Education Endowment Foundation:Talk for Literacy

Talk for Literacy

Greenford High School
Implementation costThe cost estimates in the Toolkits are based on the average cost of delivering the intervention.
Evidence strengthThis rating provides an overall estimate of the robustness of the evidence, to help support professional decision-making in schools.
Impact (months)The impact measure shows the number of additional months of progress made, on average, by children and young people who received the intervention, compared to similar children and young people who did not.
Project info

Independent Evaluator

NFER logo
Testing the impact of three speaking and listening interventions on literacy.
Schools: 3 Grant: £148,110
Key Stage: 3 Duration: 2 year(s) Type of Trial: Efficacy Trial
Completed January 2014

Talk for Literacy is a speaking and listening intervention that comprises two programmes: the Vocabulary Enrichment Intervention Programme (VEIP) and the Narrative Intervention Programme (NIP). Teaching assistants delivered the intervention to small groups of pupils

There is good evidence for the positive impact of oral language interventions, and for the positive impact of TA-led structured interventions. The EEF funded this trial to see if these speaking and listening programmes could improve reading attainment.

Pupils that received Talk for Literacy made the equivalent of three months’ additional progress in reading. There was an even larger impact for pupils eligible for free school meals – although the small number of pupils make this result less secure than the overall finding

Talk for Literacy appears to be a promising approach for improving reading outcomes. The EEF continues to evaluate oral language approaches

  1. The speaking and listening intervention had a moderate impact on overall reading ability but this was not statistically significant (although was on the border of being so).
  2. The intervention had a significant impact on pupils’ ability in passage comprehension; an effect size of 0.25, equivalent to approximately 3 months of additional progress compared to control pupils.
  3. The intervention had no significant impact on pupils’ ability to complete written sentences or accurately recall spoken sentences.
  4. The reasonably fast pace of delivery and necessarily selective approach to the programme materials (given the time available) may have limited the intervention’s impact.
ImpactThe size of the difference between pupils in this trial and other pupils
SecurityHow confident are we in this result?
Months' progress
Reading (FSM)
Months' progress