Programme Resource

Early Words Together for multilingual families

Added 07 Jun 2018
Woman and 2 girls reading

These resources are only available to schools and settings once they have undertaken Early Words Together for multilingual learners training. If you are not a part of this project, go to the Early Words Together page to learn more about running the programme in your setting.

Children who are multilingual learners (MLL) are speakers or learners of two or more languages. Previously known as children with EAL (English as an Additional Language), MLL children and their families have been shown to benefit greatly from the Early Words Together programme.

Resources for supporting MLL families through Early Words Together are available to download here.

In 2018/19, we delivered Early Words Together for MLL families in nine schools in Peterborough and Leeds, supported by the Dulverton Trust, and in ten schools in Bedford and two schools in Luton, supported by Harpur Trust, The Panacea Charitable Trust and The Wixamtree Trust.

Participants please note that these resources will continue to be developed, adapted and added to, so it is important that you check this webpage regularly.

Read a brief description of each resource available:

Staff training

  • Staff training presentation - The PowerPoint used in the staff training
  • Supplementary materials - Extra materials exploring working with MLL families used in the staff training
  • Staff action planning template - Template used in the staff training to plan the way forward for Early Words Together in your school

Volunteer management and training

  • Volunteer management FAQs - This resource for staff has information about manage, recruit, and support volunteers
  • Volunteer recruitment poster - These posters can be displayed around the setting to recruit volunteers
  • Volunteer training presentation - A presentation to train volunteers, complete with notes and guidance
  • Volunteer training resources - These resources support the volunteer training and include a training evaluation form for volunteers
  • Sample session plans - We will add sample session plans as examples of how you and the volunteers can plan sessions with families. If you would like to submit an example of your own practice that you feel would benefit other settings, please contact

Volunteers and families

  • Early Words Together book list - This list includes some of the books we have found work best with children in the programme, and some pointers for choosing books to use with MLL families
  • Why sharing rhymes, stories and books matters! - This book was created by families who attend St. Edmund’s Nursery school. It offers information about the importance of sharing books and stories in a readable, user-friendly format, and features activities for volunteers and parents
  • Early Words Together for children with SEND - This resource explains how Early Words Together has been delivered with children and families with special educational needs and disabilities
  • Volunteer and family certificate templates - These certificates are for volunteers and families who complete the programme
  • Family attendance log

Evaluation and monitoring

  • Parent and volunteer surveys - Parents and volunteers must complete surveys as part of the programme. The volunteer survey is to be completed after every cycle of six sessions, and parents should complete their survey when they leave the programme. Parent surveys are also available in different languages as downloadable resources.

Parent survey
Volunteer survey

  • Practitioner surveys - Practitioners supporting Early Words Together must complete a pre-programme survey before they run their first session. The survey can be found below

Practitioner pre-programme survey

  • MLL early years assessment grid - an adaptation of the ECAT monitoring tool in line with the EAL proficiency stages

Practitioner/family case study templates

As part of the project, practitioners complete a template that captures:

  1. Your learning as a practitioner
  2. Your observations of a family's journey during the project

You need to complete one case study as part of the course, but please feel free to share more.
Please ask parents to complete the National Literacy Trust permission form if you would like to include photos of volunteers, parents and children in your case study.

Progress report (due termly)

Settings are asked to complete a very simple online progress report each term outlining how many families they’ve worked with, challenges encountered and successes achieved. Please find the link below.

Progress report

Please contact with any questions you have about the programme and resources.

Bilingual quick tips

Bilingual quick tips

The quick tips provide parents with ideas for helping their child develop good listening and talking skills. Here you can access the quick tips in 17 different languages.