Pooja Reddy Nakamura

Principal Researcher and Program Area Lead, International Education

Pooja Reddy Nakamura is a principal researcher in the International Development Division at AIR. As lead of the International Foundational Learning Practice Hub, she oversees a portfolio of research, evaluations, assessments, and implementation projects on foundational learning in over 20 countries, especially in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The focus of her research is on understanding how foundational literacy is acquired in complex multilingual education contexts. This includes investigating the cognitive underpinnings of multilingual reading acquisition, mixed-method evaluations, and evidence syntheses of language of instruction impacts on foundational learning. She has also led several language mapping and language transition studies to better inform education policies and programs. Her technical assistance projects focus on the implementation of AIR’s Foundational Learning Improvement Package (FLIP), which includes curricula development, teacher professional development for multilingual literacy teaching, structured pedagogy, and literacy assessments in diverse linguistic environments.  


Previously, Dr. Nakamura has also taught in a variety of settings, including teaching English to pre-school children in urban poor communities in India, and English as a Second Language to pre-school to high-school students in Japan. She has also taught university students English as Second Language and Japanese as a Foreign Language in the U.S. She has authored several peer-reviewed journal articles, and served on the editorial board of the journal, Reading and Writing.


Pooja Nakamura

Ph.D. and M.A., Second Language Acquisition, Carnegie Mellon University; B.A., Cognitive Psychology, University of California, Irvine