The ELI is a time-bound initiative. No domain can realistically be built up in a period of three short years. What can be done in three years is to build a robust network of practitioners, scholars and policy makers who are all committed to improving early language and literacy learning in India.  This objective stresses on the need to network and advocate in order to build the domain.

We aim to do this in a few different ways.

First, by engaging in national level dialogues and advocacy on early childhood education. For example, an ELI team member co-authored a piece critiquing the vision of early language and literacy in the draft National Policy on Education-2016 (forthcoming).

Second, by offering short-term workshops and summer-schools on early language and literacy to interested professionals.

And third, by providing a forum for networking and discussing important issues in the field. Please visit our blog for more details on this aspect.


As described earlier, a key way by which ELI team members learn, interact and provide considered inputs to the domain is by participating in meetings, making presentations and conducting workshops. A brief summary of the activities conducted thus far as well as upcoming events are provided here.

  • Consultation on Early Literacy and Numeracy, MHRD, New Delhi (March 2017): Dr. Shailaja Menon attended a consultation organized by the MHRD soliciting inputs on early literacy/numeracy. The secretary of education, Mr. Anil Swaroop was present at the meeting.
  • Reading Haat (CARE India, April 2017): ELI team member, Ms. Nisha Butoliya attended the “Reading Haat” – a National Consultation on Early Literacy in Delhi on Marginalized Learners.
  • Children’s Library unConference (Parag, Tata Trusts, New Delhi, March 2017): Dr. Shailaja Menon gave the closing address at the Children’s Library conference organized by Parag, addressing organizations and individuals interested in children’s literature and libraries in India. The title of the talk was: Building Communities of Readers and Writers.
  • Organization for Early Literacy Promotion (OELP, Ajmer, March 2017): Dr. Shailaja Menon visited and consulted with OELP in March, 2017. She conducted a workshop on Narrative Writing for the OELP team, and consulted more broadly with the team on strengthening their work in early literacy. Possible links and collaborations between ELI and OELP were discussed, including conducting National Consultations, Summer Schools and mentoring OELP field research.
  • ELI Handout on Listening-Speaking-Reading-Writing (May, 2017): ELI produced its first handout addressing a key belief amongst practitioners that listening, speaking, reading and writing are separate skills that need to be taught sequentially. The handouts was co-authored by Ms. Nisha Butoliya and Dr. Shailaja Menon and disseminated through Dr. Dhir Jhingran’s Language and Learning Foundation.
  • ELI/Azim Premji University (APU) workshop on Multilingualism (APF, Sangareddy, June 2017): Dr. Shailaja Menon, Ms. Nisha Butoliya and Ms. Harshita Das co-facilitated a 2-day workshop on multiligualism for approximately 21 members of the early childhood team working at Azim Premji Foundation, Sangareddy, Telengana.
  • ELI/APU workshop, Children's Literature (APU, June 2017): Dr. Shailaja Menon conducted a day-long workshop on understanding children’s literature for approximately 8-10 members of the Azim Premji Foundation working in diverse field locations across the country.
  • International Conference on the Teaching of English Language and Literature: Critical Perspectives, 11th and 12th August 2017 at Gitam University, School of Technology, Hyderabad: Dr. Maxine Berntsen gave a keynote address titled "English for all: Is it desirable? Is it possible?"
  • Literacy Research in Indian Languages (LiRIL): As part of its “dissemination of existing research” objective, the ELI will assist with disseminating the results of the longitudinal Literacy Research in Indian Languages (LiRIL) study conducted on the teaching and learning of Marathi and Kannada. The summary report of the LiRIL study is available here.
  • National Consultation on Early Literacy: A national consultation on early literacy co-hosted by CECED-Ambedkar University, Delhi and ELI is likely to be held in Delhi in December, 2017.