To the best of our knowledge, NELI is the most well evidenced oral language programme available:
In 2014 an efficacy evaluation, conducted by the Education Endowment Fund, found NELI had a positive impact on the language skills of children in the trial. Staff also reported that the programme had a positive impact on children’s confidence.
In 2020 EEF funded a further National Scale-up trial of NELI to test if these results could be replicated when the programme is delivered under everyday conditions in a large number of schools. This independent evaluation found that:
- Children receiving the NELI programme made the equivalent of three additional months’ progress in language skills, on average, compared to children who did not receive NELI.
- Children with English as an Additional Language (EAL) made the same progress with NELI as their peers.
- Children receiving the NELI programme also made an additional 2 months’ progress in early word reading and an additional 5 months’ progress on a teacher administered language assessment.
An addendum to this research, published in 2023, focused on exploring the extent to which language impact was sustained and the impact of NELI on reading. Two years on, NELI was found to have a continuing positive effect on those who had gone through the programme.
Further research, published in 2022 in the Journal of School Psychology, investigated the effects NELI on children’s behavior in school. The cluster randomized trial in 193 primary schools found that children receiving NELI showed significantly greater improvements in behavior adjustment than the control group.