Learning Language and Loving It (TM) - The Hanen Program® for Early Childhood Educators

This project and its evaluation were affected by the 2020 and 2021 partial school closures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, delivery of the intervention has been adapted and extended. Outcome data collection will be a year later than planned. The evaluation protocol is being updated and will be published here as soon as possible.

The Hanen Centre is a Canadian charity that has developed a suite of programmes to support language development. The Learning Language and Loving It programme (LLLI) provides training for Early Years practitioners to promote language and early literacy. It provides practical strategies for helping all children in the classroom build language and social skills. These strategies include encouraging children to initiate and engage in conversational interaction, encouraging extended individual and group conversations between adults and children, and modelling more sophisticated language to expand the child’s oral language skills and facilitate the development of abstract language.

In this project, LLLI will be delivered by Communicate SLT CIC, a Blackpool-based organisation with previous experience of delivering Hanen programmes. Hanen-certified trainers will deliver training to two groups of around 18 Early Years Professionals. Training consists of eight, 2.5-hour group training sessions (total 20 hours) and six individual video feedback sessions. In the video feedback sessions, EY professionals’ interactions with children are videotaped by and reviewed with the programme tutor.

Why are we funding it?

This programme was recommended for further evaluation by the recent EEF-funded review of early language interventions. It is well-informed by research on child development and early language. There have been several trials of the programme internationally, but no trials in the UK.

The EEF previously funded a pilot evaluation of the programme which demonstrated that it is feasible in the English context. 

How are we evaluating it?

We have appointed a team from NatCen, led by Fatima Husain, to evaluate the programme. NatCen have designed an efficacy trial to examine the impact of the programme on language development. Delivery of the intervention will begin from September 2019 and language outcomes will be measured at the end of the academic year. A process evaluation will be conducted to examine how the programme is implemented and the impact on teachers’ practice. 

When will the evaluation report be due?

The evaluation report will be published in Summer 2022.