The Boost for reading

Published: 07 March 2024

Author: Helena Holmlund, And Josefin Häggblom, And Erica Lindahl, And

We evaluate the “Boost for Reading”, an in-service training program for teachers aimed at improving the teaching of literacy and boosting students’ reading and writing proficiency. The program provides research summaries about teaching strategies as a basis for group-based discussion, lesson preparations and evaluations under the supervision of a coach. The program was rolled out across Swedish compulsory schools in school years 2015/16–2017/18. We analyze the effects of the intervention using a staggered difference-in-differences strategy excluding treated schools as controls. We find that in lower secondary school, the program shifted the teaching towards a stronger focus on “reading strategies” and raised student test scores in the Swedish language, social study subjects, and science studies by on average 2–5 percent of a standard deviation, respectively. However, we find no effects on teaching practices at stage 1, and accordingly, no effects on the youngest students’ test scores.


IFAU-Working paper 2024:6 "The Boost for reading" is written by Helena Holmlund, Josefin Häggblom and Erica Lindahl at IFAU. For more information contact Josefin Häggblom, e-mail:, or Erica Lindahl, e-mail:

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The Boost for reading