Talk Boost Key Stage 1
Talk Boost Key Stage 1 (TalkBoost KS1) is an intervention for children with delayed language. It is a targeted programme for children between the ages of 4 and 7. It is delivered in the school setting by teaching assistants, and aims to improve children’s core language skills, as well as academic attainment and social/emotional difficulties in the longer term.
Children taking part in the programme have all been identified by teachers as having delayed language (developing in the same way as typically developing children, though slower). The children do not have an identified special educational need. This may include children with English as an additional language.
Each Talk Boost Key Stage 1 group session consists of a mixture of fun, interactive activities: group games, worksheets, role play, and practical activities such as colouring according to specific instructions.
EIF Programme Assessment
This programme can affect outcomes for children in Active and healthy, physical and mental wellbeing.
According to the best available evidence for this programme's impact, it can achieve the following positive outcomes for children:
Enhancing school achievement & employment
Improved expressive vocabulary (with respect to information provided in sentences)
based on study 1
Improved expressive vocabulary (with respect to grammar in sentences)
based on study 1
Improved expressive discourse skills (with respect to grammar, information provided and sentence length when telling a story)
based on study 1
This programme also has evidence of supporting positive outcomes for couples, parents or families that may be relevant to a commissioning decision. Please see About the evidence for more detail.
Who is it for?
The best available evidence for this programme relates to the following age-groups:
Preschool Primary school
How is it delivered?
The best available evidence for this programme relates to implementation through these delivery models:
Where is it delivered?
The best available evidence for this programme relates to its implementation in these settings:
- Primary school
How is it targeted?
The best available evidence for this programme relates to its implementation as:
- Targeted indicated
Where has it been implemented?
- Northern Ireland
About the programme
What happens during the delivery?
How is it delivered?
- The child-focused component of Talk Boost Key Stage 1 is delivered in three sessions per week (up to 30–40 minutes in duration each) for 10 weeks, by one teacher assistant to groups of children.
- There is also a class-focused component for the whole class, which is delivered once a week in sessions up to 30 minutes long.
- Finally, there is also an optional home-based component, for each child, which involves home activites once a week lasting up to 20 minutes in duration.
What happens during the intervention?
- Each Talk Boost Key Stage 1 group session consist of a mixture of fun, interactive activities: group games, worksheets, role play, and practical activities such as colouring according to specific instructions.
- Each session focuses on the key components of language: listening and attention, vocabulary, sentence building, storytelling and conversations.
- The sessions aim to introduce, teach and practise language skills so that children understand why, as well as how, to communicate effectively.
What are the implementation requirements?
Who can deliver it?
- The practitioners who delivers this programme are a teaching assistant with NFQ-5 level qualifications, and a teacher with NFQ-7/8 level qualifications.
What are the training requirements?
- Practitioners have five hours of programme training each. Booster training of practitioners is not required.
How are the practitioners supervised?
- Supervision is not required.
What are the systems for maintaining fidelity?
Programme fidelity is maintained through the following processes:
- Training manual
- Other printed material
- Other online material
- Video or DVD training.
Is there a licensing requirement?
There is no licence required to run this programme.
How does it work? (Theory of Change)
How does it work?
- Children with good early language skills in the early school years make good progress academically, socially and emotionally.
- Talk Boost Key Stage 1 sessions, reinforced by whole-class activities, teach and consolidate core language skills important for learning and social/emotional development: sentence building, storytelling, listening and attention, conversations and vocabulary.
- In the short term, children’s core language skills improve significantly.
- In the longer term, children take a more active part in learning, contributing to class discussions. They have improved self-esteem and confidence. Ultimately the risk of poor academic attainment and social/emotional difficulties that are associated with language difficulties will be reduced.
- Achieving in all areas of learning and development
About the evidence
Talk Boost’s most rigorous evidence comes from an RCT which was conducted in the UK.
This study identified statistically significant positive impact on a number of child outcomes.
This programme is underpinned by one study with a level 2 rating, hence the programme receives a level 2 rating overall.
|Citation:||Lee & Pring, 2015|
|Sample:||180 children between 4 and 7 years old, where most children had significant language delays.|