About us

The National Centre for Language and Literacy has had a long and interesting history. Established as the Reading Centre by Betty Root in 1967, the original aim was to bring the growing numbers of resources for the teaching of reading to the attention of teachers. Our current extensive collection of in-print children’s books remains testimony to this aim.

In the 1970s, as the understanding of the role of language in reading grew, we changed our title to the Reading and Language Information Centre. By this time, the resources collection was one part of a much wider portfolio of support for teachers, including courses, conferences and a subscription scheme which offered members 6 short, practical publications a year on matters of topical interest.

New understandings of literacy as something much broader than reading led to a second change of title in 2003 to the National Centre for Language and Literacy. Other developments also took place around this time. With the implementation of the National Literacy Strategy, the demand for many of the services we had traditionally provided gradually diminished.

Today, NCLL retains its focus on resources with a new scheme for members centred around individualised advice and special events. But it has also evolved in several new directions. In tune with the University of Reading policy on the internationalization of education, we have developed a range of residential courses for educators from many parts of the world but – most notably – from China, Japan, Korea and the USA. The international theme is also clear in the research undertaken by NCLL staff and students.