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Our work

After two years of extensive research, collaboration, and tool development, we are delighted to give you a glimpse of our work so far. Take a look at our complishments by watching the video below.

Who we are

Established in February 2014, the European Literacy Policy Network (ELINET) unifies 77 partner organisations from 28 European countries (including 24 EU member states) engaged in literacy policy-making and reading promotion in Europe.

Types of organisations:

  • Education ministries and national agencies
  • Existing literacy networks and national associationsInternational organisations (like UNESCO)
  • Foundations and NGOs
  • Universities, research centres and teacher training institutions
  • Volunteer organisations

Countries involved

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom

Mission and Vision

ELINET strives to improve literacy policies in all member countries, reduce the number of children, young people and adults with low literacy skills in Europe, and help increase reading skills and reading for pleasure.

Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with:

  • One European Framework of Good Practice in Literacy Policies (EFGP) covering all age groups
  • Best practice examples based on the EFGP
  • 30 country reports covering literacy performance and good practices in our network
  • One common European literacy communication platform
  • Fundraising tools, awareness raising tools, and indicators of success

What is literacy?

“…the ability to understand, evaluate, use and engage with written texts to participate in society, to achieve one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential” (PISA & PIAAC definition of reading literacy)

At ELINET, we use a multi-layered definition of literacy, from baseline literacy to functional and multiple literacy:
Baseline literacy means having the knowledge of letters, words and text structures that is needed to read and write at a level that enables self-confidence and motivation for further development.
Functional literacy stands for the ability to read and write at a level that enables someone to develop and function in society, at home, at school and at work.
Multiple literacy corresponds to the ability to use reading and writing skills in order to produce, understand, interpret and critically evaluate written information. It is a basis for digital participation and making informed choices pertaining to finances, health, etc.

Why Literacy?

Most people assume Europe is fully literate, and that low literacy is an issue confined to third-world regions, yet, as demonstrated in the EU report
“One in five European 15-year-olds and almost one in five adults lack the literacy skills required to successfully function in a modern society”

Literacy needs to move up the European policy agenda. At ELINET, we aim to equip you with the necessary knowledge, tools, and network to do just that.
“Almost everyone who struggles with reading and writing could develop adequate literacy skills, given the right support.”

Research and Approaches

Our approach encompasses several focal points:

  • Emphasizing reading proficiency by stressing efficient and sustainable reading strategies, highlighting critical reading processes, and helping students succeed with increasingly complex tasks.
  • Increasing reading engagement by underlining real world interactions and by pointing out how evidence-based principles of reading engagement should guide instruction.
  • Enhancing skills in digital literacy.
  • Paying attention to gender, social and cultural needs.
  • Closing the socio-economic gap by expanding access and opportunity for participation, integration of lowest and highest performers in literacy, and by advancing an equitable distribution of resources across schools

At ELINET, we place great value on sound and rigorous research. As such, we base our work on major international assessments on reading literacy, such as:

  • PIRLS – Progress in International Reading Literacy Study
    2001, 2006, 2011
    4th graders

  • PISA – Programme for International Student Assessment
    2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012
    15 year-olds

  • PIAAC – Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies
    16-65 year-olds