NELI provides one-to-one and small-group support for reception children with poor spoken language skills. It is delivered over two terms (20 weeks) by teaching assistants who have received training from Oxford University. The intervention comprises two 15-minute individual sessions and three 30-minute small group sessions each week, which focus on developing children’s early language.

The evidence-base for the impact of NELI on early language is unparalleled. Children receiving NELI make the equivalent of 3 additional months’ progress in language skills. An additional 2 months’ progress was also made in early word reading. Children with English as an additional language (EAL) receiving the NELI programme also made the equivalent of 3 additional months’ progress in language compared to EAL children who did not receive NELI. This evidence has the highest security rating from the EEF following a recent randomised control trial.

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