Training, materials and delivery support

As part of the DfE-funded offer schools new to NELI will receive three things:

  1. Online staff training and support
  2. Access to a tablet-based language screening tool (called LanguageScreen)
  3. Printed resources e.g. programme handbook and flashcards

Overview of training and support

All training and support to deliver the programme is provided online, meaning it can be easily and flexibly accessed by all schools nationwide. The online training is hosted on the FutureLearn platform and involves three linked courses which school staff can access, work through and digest at their own pace. In other words, training can work around you and your school as there are no pre-specified times to attend.

Course 1 – Language Fundamentals

Course 2 – Delivering the Nuffield Early Language Intervention

Course 3 – Teaching letter/sounds and phonological awareness

The member of staff who will deliver the NELI group sessions (usually a TA) is required to complete all three courses which usually takes approximately 10 – 12 hours. Course 1 and course 2 are undertaken before starting the NELI activities with the children. Course 3 needs to be completed before delivering the 11th week of programme materials to children.

Reception class teachers for NELI pupils are required to complete course 1 and can choose to complete course 2 and 3 if they wish. Your schools nominated NELI lead for the programme can opt-in to receive access to the training.

All the online courses promote social learning. NELI trainees can communicate with fellow trainees in other schools, can ask questions, add comments and are monitored by a group of expert mentors, with experience in delivering NELI, who can quickly respond to queries. An online NELI Delivery Support Hub, also hosted on the platform FutureLearn, is accessible throughout and provides additional materials such as videos of NELI sessions, a forum for trainees to discuss approaches, ask NELI experts questions and connect with colleagues in other schools also delivering NELI.

Language screening tool

The NELI programme developers recognised the value in providing education professionals with a quick and accurate tool to assess children’s oral language skills and so developed the tablet-based assessment LanguageScreen.

Tablet showing LanguageScreen

This screening tool can be used to identify the language needs of children in your Reception cohort and support schools in deciding which children would benefit most from accessing additional targeted language support through NELI. It can also be used once children have completed the NELI programme to assess the progress they have made and plan what support the children may need as they move into Year 1.

The LanguageScreen app runs on both Android and iOS tablets and can be administered by teachers or teaching assistants. It is quick to use, about 10 minutes per child, and provides an accurate measure of a child’s language ability using four tasks:

  1. Expressive Vocabulary (naming pictures of objects)
  2. Listening Comprehension (answering questions about three stories)
  3. Receptive Vocabulary (selecting one of four pictures to match a spoken word)
  4. Sentence Repetition (repeating sentences verbatim, a measure of language comprehension and production skills)

As part of the DfE-funded offer for NELI, schools are provided with a subscription to access LanguageScreen. In line with data protection, schools will be required to notify parents before completing LanguageScreen assessments by sharing a letter with reference to LanguageScreen’s privacy notice. A letter template can be found on the LanguageScreen website.

Printed resources (NELI kit)

NELI includes a comprehensive pack of physical resources to support with delivering the programme to pupils.

  • There are two programme handbooks which provide teaching plans for each of the group sessions for the 20-week programme. An example session plan can be viewed here.
  • Engaging materials including flashcards are provided to support with key vocabulary development and story cards for the narrative activities.
  • And most importantly, Ted the puppet, who is always a big hit with the children.

NELI bear puppet and flashcard resources