International Reading and Literacy

As a result of the international Millennium Development Goals commitments, there has been a significant increase in school enrollment globally, yet approximately 250 million primary-aged children cannot read, write, or do basic math despite more than half having attended at least four years of school. This global learning crisis has triggered a narrower focus on education access to include enhanced quality of learning. We are focused on improving the quality of learning outcomes by enhancing the science of reading, while developing solutions for the global learning crisis.  

Our Work

Our approach relies on the integrative cycle of research, program design, technical assistance, and capacity building. Main areas of emphasis include multilingual reading, mother tongue-based education, assessments for reading and writing, and community participation.

AIR’s expertise spans all ages and grades, from early childhood to the postsecondary level, including literacy in families and in school and community settings. Our work includes

  • conducting research on key topics to help resolve the global learning crisis, such as structured pedagogy and bilingual/multilingual education;
  • implementing effective community-based social and behavioral change support systems;
  • developing reading and literacy standards tailored for varying languages and writing systems;
  • developing large-scale regional and national assessments as well as simple formative assessments; and
  • designing evidence-based programs and teacher training focusing on daily scripted lessons, teacher guides, and supplemental reading materials.
Principal Researcher