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What is NELI?

NELI is an integrated programme that provides schools with a way of identifying early language difficulties and is proven to improve children’s language skills.

How the programme is structured

Schools first use LanguageScreen to identify children who require intervention. A member of school staff (usually a teaching assistant or early years educator) then delivers three small group sessions and two individual sessions to a targeted group of around 4-6 pupils for 20 weeks.

Evidence and programme development

NELI was developed by leading academics in the field of language and literacy development. The aim was to design an evidence-based early intervention programme that could be easily delivered by schools to address children’s language needs.

A series of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) – the gold-standard method for measuring the effectiveness of an intervention – have made NELI the best evidenced language intervention in the world and shown that it has significant impact:

  • NELI children made 3-5 months’ additional progress in language skills in just six months.
  • NELI children’s behaviour was shown to improve significantly (compared to the control group).
  • Children with English as an Additional Language (EAL) made the same additional progress.
  • NELI has a very high evidence security rating – 5/5 according to the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF).
  • NELI is not expensive to implement – the EEF’s cost rating is ‘very low’.
  • NELI’s positive effects can be seen long-term, with improvements in language and word reading being seen in children two years after the intervention.

Training, materials and delivery support

The NELI programme is accompanied by an array of supportive tools: online self-paced training for teachers and classroom assistants, an online delivery support hub, webinars, a dedicated support team and all the resources and session plans to deliver the programme to children.

NELI is so worth it. When you look at the difference it is making to the children who receive the intervention, it’s potentially life-changing

Shushila Bhanderi
Uxendon Manor Primary School

Narrative Milestones

A narrative is a story or sequence of linked events or ideas, and it can be difficult for young children to produce a narrative effectively. Whenever they are telling you what they had for tea, or what happened just now in the playground, or pretending to be Goldilocks and the Three Bears, they are using narrative skills.

Once children can choose which words to say, and combine these to make individual sentences, they need to be able to build them into a coherent sequence or story. Narrative skills develop as children get older and there are typical narrative milestones. NELI helps you support the children who are finding these skills difficult.

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