In January 2017, the British Council became a part of iRead, a digital reading programme for primary school children across Europe who are learning to read English either as their native tongue or as a foreign language.
The leading ambition of iRead is to accelerate the development of technology for use in the arena of literacy and language learning. By developing personalised and adaptive learning technologies, iRead will support reading skills amongst young learners at all levels, including those with dyslexia, and ultimately increase attainment and proficiency.
Domain models will initially be developed for English, Greek, German and Spanish learners. The software will seek to improve general reading skills, as well as offer more tailored content such as support for learners with additional needs and learners of English as a Foreign Language (EFL).
To support and enhance the learning experience, iRead will also develop applications such as literacy games and interactive e-books. These will adapt according to the user and their needs and therefore offer a personalised learning experience. By sharing the user-model of a student, iRead will be able to collectively advance the student’s reading skills.
The British Council will participate in the user requirements analysis phase, testing and piloting of EFL related applications. The project, worth €5.5m, will run for three years up until 2020. It is funded by the EU H2020 and comprises 17 partners from across industry and education in nine European countries.