Professional Development

Early Language and Literacy Certificate Course

Early Language and Literacy (Prarambhik Bhasha Shikshan) is a 9-month long course which aims to build a broad understanding of early literacy teaching-learning; and based on this understanding provide some practical strategies for early grades.

Course Objective

On successful course completion the course participants will

  • Have enhanced knowledge and skills about teaching-learning of language and literacy in early primary classes
  • Be able to plan and implement appropriate classroom activities for teaching of language and literacy in their classrooms
  • Teacher educators from SCERT and DIETs, Block and Cluster Coordinators, Resource persons and Master Trainers will be able to provide higher quality and more effective support to teachers for language teaching
  • Contribute to process of designing of an early grade language and literacy learning programme at cluster, block or district level
  • Course Topics

    The course will have the following twelve modules :

  • Introduction to early language and literacy learning
  • A reflective analysis of teaching reading and writing in Indian classrooms
  • Facilitating learning in a language classroom: An enabling environment
  • Approaches to teaching reading and writing: Focus on a balanced approach for literacy development
  • Components of literacy development: Part I: Constrained and Unconstrained skills, OLD, Concepts of Print, Word recognition (Phonological awareness and decoding of words)
  • Components of literacy development: Part II: Vocabulary, comprehension, fluency
  • Reading and Writing Strategies
  • Diversity in classrooms: Part I: Varied reading and writing levels: Principles and strategies for literacy development AND the five-block model
  • Diversity in classrooms: Part II: Varied language situations: Principles and strategies for literacy development
  • Review of principles and practices for inclusive teaching-learning of literacy
  • Planning for teaching-learning of literacy: Part I: Instructional framework for (a) preschool, (b) early grade 1, and (c) later grade 1 (d) early grade 2, (e) later grade 2, (f) grade 3
  • Designing an early grade literacy programme at cluster, block and district level: Graded Reading Materials, Teacher Professional Development and Community Mobilization
  • Apart from the above topics different issues will be explored through conference calls, online forum and expert sessions
  • Multilingual Education Certificate Course

    Multilingual Education (Bahubhashi Shikshan) is a 4-month long course which intends to work with teacher and teacher educators; and develop effective literacy practices in early grades for children from diverse linguistic backgrounds.

    Course Objective

    On successful course completion the course participants will

  • Develop an understanding of children’s context and its relevance to teaching-learning processes in early grades
  • Have an enhanced knowledge about effective approaches to teaching-learning of language and literacy through a multilingual approach
  • Be a reflective practitioner and be able to design appropriate classroom activities using children’s home language
  • Teacher educators will be able to provide high quality support to teachers dealing with children from diverse linguistic background
  • Course Topics

  • Modules dealing with early language and literacy teaching-learning processes, children’s context such as developmental, linguistic and socio-cultural, and approaches to multilingual education
  • Apart from these a range of topics such as oral and literacy assessment, sociolinguistic survey, concepts in linguistics, and children’s literature will be explored through workshops and fieldwork
  • Short Term Courses

    Short term courses aim to give practice-based specialized knowledge and in-depth understanding of key components of early language and literacy development. In 2017-18, we are offering three courses: Reading Comprehension, Assessment for Literacy Instruction, and Children and Writing.

    Reading Comprehension Course

    The objective of teaching reading is to make children independent and critical readers with the ability to analyse and synthesize information from the world of authentic texts. Many of us struggle to meet this objective in the class. We see children struggling with texts they read and despite our best efforts improvement seems to be visibly slow. Some children do well in class while some don’t. This course on reading comprehension will help you better understand what goes into developing reading proficiency in early grades – the role and importance of background knowledge, vocabulary, exposure to variety of genres, text structure as well as how to engage children in effective comprehension strategies using a combination of whole class, group and individual tasks in the classroom while keeping the ground realities and challenges in mind.

    Assessment for Literacy Instruction Course

    Assessment of children in early grades is not only about assessment of learning, but also more importantly about assessment for learning. While the CCE does talk about formative assessment, many of us find it difficult and challenging to apply it in principle as part of the ongoing teaching learning process. This course on Early Reading and Assessment will help you understand the basic principles of assessment, strategies of assessment as well as develop in you the ability create your own independent assessments through a better understanding of the existing practices, their ineffectiveness and relevant class based examples.

    Children and Writing Course

    Learning to write independently and express one’s ideas, thoughts and opinion is critical for literacy in early grades. Children move through a variety of stages like scribbling, invented spelling to finally writing meaningful words, phrases and sentences. Writing needs to be viewed as being a process, not a product. In classrooms, we sometimes find it difficult to understand how children express themselves through writing and how to develop their writing further. This course on children and writing will help you better understand how to equip children with necessary skills that helps develop their ability as creative and independent writers through activities that encourage discussion, collaboration and expression.

    Course Components


    These include key readings, supplemented with Audio and Video resources.


    Interactive call that connects mentor and co-participants on pre-decided themes/ topics


    Theme based discussions, puts you in touch with other mentors and participants


    Each module will have simple tasks and assignment. Assignments will be desk based and field based requiring 3-4 days of visit to a school for practice.


    Test yourself: End of Module


    The audio conferences with experts invited and open interactions with the Course director and mentors


    Face to Face workshop (over the course period) to discuss doubts/questions; share learning and experiences


    A small action research project to encourage participants to apply their learnings in a real-life situation at the end of the course. It would require thorough analysis or trying out strategy yourself.

    People Involved

    Shailaja Menon
    Faculty, Azim Premji University

    She works as faculty in Language and Literacy at the School of Education, Azim Premji University. She holds a Ph.D. in Literacy, Language and Culture from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. She currently leads a longitudinal project, Literacy Research in Indian Languages (LiRIL), investigating the teaching and learning of early language and literacy in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

    Keerti Jayaram
    Director, Organization for Early Literacy Promotion (OELP)

    She is an educationist with several years of experience in teaching and working with children. She is a founder member of OELP and has been instrumental in developing the OELP methodologies which are rooted in real classroom practices.

    Rima Anand
    Educational Initiatives,

    She has been primarily involved with research work on development of Hindi language skills in primary and middle schools. She has worked on role of technology in language education; and is currently involved in evaluation of effects and processes of learning-based assessment and programs.

    Mahendra Mishra
    State Head, ICICI foundation for Inclusive Growth

    A well-known folklorist with a passion for work with tribal groups in India. He is recipient of Sahitya Academy Award in 1999 in Odisha. He has conceptualized, designed and implemented multilingual education programs in Odisha and Chhattisgarh. He has extensive experience of working in DPEP, SSA and Government of Odisha. He has been part of many seminar and conferences on Folklore and Multilingual Education in China, South Korea, Thailand, and Nepal.

    Sunisha Ahuja
    Senior Advisor, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)

    She has an extensive experience of over three decades with NGOs and governmental organisations. She has been involved with education in early childhood to that in adolescent. As a founder member of Room to Read in India, she has been initiated its library programme and reading programme in primary schools across different states in India.