Remote RILL

The COVID-19 pandemic forced children and educators out of the classroom and into the home. We quickly devised an evidence-based language and literacy programme that could be taught live and online directly to the child's home, with an emphasis on a fun, pupil-led experience.

Our teaching team received intensive training on how to deliver RILL lessons using a positive and constructive approach to the online learning experience. The materials are specifically adapted to an online environment, making use of multiple interactive elements such as moving .gifs, videos, sound effects and games. Each lesson lasts about 40 minutes, and lessons were delivered several times a week over eight weeks.

The programme comprised 16 lessons, delivered via Microsoft Teams and OneNote. Synchronous and asynchronous versions were made available.

The main components of each lesson were:

1. Story reading with vocabulary development

2. Vocabulary-based word games

3. Spelling activities.

As the child progressed through the program, they wrote two stories of their own, which they then illustrate and recorded as an audiobook.

We delivered remote RILL to just over 200 children during the first national lockdown in 2020. We found that children who received RILL retained their literacy skills - measured via standardized literacy tests - compared with a waitlist control group [results forthcoming]. In our current projects we are now conducting an RCT in order to fully evaluate the programme's efficacy.