Majorano, M., Persici, V., Ferrari, R., Bertelli, B., & Bastianello, T. (2021). Talk—An intervention programme for enhancing early literacy skills in preschool children: A pilot study. Child Care in Practice. https://doi.org/10.1080/13575279.2021.1929844
Many studies have reported that early interventions on language and early literacy skills are important for preventing later reading difficulties at primary school. The aim of the study is to assess the effectiveness of a 12-week intervention programme focused on enhancing pre-schoolers’ language and early literacy skills. Two groups of children (ages 5-6) were involved in the study: the “Talk-group”, who participated in the intervention programme, and the “Play-group”, who followed the standard preschool curriculum. The children’s early literacy skills were tested in two sessions six months apart, at the beginning and at the end of the last year of preschool. Data analysis showed that children achieved significantly higher scores in nonword repetition and lexical comprehension at the second assessment; however, only the children in the Talk-group produced significantly higher phonological awareness scores at the second session, i.e. after the intervention. Additional tests showed that the intervention programme was effective only in the case of more basic phonological awareness skills. The programme’s potential for supporting early literacy development in preschool and for preventing long-term difficulties in reading are discussed.