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What is NELI?

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.

Child holding NELI flashcard with a picture of an owl

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 has led to NELI being the most well-evidence early language programme available to schools in England.

Early years children reading at school NELI

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 idenitfying pupils to recieve NELI, and the resources and session plans to deliver the programme to pupils.

Teacher and young girl reading at school NELI

Programme timeline for schools new to NELI in 2021/22