Language-Focused Instruction for Literacy Acquisition in Akshara-based Languages: Pedagogical Considerations and Challenges

  • Chandrika Mathur
  • Sonali NagEmail author
Part of the Literacy Studies book series (LITS, volume 17)


In this chapter we explore the role of language- and meaning-focused instruction for supporting literacy acquisition in akshara-based languages, drawing upon examples from Hindi and the Devanagari script. Instruction of lower- and higher-level literacy skills typically targeted in pre- and primary school years are examined with a particular focus on the phonological, orthographic and morpho-syntactic domains. The role of affective-motivational aspects in learning and a strong cultural embedding of teaching-learning materials and pedagogical strategies are highlighted, with implications for native speakers and second language learners, in contexts of diglossia, and with demographically diverse groups. Such a multi-component curriculum is dependent on the perceptiveness and sensibilities of teachers, their attitudes towards teaching and learning, specific pedagogical skills and concrete knowledge-bases. We discuss the challenges this holds.


Akshara knowledge Cultural embedding Devanagari First language Hindi Literacy instruction Morpho-syntax Pedagogy Reading Second language Teaching-learning materials (TLMs) Writing Teacher training 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rishi Valley Institute of Teacher Education, Rishi Valley Education Centre, Krishnamurti Foundation India (KFI)Chittoor DistrictIndia
  2. 2.Department of EducationUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  3. 3.The Promise FoundationBangaloreIndia

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