Plain English Summary
Background and study aims
This study evaluates the effectiveness of a nursery school programme called The Hanen Program® for Early Childhood Educators or Hanen Learning Language and Loving It (Hanen LLLI). Hanen LLLI is designed to provide staff with practical strategies to enhance children’s communication and language skills through specialised ways of interacting and communicating with children during normal daily routines.
The aim of the study is to explore whether the intervention has an effect on key outcomes of interest. The primary outcome will be language attainment as measured by vocabulary tests.
Who can participate?
Early Years Teachers and children in schools in the North-West of England will be included in the trial.
What does the study involve?
Settings will be randomly allocated to one of two groups. In the intervention group, Early Years teachers will be trained in the Hanen Learning Language and Loving It approach and will cascade learning to colleagues also teaching in their setting. Staff will then incorporate Hanen LLLI techniques throughout the school year. In the control group, learning will continue using current best practice.
At the start and end of the school year, children will take vocabulary tests and then we
will compare levels of language attainment for the treatment and the control students.
What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Hanen LLLI is designed to help language learning for early years children. There are no potential risks.
Where is the study run from?
National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) (UK)
When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
The study started in 2018 and will finish in 2021.
Who is funding the study?
The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) (UK)
Who is the main contact?
Robert Wishart, Robert.Wishart@natcen.ac.uk
(updated 04/07/2019, previously:
Fatima Husain: Fatima.Husain@natcen.ac.uk)
Hanen Learning Language and Loving It - the effect of a CPD programme on the language attainment of 3 and 4 year-olds in England.
1. What is the impact of Hanen LLLI on the language attainment of 3 to 4-year-olds?
2. Does the impact of Hanen LLLI differ by Early Years Pupil Premium status?
3. How is Hanen LLLI delivered, and what are the facilitators and barriers to delivery?
4. What are the perceived benefits of the program for EY practitioners, nurseries and children?
5. What is the per-pupil cost of the intervention?
Approved 09/04/2019, National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) Research Ethics Committee (35 Northampton Square, London EC1V 0AX; 0207 250 1866; firstname.lastname@example.org), ref: N/A
Two-arm cluster randomised controlled efficacy trial with random allocation at settinglevel
Primary study design
Secondary study design
Cluster randomised trial
Patient information sheet
Not available in web format. Please use contact details to request an information sheet.
This is a two-armed trial. The first arm is allocated to Learning, Language and Loving It™ - The Hanen Program® for Early Childhood Educators (Hanen LLLI). This is a training program for early years (EY) practitioners to promote social, language and literacy learning in nurseries. It is a continuing professional development (CPD) program designed to provide staff with practical strategies to enhance children’s communication and language skills through specialised ways of interacting and communicating with children during normal daily routines. The second arm is allocated to "business-as-usual".
The intervention will take place in the 2019/2020 academic year. The outcomes: Early Years children's language attainment as measured by the British Picture Vocabulary Scale (BPVS) and the Renfrew Action Picture Test (RAPT) - will be collected at baseline in Sept-Oct 2019 and follow-up in June-July 2020.
The randomisation will take place at cluster level (schools), stratified by region. Randomisation will be conducted in August 2019 by a trial analyst, blinded to the identity of schools. The randomisation will be run in Stata 14.1 SE by sorting schools by a randomly generated number (created with a stable seed sourced from the random number generator at random.org)
Primary outcome measure
Early Years children's language attainment as measured by the British Picture Vocabulary Scale (BPVS) and the Renfrew Action Picture Test (RAPT) - to be collected at baseline in Sept-Oct 2019 and ending in June-July 2020.
Secondary outcome measures
Overall trial start date
Overall trial end date
Reason abandoned (if study stopped)
Participant inclusion criteria
1. School-based nurseries and maintained nursery school.
2. Nurseries will be given a recommendation of signing up two-thirds of staff working with 3 to 4-year-olds to take part in Hanen LLLI, but the minimum requirement will be that at least 50 percent of eligible practitioners including a teacher should be able to participate.
3. No more than 50 percent of practitioners in a nursery should have previously participated in a similar Hanen intervention named ‘Teacher Talk’ and none should have previously participated in Hanen LLLI.
4. Should have a minimum of fifteen 3-4-year-olds to be included in the trial sample.
1. Should not have taken part in Teacher Talk.
Target number of participants
Staff in 147 schools and around 15 children per school, so around 2,200 children.
Participant exclusion criteria
Recruitment start date
Recruitment end date
Countries of recruitment
Trial participating centre
NatCen Social Research
35 Northampton Square
Education Endowment Foundation
Funding Body Type
private sector organisation
Funding Body Subtype
Trusts, charities, foundations (both publically funded and privately funded)
Results and Publications
Publication and dissemination plan
A protocol will be published on the Education Endowment Foundation website in Summer 2019 (https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/). A Statistical Analysis Plan will be published on the same website in Winter 2019. A final report will be published in Spring 2021.
IPD sharing statement: the datasets analysed in this study will be stored in a non-publicly available repository; the Fischer Family Trust (FFT) archive (https://fft.org.uk/). The dataset will be at individual level (i.e. one row per pupil), including information on the treatment they receive and the outcomes of testing (at baseline and follow-up). Data will be obtained and held under the legal basis of legitimate interests with individuals able to express objections to data processing until the data is archived. The data will be archived for an indefinite period for archiving, historical or scientific research purposes, with access criteria determined by the Fischer Family Trust and the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF). Data will be available in a pseudo-anonymised format so that future analysis incorporating data from the National Pupil Database (NPD) could be facilitated.
Intention to publish date
Participant level data
Stored in repository
Basic results (scientific)