Supporting the Development of Indian Primary School Children's Reading Comprehension Skills: A Scaffolding-based Intervention

Project status


Reading for comprehension forms the basis for children's learning across school subjects. Reading comprehension is a complex cognitive process that builds on a child’s listening skills and their ability to recognise written words. In multilingual children, reading comprehension strategies can usually transfer between languages, although proficiency needs to develop in each language for transfer to take place. Primary school children from low socioeconomic backgrounds in India are often unable to read texts at their grade level fluently due to lack of requisite linguistic knowledge and of teaching reading strategies in class. Reading in more than one language may be feasible but understanding the content is highly challenging for these children. This research project will undertake an intervention to strengthen reading comprehension in multilingual children from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Targeting the structured use of home languages to build vocabulary, the project aims to encourage verbal reasoning through scaffolded questions and peer-group discussions.

Research team

Professor Ianthi Maria Tsimpli, University of Cambridge; Dr Lina Mukhopadyay, The English and Foreign Languages University, India; Professor Victoria Murphy, University of Oxford

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