Nuffield Early Language Intervention

Nuffield Early Language Intervention

What is the Nuffield Early Language Intervention?

The Nuffield Early Language Intervention is a 20-week programme proven to help young children overcome language difficulties. It is designed for children aged 4-5 years and combines small group work with one-to-one sessions delivered by trained teaching assistants, targeting vocabulary, narrative skills, active listening and phonological awareness. Developed by a team led by Maggie Snowling and Charles Hulme, the intervention has been evaluated in robust trials funded by the Education Endowment Foundation and the Nuffield Foundation. These have found it to be effective for improving children’s oral language skills as well as promoting longer-term progress in reading comprehension.

  • The Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) is designed to improve the spoken language ability of children in reception classrooms.
  • It is targeted at children with relatively poor spoken language skills.
  • Teaching Assistants are trained in how to develop children’s language skills.
  • Clear lesson plans are provided to save preparation time.
  • Materials for children are bright and accessible.
  • Three 30-minute sessions per week are delivered to groups of five children during the Spring and Summer terms (20 weeks).
  • Children also attend an additional two 15-minute individual sessions per week.
  • All sessions focus on listening, narrative and vocabulary skills.
  • Work on phonological awareness is introduced in the final ten weeks.

Training available

Training for TAs


Download the PDF brochure produced by Oxford University Press for more information.


More information about NELI:

EEF Preparing Literacy Guidance 2018

EEF: Preparing for Literary Guidance Report, 2018

Download the PDF

New guidance from EEF. NELI is specifically mentioned on p. 23!

Find out more

To find out more about the Nuffield Early Language Intervention and how it can benefit your school, please contact:

Oxford University Press
(01536) 452620