Step-by-step guide to the first few weeks of delivering the NELI intervention

This section is to guide you through the first few weeks of the NELI programme. Whether you’re a seasoned NELI practitioner or beginning your first NELI sessions these guidelines will help you make the most of your NELI sessions.

The information below references steps in the NELI Online Training courses and NELI Support Hub, as well as the contents of your NELI Resource Pack(s). If you do not have access to the NELI online training, or are missing anything from your pack, please contact us on [email protected] for assistance.

Week 1 of NELI Delivery

Monday and Tuesday – Assessment of Narrative Speech and Grammar

A detailed timetable for NELI delivery can be found on page 15 of the Part 1 Teaching Handbook, as well as on Step 1.1 of Course 2:

Part 1 NELI timetable

Where possible, we recommend you start your NELI sessions on a Monday. As you can see, the first two days are set aside for you to complete the ‘Assessment of Narrative Speech and Grammar’ sheet (Part 1 Teaching Handbook, p. 106-107) with each child in your NELI Group. Don’t worry, this won’t take two whole days, just 5 minutes or so for each child.

This assessment will give you a good indication of the level of language skill each child has and will enable you to set appropriate narrative targets for each child right from the start of the programme.

You can find videos demonstrating these initial narrative assessment sessions in the NELI Support Hub from Steps 1.12 to 1.16 alongside example completed assessment sheets. The assessment sheets can be downloaded here.

For this assessment, you should use a three-sequence picture story card; it doesn’t matter which one you use but remember to use the same story card each time you conduct the assessment (at the end of week 10 and week 20). You will find the three-sequence picture story cards in your set of green flashcards – here are some examples:


NELI-R 1 3-sequence picture story

Write down the child’s story (with no prompting), conduct the assessment and set three targets. Example targets might be “use of past tense”, “use of pronouns he, his, she, they etc”, “identify character in story”.

Please see Step 1.17 of the NELI Support Hub (Effective record keeping – tracking progress and setting targets) where you’ll find the Grammar toolkit and Narrative Assessment targets in the Downloads section.

You may also like to complete the Attitude and Behaviour record sheet which can be found in the Part 1 Teaching Handbook (p. 108), or download here.

Wednesday – First Group Session

On the third day you undertake the first NELI Group session. The structure, content and format of the Group sessions are laid out in detail in the NELI Handbooks. Refer to Session 1 in the Part 1 Teaching Handbook (p. 27-29) for the first Group session plan. The structure and timings for this initial session are slightly different from the other Group sessions as the children are introduced to the programme and no vocabulary is taught. See Steps 1.3 – 1.10 of Course 2 for full instructions on delivering NELI Group sessions.

You can also find useful demonstration videos of the Group Sessions in the NELI Support Hub, Step 1.11 ‘Group Sessions in Action’.

The first video you’ll see in this step is Session 1. This is the first time our NELI practitioner shows the ‘Ted’ puppet to the children and introduces the ‘Days of the week’, ‘Listening Rules’ and the ‘Best Listener sticker’ and board. We hope this provides inspiration for your own first session.

Best listener listening rules etc composite

Thursday – First Individual Sessions with each Child

On the fourth day you will begin Individual sessions with each of the children. The structure and timings of the first Individual session are different from the rest, as the children won’t have any vocabulary to learn yet. This first session is an opportunity for the child to get used to the session format and location, feel secure in their learning environment and understand what is expected of them. A good plan for this first session could be:

The rest of the Individual sessions follow the standard full Individual session structure and timings; see Steps 1.12 – 1.19 of Course 2 for full instructions on delivering NELI Individual sessions.

While the Group Sessions follow detailed session plans, the Individual sessions allow you more flexibility to meet the needs of each child based on their Assessment of Narrative Speech and Grammar. However, we know that planning time is often limited and to get you into the swing of delivering NELI, we have provided optional session plans for every Individual session. See Step 1.23 of the NELI Support Hub.

Friday – Second Group Session

On the Friday you undertake the second Group Session. By now we hope you will be in the swing of your NELI delivery, and it will be less daunting. Please refer to Session 2 in the Part 1 Teaching Handbook (p. 30-32) for the second Group session plan. You can also refer to the videos in Step 1.11 of the NELI Support Hub ‘Group Sessions in Action’ for inspiration.

Week 2 of NELI Delivery Onwards

In the second week delivery falls into a standard pattern of three Group sessions (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) and two Individual sessions with each child (Tuesday and Thursday). The full timetable for NELI delivery can be found on page 15 of the Part 1 Teaching Handbook, as well as on Step 1.1 of Course 2, or can be downloaded here.

We hope that the NELI Teaching handbooks and the NELI Online Training provide you with all the tools you need to continue your NELI delivery to pupils throughout the 20-week programme.

If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected] or post a message in one of the Comments sections on the NELI Support Hub or other Courses and our Mentors will be happy to help.