relationships among:

    - literacy curriculum

    - instructional practices

    - student learning

  • Portraiture of marginalized students.

  • Development of extensive set of assessments in

    each language (and other usable products).

  • Potentially inform teacher education and curriculum development.

15


Thank you

Thank You!


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