American Institutes for Research

Washington, DC   |   Non profit

Project Name
FRAME: Facilitating Reading Acquisition in Multilingual Environments

Location Implemented
Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, India

Organization Website

Organization Type
Non profit

Multilingualism is the norm in most educational settings of the developing world (in that either two or more languages are taught in schools, and/or the language(s) taught in schools are not the language(s) of the home or community). AIR’s innovation will contribute to empirical evidence on when a child is 'ready' to transition from learning one language to another – a critical question for decision makers in most multilingual education settings. AIR is also beginning to understand how children learn to read so-called “alphasyllabic” languages, which has the potential to significantly increase the effectiveness of reading programs across South and Southeast Asia, with minimum resources for maximum impact.

This project will identify the strongest predictors of bi-literacy development in various educational contexts– i.e. when literacy instruction in English can be efficiently added to the regional languages and/or the mother tongue of the child. Discussions have been held with key education stakeholders to inform decisions on the allocation of resources for reading instruction, teacher training, and materials development; and how evidence can be used to build community and policy support for effective multilingual education.

Project Reach
600 children affected. AIR found initial evidence of a threshold point at which a child is ready to transition from a local language to English, which has important implications for teaching and assessing reading in multilingual contexts of India (see Final Report).

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