The Tarkeybein project originated from the sobering insight that 75% of students in grade 5 of government schools cannot comprehend / speak basic rudimentary English. As these schools teach increasingly in the English Medium, the ability to read and comprehend the language is critical. The core Tarkeybein initiative focuses on grades 1 through 5 in government schools, spanning content development & distribution ; teacher enablement ; impact research.

Existing curriculum forms the core, with relevant adaptations based on gap identification studies, to assist learning in the essential early learning years.


  • 65 students in Delhi Public School, Mathura (economically weaker students category)
  • 50 students in grades 1 and 2 at the Munirka Community Centre

The Tarkeybein project provides a unique working model for a sound grounding in English comprehension and usage, applicable for diverse age groups. Specially developed content provides learners with material that accelerates comprehension, reading and conversational ability. Teacher training and support ensures the project can be scaled locally with regular on-the-ground assessments. Sustained Impact Research builds a body of learning that enriches the programme with field-level inputs and provides a platform for future development.

Tarkeybein has been divided into three levels with each level comprising of a 24-week program.


Language Skills

Socio-Emotional Skills


Level 1

Listening, Speaking and Reading words

Self-awareness, Emotional Vocabulary, Creativity

Videos, Comics, Toys

Level 2

Reading & comprehension skills

Identifying one’s strengths and confidence

Videos, Comics, Toys

Level 3

Reading and Writing Skills

Self-regulation of emotions, Planning skills, Understanding oneself as a learner

Videos, Comics, Games, Toys


The content of the curriculum has two focus areas:

1. Language Acquisition

2. Social-Emotional Well-Being

Both these aspects have been blended together in the design of the program. Tarkeybein has developed this content based on the research studies and foundational work of:

1. Harvard Graduate School of Education (Centre on the Developing Child, Project Zero, Good Work)

2. Noam Chomsky, Steven Pinker and Stephen Krashen on Lingusitic Development

3. d.School, Stanford University on Design Thinking principles

4. Design for Change and Riverside School on social-emotional learning

5. John Holt, Maria Montessori on Child Development


To be able to teach students to fearlessly express their thoughts in a language not typically spoken in their homes / environment is a powerful confidence builder and a gateway to accelerated learning. The Tarkeybein Education Foundation runs 3 year programme cycles per student. Either in partnership (with other organizations working in the community), or in rented space in the community to run classes. It will appoint local facilitators to implement the curriculum. These facilitators will go through individualized training on how to implement the curriculum effectively. The program entails close monitoring and evaluation with baseline, midline and end-line assessments of the child’s learning outcome. The program will also archive documents/video/audio and other medium on the practice, theory and impact of the curriculum after taking due consent from the beneficiaries.

 Being able to understand the world and express oneself in a language is the primary tool for learning and each child should be equipped with it.

Project lead : 

Akanksha Agarwal

Akansha Agarwal heads the Tarkeybein Education Foundation. With Design for Change, Global, she managed implementation and research for the Design Thinking Guide Pilot in 64 schools across India, conducted Impact Research with the Good project Team, Harvard Graduate School of Education and Education Initiatives, and designed Empathy Metric tools for Ashoka Changemaker Schools Initiatives. With Asian Paints CSR, she designed and ran teacher training programmes in language learning in Gujarat, and with Kaivalya Education Foundation, developed Headmaster Leadership Capabilities in Mumbai municipal schools, and ran the School Excellence Programme. Akanksha is a Gandhi Fellow, M.A Development Studies, TISS, and B.A (Honours) English Literature, Miranda House, Delhi University.

Observe & Interpret graphic below :