The eldel consortium was established to provide a state of the art training environment for early-stage researchers interested in the scientific study of literacy development. The project ran for four years from 2008 to 2012 as an Initial Training Network (ITN), funded by Marie Curie. Through participation in a multidisciplinary research programme, under the supervision of internationally recognized senior scientists in five EU countries, the programme enabled young researchers at Post Graduate and Post Doctoral levels to acquire the broad range of skills necessary to become the next generation of leaders in this field.
The research programme comprised a number of overlapping cross-linguistic studies (known as Workpackages 1-6) designed to reveal the language-specific and language-general factors affecting literacy development. The network included partners with expertise in developmental, educational and clinical psychology, experimental psycholinguistics, speech and language therapy, and an industrial partner specialising in the creation of intelligent spellchecking systems. [7 Partner Institutions]
Each partner provided training in generic as well as in state-of-the-art domain-specific research skills. Training at specific sites focused on one or more of the following specialist research areas:
Specific Literacy and Related Skills (e.g., decoding, spelling, written production, reading comprehension, phonological and other oral language skills.).
Typical and Clinical Populations (e.g., children with developmental disorders, dyslexia, SLI).
Research Methodology (e.g., longitudinal, intervention, experimental psycholinguistic, naturalistic approaches).
Use and Development of Measurement Tools (computer-generated, eye-and-pen tracking, cross-linguistic test batteries).
Additional training in relevant skills was provided by visiting researchers. eldel projects were conceived to promote mobility within the network and to allow young researchers to benefit from the training most relevant to them. Most eldel projects ran for 2 to 3 years, allowing sufficient time for the ITN to equip Early Stage and Experienced Researchers for successful careers in cutting-edge literacy research during workshops and short courses.