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What is LiRIL

While there is plenty of knowledge available about how children become literate in Western languages such as English, there is a paucity of research in this area as regards Indian languages. Literacy Research in Indian Languages is a first-of-its-kind long-term research project aiming to understand in depth how children acquire literacy in Indian languages. The project was undertaken in two Indian Language sites, Yadgir (for Kannada) and Sonale (for Marathi).
The project was headed by Dr. Shailaja Menon  from Azim Premji University and funded bySir Ratan Tata Trust . The organization Kalike was involved in conducting the study on the Kannada site at Yadgir.
Scale of study
The Project tracked 360 children from Wada Taluka from Grade 1 to Grade 5. Data was collected twice a year from each child on a one-to-one basis with the help of a tool measuring children’s performance on various skills and tasks related to literacy. In addition, some classrooms, children and teachers within the sample were identified for more focused qualitative investigation.
Components of LiRIL
  • Quantitative data collection
  • Small-scale qualitative studies with children
  • Comprehension task
  • Classrom Observations of children
  • Teacher Interviews
  • Case Study
  • Curricular Analysis

Field work for this project was undertaken between 2013 and 2016; and data analysis was completed in 2017.

At an event titled ‘RISE2017’, the findings of the ‘Literacy Research in Indian Languages’ (LiRIL) project were published. The study provided insights into shortcomings in the curriculum, teaching techniques and key gaps that need to be bridged. The three-year meticulous research has led to solutions that hold the potential to reform early education in India. A soft copy of the report is available here:

With insights from this project, manuals for teachers have been designed, which can be found on this link: