Plain English Summary
Background and study aims
Students who are English as an Additional Language (EAL) require extra support when learning subjects in English and this requires teachers to have special skills and resources to support them. The Integrating English programme aims to improve the language teaching of Year 5 and 6 teachers. It is intended to improve the language ability of all year 5 and 6 students, but is expected to have greatest impact on EAL students, which should in turn lead to better learning across all school subjects for all pupils. The LiLAC (Language in Learning Across the Curriculum) programme, owned by the Government of south Australia provides a specific teacher training that allows teachers to break down the teaching of language to pupils. The aim of this study is to improve language ability for all year 5 and year 6 students (and have the greatest impact on EAL students), which should in turn lead to better learning across all school subjects for all pupils by evaluating the LiLAC teacher training course.
Who can participate?
Schools that have at least eight year four pupils who are EAL in the academic year 2015/2016
What does the study involve?
Pupils at participating schools take a baseline test to evaluate their writing ability. Schools are randomly allocated to one of two groups. Participating schools pupils are taught by teachers who receive the LiLAC training course which involved four one-day modules with readings and homework tasks. Those in the second group continue teaching as usual. At the end of the term, pupils take their standard tests and their raw scores are used to compare the results of the two groups.
What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
There are no direct benefits or risks with participating.
Where is the study run from?
This study is being run by the Sheffield Institute of Education (UK) and takes place in UK schools.
When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
March 2016 to March 2019
Who is funding the study?
Education Endowment Foundation (UK)
Who is the main contact?
Dr Martin Culliney
Integrating English: An evaluation of the LiLAC approach to teaching language with 91 primary schools in England
The aim of this study is to improve language ability for all year 5 and 6 students, but is expected to have greatest impact on EAL students, which should in turn lead to better learning across all school subjects for all pupils.
Sheffield Hallam University Faculty of Development and Society Research Ethics Committee, 24/05/2017, ref: AM/RKT/297-CUL A1
Two-arm school-level clustered randomised controlled trial
Primary study design
Secondary study design
Cluster randomised trial
Patient information sheet
This study is a two-arm, school-level clustered randomised controlled trial.
Randomisation takes place at the school level. The MinimPy program is used to allocate schools to the intervention or control group using a minimisation approach. Five factors are used for minimisation: KS2 attainment, %EAL pupils, mean EAL fluency score, number of Y5 classes and geographic location (defined by one of the five ‘hub areas’ used to deliver the LiLAC training). This was completed on November 30th 2016.
The treatment group is taught by teachers who have taken LiLAC training. The intervention is based on LiLAC, a training course developed by Australian linguistics experts, widely used in Australia and owned by the Government of South Australia. The LiLAC course enables non-specialist teachers to adopt a functional approach to linguistics and grammar, aiming to break down the process of teaching language to pupils. It treats communication in academic subjects as a matter of 'learning how to mean' using the semiotic resources available to that subject: that is to say students learn through language, thus language learning is central to learning in all subjects.
Social semiotic language programmes such as Integrating English encourage English language and literature teachers to focus on the grammatical features of verbal art and everyday rhetoric; science teachers to focus on the grammatical features of classification, experimentation and reporting; history teachers to focus on the grammatical features of recounts and causation; maths teachers to focus on the grammatical features of problems, explanations and proofs; and so on.
The LiLAC course is delivered by external trainers. There are four one-day accredited modules attended by teachers in person, with readings and practical homework tasks between each session. Training takes place off school site, in five regional centres. Teachers visit their nearest regional centre for the training.
LiLAC training is an integral part of the Integrating English programme, which also provides ongoing support via FRONTER , an online platform. During the latter stages of training, schemes of work are developed by trainees, mentors and Integrating English advisers, based on learning from the LiLAC programme. Teaching then takes place based on these schemes of work.
The teaching takes place in normal classroom times during Summer term 2016/7, Autumn, Spring and Summer term 2017/8.
The control group will operate on a ‘business as usual’ basis. This trial does not have a wait list design. Participating schools students take their standard tests at the end of the year and their raw scores are analysed.
Primary outcome measure
Writing ability is measured using the raw scores from KS2 Writing past papers at the end of the 2017/2018 school year (Y6).
Secondary outcome measures
Spelling, punctuation and grammar is measured using the raw scores from KS2 tests (accessed through the National Pupil Database) at the end of the 2017/2018 school year (Y6).
Overall trial start date
Overall trial end date
Reason abandoned (if study stopped)
Participant inclusion criteria
Recruitment at school level:
Schools must have at least eight Y4 pupils with English as an Additional Language (EAL) in academic year 2015/6.
Target number of participants
91 schools randomised
Participant exclusion criteria
Schools with fewer than eight Y4 EAL pupils.
Recruitment start date
Recruitment end date
Countries of recruitment
Trial participating centre
Sheffield Institute of Education
Centre for Development and Research in Education
Education Endowment Foundation
Funding Body Type
Funding Body Subtype
Results and Publications
Publication and dissemination plan
Final report to be published on EEF website.
IPD sharing statement:
The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study will be stored in a non-publically available repository
Intention to publish date
Participant level data
Stored in repository
Basic results (scientific)