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What is NELI?

The Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) is a programme for children in Reception (4-5 years) which has been found to improve children’s language and early literacy skills.

How the programme is structured

A member of school staff (usually a teaching assistant or early years educator) delivers three small group sessions and two individual sessions to a targeted group of around 3-6 pupils for 20 weeks.

Evidence and programme development

NELI is a Nuffield Foundation initiative and 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. Several robust evaluations have led to NELI being the most well-evidenced early language programme available to schools in England.

Training, materials and delivery support

The NELI programme is accompanied by an array of supportive tools: online self-paced training for teachers and TAs, an online delivery support hub, a tablet-based language assessment tool (LanguageScreen) to support with identifying pupils to receive NELI, and the resources and session plans to deliver the programme to pupils.