The Ministry of Education was trialling an Oral Language and Literacy initiative (OLLi) to support early literacy and oral language skills among young learners in New Zealand. OLLi is being implemented across 8 regions in New Zealand, and was expected to reach approximately 24,000 children within 800 Early Learning Services from 2018 to 2021. Through specifically trained Speech-language Therapists, the initiative intended to positively influence ELS culture and staff, build confidence and improve practice in terms of building oral language and literacy in children. As a result, children’s oral language and literacy was expected to improve through these engagements that emphasised language sounds, words, structure and complexity.

The evaluation

Standard of Proof supported the Ministry of Education national and regional teams to test and iterate the design of a cluster-randomised trial to work alongside this initiative throughout the first year. The evaluation is now being implemented, providing robust evidence within this ‘real-world’ context.

We are proud to have supported the Ministry of Education in their endeavour towards quality evidence, and we wish the Ministry of Education and the hard-working OLLi team every success at improving outcomes for our young learners.