Nuffield Early Language Intervention
The Nuffield Early Language Intervention is an evidence-based oral language intervention for children in nursery and reception who show weakness in their oral language skills and who are therefore at risk of experiencing difficulty with reading. It is delivered over 30 weeks by teaching assistants in groups of 3-4 children.
The intervention was developed by a team from the University of York, who subsequently carried out a randomised control trial in 15 schools and feeder-nurseries across Yorkshire. After 30 weeks, the children who had received the intervention had improved expressive language skills, including the use of vocabulary and grammar. Their letter-sound knowledge and spelling also improved, indicating the foundations of phonics were in place.
After six months, the children in the intervention group had maintained their progress and actually outperformed the waiting control group on reading comprehension.
The Nuffield Foundation has worked with the researchers to license children’s communication charity I CAN to market the intervention, and to deliver training to licensed trainers and teaching assistants.
In its development stage, the Nuffield Early Language Intervention was called Nuffield Language4Reading.
In 2016, the Education Endowment Foundation conducted a randomised control trial of the roll-out, involving 34 schools and nurseries. An independent evaluation of the trial found that Nuffield Early Language Intervention improved the vocabulary, grammar and listening skills of four- and five-year-olds by as much as four months.
Silke Fricke, Claudine Bowyer-Crane, Allyson J Haley, Charles Hulme, Margaret Snowling (2013) - Efficacy of language intervention in the early years. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Julia M. Carroll (University of Warwick), Claudine Bowyer-Crane (University of York), Fiona J. Duff (University of York), Charles Hulme (University of York), Margaret J. Snowling (University of York)
December 2010, ©2011, Wiley-Blackwell
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