Practitioner Briefs Series

Practitioner Briefs Series


The Early Literacy Initiative’s Practitioner Briefs (PB)  are a collection of “how-tos” for people working in the field. Teachers, teacher educators and NGO staff often struggle with operationalising theoretical ideas that they read about. Certain ideas may sound interesting or useful – but are they implementable in Indian settings? How can we implement them?

The Practitioner Brief series draws upon theoretical perspectives to help individuals and organisations to imagine relevant practices in classrooms. A total of 21 briefs are compiled into seven thematic booklets.While the online resources are openly and freely available to practitioners, Eklavya Publications is publishing and disseminating the print versions. Both the versions are under an "Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 International license." Here are the details of the license:

ELI Practitioner Briefs Booklet 1. Early Language and Literacy: Introduction and Overview

In this booklet, the reader is introduced to certain foundational ideas related to the teaching and learning of language and early literacy. The first brief argues that children learn to listening, speaking, reading and writing (LSRW) simultaneously, thereby challenging the prevalent idea that they are acquired sequentially. Such a shift has powerful consequences for classroom practice. The second brief underlines the importance of creating a print-rich environment for young language learners and provides some practical ideas for doing so. In the third brief, the “comprehensive” model of early language and literacy instruction is introduced. There are many aspects to consider while teaching early language and literacy, and good language teachers need to be able to attend to all these aspects simultaneously in their classrooms! Ideas are presented for making the comprehensive literacy model come alive in Indian settings. The final brief describes what is meant by “emergent literacy” and how to address it in early language learning environments.

Early Language and Literacy: Introduction and Overview

ELI Practitioner Briefs Booklet 2. Supporting Comprehension 

In this booklet, the reader is introduced to ideas for supporting reading comprehension within classrooms. The first brief in this booklet describes multiple ways to build vocabulary effectively. The ideas and activities suggested are based on research-based principles that focus on making learning new words interactive and meaningful for the learners. The booklet presents a two part series of briefs on comprehension. Part one addresses the importance of teaching comprehension strategies in the language classroom and describes four key comprehension strategies — prediction, summarising, visual strategies and activation of prior knowledge—that should be taught in early language classrooms. Part two demonstrates how teachers can plan and conduct a “think-aloud” for students. The last of the briefs in this booklet explains the importance of teaching students to ask good questions to support their comprehension. It discusses a widely used framework called the Question-Answer Relationship (QAR) and demonstrates its use with early language learners.

Supporting Comprehension

ELI Practitioner Briefs Booklet 3. Supporting Script Acquisition and Fluency

The reader is introduced to certain foundational ideas related to supporting script acquisition and fluency in early grades in this booklet. The first brief establishes the importance of developing phonological awareness among very young learners, which has far reaching implications for supporting good, fluent reading. The second brief examines how teachers can support the teaching and learning of Indian scripts. It presents key principles and specific activities and games that could be adapted in classrooms to support script acquisition. The third brief describes “Readers’ Theatre” - a meaningful, fun and engaging exercise that supports reading fluency.

Supporting Script Acquisition and Fluency

ELI Practitioner Briefs Booklet 4. Supporting Multilingualism

The first brief in this booklet emphasises the importance of multilingual classrooms by arguing that a multilingual classroom has consequences not only for a child’s comprehension, but also for the rightful inclusion of her identity, culture and experiences. It provides pedagogical tips that could be adapted for creating a vibrant multilingual environment within the classroom. The second brief provides insights from a teacher research study on the use of the regional language in supporting English language learning in low-English exposure classroom settings. The brief presents pedagogical principles that shaped the intervention, as well as recommendations that could be adapted for teaching English in similar settings.

Supporting Multilingualism

ELI Practitioner Briefs Booklet 5. Supporting Writing

In this booklet, the reader is introduced to ideas related to the supporting of children’s writing. The first brief provides insights and suggests ideas for practice that go beyond the conventional need to focus on the learning of aksharas and letters by rote. The brief highlights the interdependent roles of literature, talk and drawing in learning to write, and emphasises the need to incorporate these in practice as we support children with their writing. The second brief presents different approaches to supporting writing in the early years. It draws attention to the advantages of a writing programme that provides children with authentic and exciting means to write by creating their own books.

Supporting Writing

ELI Practitioner Briefs Booklet 6. Using Children’s Literature in the Classroom - Part I

This booklet presents a collection of briefs that underscore the importance of using children’s literature in early language and literacy classrooms. The first brief discusses the importance of libraries in the language and literacy development of learners. It provides a set of ideas and activities on using libraries meaningfully to support language development. The second brief highlights the importance of reading aloud to children. The brief explains the rationale for conducting read-alouds regularly and provides examples to demonstrate the processes involved in planning and preparing for a read aloud session in the classroom. The third brief argues that a classroom library is an invaluable resource in early language and literacy classrooms. It describes how to set up and use such a library space successfully in the classroom.

Using Children’s Literature in the Classroom - Part I

ELI Practitioner Briefs Booklet 7. Using Children’s Literature in the Classroom – Part II

This booklet is a continuation of the idea of using children’s literature in the classroom to support language and literacy teaching and learning, first presented in ELI Booklet 6. The first brief in Booklet 7 helps teachers understand how to “read” illustrations in picture books to support comprehension even while developing an appreciation for the art in the picture book. The second brief describes a teacher research study conducted to understand the role of interpreting and responding to literature in supporting language and literacy development. The brief highlights the importance of rich talk, writing and drawing as modalities for engaging with and responding to texts, and presents examples for invoking them during language learning. The third brief describes another teacher research study that highlights the potential of using folklore in the early language and literacy classroom. It summarises key pedagogical principles that were used to design the curriculum and provides insights and recommendations for using folklore in the classroom.

Using Children’s Literature in the Classroom – Part II