ELN stands for European Literacy Network.
This network is funded by COST Action IS1401 - Strengthening Europeans’ Capabilities by Establishing the European Literacy Network (ELN). Through this Action, reading and writing research communities across Europe are joining, integrating their findings, and aligning their agendas so that they can:
  1. develop an integrated and inclusive approach to foundational literacy across Europe;
  2. devise a comprehensive framework of developmental aspects of literacy and education in a digital world; and
  3. further improve literacy technologies.

Action Abstract

Capabilities are not only abilities that reside inside humans, but they also comprise the political, social, and economic environment. Literacy is a capability whose fulcrum is far away from the individual, depending crucially on societal forces that can hinder or promote human development. The efficiency of this promotion is critically constrained by the availability of accurate knowledge.

Knowing about literacy is contingent upon an interdisciplinary web of expertise that can, within a reasonable timeline, produce that sort of knowledge. Such network already exists in Europe, but needs to be sustained so that it can face the demands of the new digital era. Through this Action, reading and writing research communities across Europe are joining, integrating their findings, and aligning their agendas so that they can: i) develop an integrated and inclusive approach to foundational literacy across Europe; ii) devise a comprehensive framework of developmental aspects of literacy and education in a digital world; and iii) further improve literacy technologies.

This will be valuable for promoting citizens’ interdependence, participation, and innovation, which are key assets to a united and diverse Europe. For that, Europe needs a Literacy Network via which capabilities can be strengthened to all of its citizens.

Aims and Goals

The main objective of this Action is to secure a European Literacy Network (ELN) that builds upon existent reading and writing research communities. The ELN is coordinating a global European response to the challenges of the on-going digital revolution.
  • G1.Generate research collaborations and serve as a forum through which interdisciplinary knowledge on literacy in a digital world can be integrated, augmented, and acted upon in ways that will raise European literacy research leadership, European educational standards, and will increase global public awareness on the pivotal role played by literacy in fostering human capabilities.

  • G2. Allow researchers to connect, integrate the existent knowledge on reading and writing, develop a comprehensive approach to literacy, and train ESR in cutting-edge research methods.

  • G3. Strive to translate gained knowledge into a clear form that eases communication with other societal forces to have a more direct and efficient impact on education and public opinion, which eventually will strengthen European citizens’ capabilities.

More specifically, the Action IS1401 has scientific, technological and societal goals

Scientific Goals

  • G4. Connect researchers from reading and writing communities, which until now have worked largely apart. The network is also open to researchers of other notational systems as several commonalities are shared with literacy research.

  • G5. Integrate existent knowledge by conducting literature reviews (published as special issues of literacy journals, 3 are foreseen)

  • G6. Develop a comprehensive understanding of literacy and literacy practices in Europe (through explicit comparisons of cross-linguistic and cross-cultural differences).

  • G7. Train the next generation of interdisciplinary researchers in the wide-open field of literacy, which needs to keep the depth of its expertise, but crucially without losing touch with the wider picture and the importance of open collaboration with other interdisciplinary literacy researchers dealing with apparently different questions.

  • G8. Establish common research agendas that will increase applications and success rate of research teams when applying to national research grants.

  • G9. Leverage interdisciplinary applications to European calls in the Horizon 2020 framework. Applications to other large international calls will also be encouraged.

  • G10. Enhance scientific publications in top-tier outlets for science communication.

  • G11. Gather worldwide expertise in literacy by publishing, at the end of the Action, an International Handbook of Literacy (IHL)

  • G12. Translate available scientific knowledge on literacy to a format that can be readily understood by the media and general public. This shall be evident in the public website of the Action and all the press releases disseminated in the Action’s countries.

Technological Goals

  • G13. Foster the development of digital tools to aid literacy learning and teaching.

  • G14. Foster the development of tools and techniques to further improve scientific study of literacy.

  • G15. Provide guides to support standardization on collecting and encoding literacy data.

  • G16. Develop empirically validated tools for assessing multilingual literacy.

  • G17. Establish a multilingual research database/corpora for standardizing and sharing literacy data.

Societal Goals 

  • G18. Connect the network to other relevant societal players by teaming up with critical national and international stakeholders and policy-makers.

  • G19. Connect research on literacy with the literacy industries (e.g., journalism, literature, web 2.0 based platforms, etc.).

  • G20. Open the network to educators, practitioners, and interested general public.

  • G21. Publish a green paper on evidence-based methods for enhancing literacy education and improving literacy practices across curricula. This encompassing view of literacy (not only reading and writing, but also including the use of other notational systems) shall inform the development of curricula and teaching that are more coherent, balanced, and effective.

  • G22. Provide legal constitution to the European Literacy Network.

  • G23. Raise public awareness on the pivotal role of literacy in society.

  • G24. Make Europe a more inclusive society by ensuring that all its citizens can have means to support their literacy practices, regardless of language, age, SES or disability.

  • G25. Provide means to empower the less developed countries to catch up with research and educational best practices.

COST Association

is the longest-running European framework supporting trans-national cooperation among researchers, engineers and scholars across Europe.
Since 1971, COST is a unique means for researchers to develop new ideas across all fields in science and technology through pan-European networking of nationally funded research activities. 
COST anticipates and complements the activities of the EU Framework Programmes, constituting a "bridge” towards the scientific communities of COST Inclusiveness Target Countries. It also increases the mobility of researchers across Europe and fosters the establishment of scientific excellence.

Learn more about COST Action in this COST Brochure

In COST Association, IS1401 is directly supervised by the Action Science Officer Dr. Rossella Magli and administratively taken care by Ms. Nathalie Warenghien. Visit IS1401 webpage at COST official website

Learn more about COST Action IS1401 by downloading the Action's Memorandum of Understanding

If you want to participate in COST IS1401 be sure to have a copy and read the COST H2020 Vademecum

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