Have you ever received a report from a Speech and Language Therapist which talks about a child understanding an instruction containing 2 ‘key’ words or 2 ‘important’ words? If so, then they are referring to Knowles and Masidlover’s Information Carrying Word approach. Information Carrying Words, or as we tend to say for ease ICWs, is an approach routinely used by Therapists to assess and develop a child’s understanding. It also has many other benefits which include supporting listening and attention, memory, expressive language skills and taking turns.

Back in 2009, Elklan created a resource called CuBIC Foundations. This was later adapted to become Early Years Based Information Carrying Words, otherwise known as EYBIC. EYBIC is a ready-made programme of fun, practical activities covering a range of topics such as actions, food, animals and toys.

EYBIC Word Pack

EYBIC Digital Downloads

Elklan have joined forces with Sheffield University to carry out a randomised control trial to evaluate the effectiveness of EYBIC. The 2014 SEND Code of Practice highlights the importance of using evidence-based approaches. With more children than ever struggling with their speech, language and communication skills, it’s essential that we have a range of tools to choose from in our intervention toolkit.

The project, funded by a grant from the Communication Consortium, began back in September 2022 with 42 settings receiving training on how to use ICWs and the EYBIC programme. 6 children from each setting have been identified to take part in the project, with 3 being allocated to an intervention group and 3 to a control group. The intervention group will receive a maximum of 4 sessions per week over 13 weeks depending on their attendance.

As you would expect, the settings have seen their fair share of winter bugs, however morale remains high with positive feedback from practitioners:

The children come and find me if I have not completed the session at the time they expect me to

The resources are easy prepare and use………we are very keen to roll out the programme with lots more children

One parent is loving the home activities. She does it with the whole family

With only a few weeks of the project remaining, the final intervention sessions are being delivered and then it will be over to our team of assessors to carry out the post intervention assessment. We look forward to sharing the results with you later in the year.

EYBIC Picture Pack

EYBIC Resources


Department for Education and Department of Health and Social Care (2014).
SEND Code of Practice: 0-25 years.
Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25

Knowles, W and Masidlover, M (1982)
The Derbyshire Language Scheme.
Published by Derbyshire County Council.