Category: Conferences

NAPLIC conference 2020 will now be livestreamed

The NAPLIC committee decided on Thursday 12th March to transfer our conference on March 21st online. Instead of meeting in Sheffield, we will livestream the event.

Details of how to access the livestream conference won’t be available until Wednesday 18 March. If you haven’t received details by Thursday 19th march please email

A full statement on the new conference details is available here

NAPLIC Conference 2020

The 2020 NAPLIC conference will be held on Saturday 21st March in Sheffield with a theme of “Developmental Language Disorder: moving forward together”.

Once again we have outstanding and inspiring speakers who will be sharing their knowledge about DLD and wider speech, language and communication needs.

A full list of conference speakers has been announced and conference programme has been released and it promises to be a fantastic event.

NAPLIC 2019 conference summary

Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) is a relatively new term, but it is very common with approximately two students in every mainstream classroom presenting with this condition. Most simply, DLD is trouble with understanding and / or talking. Recently the NAPLIC annual conference was held with the theme of ‘Growing Up with Developmental Language Disorder.’ The idea was to explore how DLD changes and how we can  provide support at different stages from early years, through primary and secondary education into young adulthood.

The day was opened by Juliet Wright, a young person with DLD, who very powerfully expressed the experience of being a young person with DLD. Her top tips included:

  • Make lessons visual, calm and fun
  • Keep language simple and flag up key words (ideally in advance)
  • Remember it takes longer for me to remember
  • Lessons are stressful and tiring, and so I need time for breaks
  • Give me strategies to support me when the words just won’t come.

Juliet struggles with language, but her needs have been identified and supported. Many others are not identified. Maxine Winstanley from University of Manchester found in her research that 50% of first-time young offenders had previously unidentified DLD. This contrasted with young adults with identified DLD who had been well supported in school. They were less likely to exhibit risky behaviour or be in contact with the police than their peers. Take home message: young people with unidentified needs are at far more risk

Anna Sowerbutts and Amanda Finer from Hackney outlined their programme, ‘DLD and Me’ to support children and young people understand their DLD diagnosis. The impact on students’ self-awareness has been transformative. We look forward to this being published later in the year.

Melanie Rudkins and Marie Newton work together in the multi-disciplinary support service in Brighton and Hove. Their theme was collaboration: amongst professionals, but importantly with schools and families. Something that we at NAPLIC fully endorse.

Support for students with DLD in secondary has often been a challenge, but Billie Lowe from City, University of London showed that a one hour INSET with secondary teachers can have a positive impact on how they teach vocabulary.

Data from a number of longitudinal studies was synthesised by Cristina McKean from Newcastle University into simple messages. Language needs that are identified at 4 years of age are very likely to persist, so intervention needs to start then. There is a small group of children (about 4%) who emerge after 4 years of age.

The day ended with a focus on Early Years and the big surprise came from Danielle Matthews at University of Sheffield who showed that whilst encouraging parents to respond to young babies’ communication (‘contingent talk’) had a positive effect, the same was not true for shared book reading. Deborah Powers from the ‘Time to Talk’ initiative in Warwickshire outlined how her innovative service support Early Years settings to provide quality support. Training had a great impact on staff and on the children they worked with.

NAPLIC is the national organisation for professionals who work with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN), and in particular Developmental Language Disorder. We are a committed bunch of volunteers who have been running for 35 years. Because we are volunteer run, we are able to be very cost-effective, with membership from £20 per year and conference from £99. Join us and support a better future for children and young people with DLD. To learn more about Developmental Language Disorder go to

Stephen Parsons


2019 conference a huge success

The 2019 conference theme ‘Growing up with Developmental Language Disorder’ was a huge success.

The day was opened by Juliet Wright, a young person with DLD, who very powerfully expressed the experience of being a young person with DLD.

The other speakers were a combination of research and practice looking at the pathway of DLD in terms of its presentation, services and interventions.

Key learning points included:

  • self awareness of DLD is crucial;
  • YP with identified DLD do better than those who have identified needs;
  • language needs at 4 years will continue, so intervention needs to be functional;
  • language interventions can still be successful at secondary school;
  • early years is crucial, but we need to look closely at the interventions, as what we think might work does not always work;
  • collaboration is key.

Early Bird conference rates extended until 15 February 2019

We are delighted to announce that we have extended the Early Bird rates for NAPLIC’s 2019 Conference: “Growing up with DLD”to 15 February 2019.

Hurry – conference places are selling out fast!

To find out more about the conference, view the full range of conference speakers and read our conference programme.


NAPLIC Conference exhibitors announced

The exhibitor list is now available for NAPLIC’s annual conference, due to take place on 11th May 2019 at Aston University, Birmingham.

Companies currently exhibiting:

  • Bite Publishing
  • Black Sheep Press
  • Course Beetle
  • Elklan
  • J & R Press
  • Language for Learning
  • Rompa/Winslow
  • Speechmark
  • Talking Products

There’s still time to purchase conference places at the Early Bird rates, which are available up until 31st January 2019.

Find out more and book online

Booking is now open for NAPLIC’s 2019 conference

NAPLIC’s 2019 Conference, “Growing up with DLD”, will take place on 11th May 2019 at Aston University in Birmingham.

The conference programme has now been announced which can be viewed online.  Speakers include Amanda Finer, Billie Lowe, Danielle Matthews, Cristina McKean, Marie Newton, Deborah Powers, Melanie Rudkin, Anna Sowerbutts and Maxine Winstanley.

The programme covers a wide range of topics related to DLD and promises to be another brilliant day.

Online booking starts at just £99 for a member early bird rate and £160 for non-members booking on the early bird rate.

Find out more and book online

First announcement for NAPLIC’s 2019 conference

The 2019 NAPLIC conference will be entitled “Growing up with DLD” and will take place on 11th May 2019 at the Conference Aston Meeting Suites, Aston University, Birmingham.

We are excited to announce the first conference speakers at our NAPLIC 2019 conference who include Danielle Matthews, Cristina McKean and Maxine Winstanley.

You can now register your interest to be notified when booking is open.

NAPLIC Conference 2018

The theme for the 2018 NAPLIC conference was ‘Developmental Language Disorder: Making change happen.’

It started Jean Gross summarising the findings of the Bercow 10 year review which included startling findings about the discrepancies between professionals and parents about how well families are listened to.

Mandy Grist and Mary Hartshorne, from ICAN, who have been working on the Bercow 10-year review, addressed the question of what next and showed the array of resources available at to support practitioners to become activists.

After morning break we heard Megan Dixon from Aspirer Research School on how evidence is used across her trust and the impact this has had on outcomes. The ‘can-do’ approach was inspiring. Following on was Tom Martell from the Educational Endowment Foundation outlining how interventions we really want to work may not always achieve positive outcomes when researched. A new report from EEF on Early Years is out in May and emphasises oral language.

In a first for a NAPLIC conference we heard from young people, adults and families affected by Developmental Language Disorder. In a structured Q and A session attendees heard about the struggles and achievements of a very brave group of people. Maxine Burns from ICAN presented on the innovative ‘Talk about Talk secondary,’ which is a training package co-delivered by young people with DLD. This session brought home the need for wider understanding of DLD, but also continued support in secondary schools and into adulthood.

In the final session of the day there was a series of presentations from schools and services outlining good practice. The session started in Early Years with Cheryl Dyer from Surrey outlining how her service had got involved in research into the Nuffield Early Language Intervention programme. For the primary phase it was Mary Coleman from Falkirk in Scotland talking about whole school improvement including a breadth of interventions and collaborative practice. These two themes continued with Sarah Smith from Worestershire and Julia Husband from Hanley Castle High School talking about how they work together to develop whole school practice. The session was closed by Rachel Keen from Kent presenting on how the Balanced System has been applied in sixty schools across Kent to improve practice for SLCN.

President of NAPLIC, Professor Courtenay Norbury ended the day with ‘reasons to be cheerful.’ These were:

  • There are lots of dedicated professionals working with Developmental Language Disorder
  • Awareness of DLD is rising
  • The evidence base is growing
  • This evidence base is being used more widely

I would add that the latter three points all need further development.

NAPLIC 2018 was an exhilarating learning event. The conference next year is on May 11th 2019 and will explore DLD more fully.

NAPLIC Conference 2018

The 2018 conference will be held in either late April or mid-May. The working themes currently are the Bercow 10 Years Review and next steps with Developmental Language Disorders, now that we have a label for the condition.

If you have suggestions for speakers you would like to hear then please contact


NAPLIC 2020 Conference: “Developmental Language Disorder: moving forward together”

Saturday March 21st saw the first ever NAPLIC online conference. This was thrust upon us by circumstances, and although a very different experience it was amazingly successful.

Read full summary


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