Reading Recovery Programme – Malta

This scholastic year, the National Literacy Agency (NLA), in collaboration with University College London (UCL), is implementing Reading Recovery in state primary schools in Malta and Gozo.

Reading Recovery is a literacy intervention programme in English, based on twelve to twenty weeks of instruction, designed to meet the needs of children who have the lowest achievement in literacy learning within a specific 6-month age range in Year 2. Children are taught individually, by a specially trained teacher, for 30 minutes each day. The goal of Reading Recovery is for children to develop effective reading and writing strategies to be able to work within the average range of classroom performance.

There is evidence which shows the success of Reading Recovery implementation in Malta. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, during scholastic year 2018-2019, 123 children completed their Reading Recovery programme. 105 of these programmes were successfully discontinued as these children could read and write at age-expected levels. This represented successful outcomes for 85.4% of completed programmes, or just over eight out of every ten children. These results have been encouraging and suggest strongly that Reading Recovery is as effective in Malta as it is in other implementation contexts.

All teachers follow continuous professional development sessions to carry out Reading Recovery sessions. To be trained in Reading Recovery, teachers undertake a year-long, professional development programme which is taught by seven local qualified Teacher Leaders and administered by the National Literacy Agency. The Reading Recovery Teacher Professional Development programme interweaves theoretical understandings and practical experiences. Teacher Leaders also monitor the quality of Reading Recovery implementation in schools.

Some Reading Recovery programmes are currently being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not always possible for children who are receiving Reading Recovery support to be given a whole programme in the usual way. This is due to the need to deploy Reading Recovery trained Complementary Education Teachers and Literacy Support Teachers to replace absent classroom teachers. The Agency strongly recommends that schools implementing Reading Recovery give priority to this literacy intervention programme when allocating class teacher replacements.

For more information about the Reading Recovery programme, please send an email to Ms Janet M. Cristina, Senior Manager NLA, at or call 2598 3327.