Latest NFER trials add to evidence base on literacy interventions
18 February 2015
Results from NFER trials of two interventions designed to improve student literacy have been published by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) as part of the latest round of reports that will inform the Sutton Trust-EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit.
The NFER Education Trails Unit conducted randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of the Catch Up Literacy programme and the Talk for Literacy intervention, as two of 23 EEF-funded projects focused on literacy catch up at the transition from primary to secondary school.
Catch Up Literacy is a structured one-to-one literacy intervention for pupils between the ages of 6 and 14 who are struggling to learn to read. The intervention matches books to pupils according to their reading ability, which pupils then read to a teaching assistant (TA), so is intended to also support the development of their comprehension skills.
NFER found that pupils who received Catch Up Literacy made an additional two months’ progress compared to pupils who did not. However, this difference was not statistically significant, so it cannot be confidently concluded that it did not occur by chance.
Talk for Literacy is a speaking and listening intervention that combines the Vocabulary Enrichment Intervention Programme (VEIP) and the Narrative Intervention Programme (NIP) to enhance pupils’ literacy by improving their vocabulary and narrative skills. The intervention was used with Key Stage 2 pupils who had either not reached Level 4, or were considered ‘vulnerable’ Level 4 readers.
Key findings from the trial were that this intervention:
- had a moderate impact on overall reading ability roughly equivalent to three months’ progress, but this was not statistically significant (although was on the border of being so)
- had a significant impact on pupils’ ability in passage comprehension, equivalent to approximately three months of additional progress compared to control pupils
- had no significant impact on pupils’ ability to complete written sentences or accurately recall spoken sentences.
The full results from both trials can be found below:
For more information about the NFER Education Trials Unit visit our dedicated web pages.