Speech and Language Link

We’ve been around for nearly 20 years. Starting with 3 people, we now have 25 dedicated staff including our speech and language therapists, administrators, creatives, IT professionals: many with a wealth of experience of working in schools. Our headquarters is based at Canterbury Innovation Centre, an office building that promotes sustainability, innovation and independent businesses in Kent. However, as some of our team live further afield, hybrid working has become the new norm for us all. We are all working hard to help schools to identify hidden SLCN and to support these pupils, especially those who may not fulfil the criteria for a speech and language referral.

DLD awareness

How are you planning to raise awareness of DLD this year?

With 2 children in every class of 30 having the neurodevelopmental condition, Developmental Language Disorder (DLD), it is essential that all staff have the knowledge to be able to support children and young people with DLD, as their difficulties are not always obvious to the non-specialist.

DLD Awareness Day is on Friday 14th October 2022. Speech and Language Link will be hosting a coffee morning – inviting all the different businesses at our centre to join us for a cuppa and a cake (on condition they have a quick conversation about DLD with our team)!

Visit RADLD at radld.org for fact sheets, quizzes and teacher resources to help spread the word and find out how your school can become an RADLD Ambassador.

We can’t wait to see how you mark the day as we would love to feature your school in the next issue of The Link.

What we do…

We bring you The Link magazine each term, but did you know Speech and Language Link also:

  • Provides the SLCN support packages within The Speech and Language Link Whole School Approach (Speech Link, Infant Language Link, Junior Language Link, Secondary Language Link)
  • Runs online SLCN training courses, The Link CPD – now CPD Certified!
  • Produces and updates our new Free SLCN Support library at www.speechandlanguage.info
  • Compiles our monthly SLCN eNewsletter
  • Creates resources for our free Parent Portal
  • Runs The Link Facebook group
  • Organises and hosts our annual online SLCN conference, The Link Live

So, we’re kicking off this new feature with lots of information about us. However, we want future features to be all about you and what we can do to help you support children with SLCN. Whether you are one of the 4000 subscribers to our Speech Link and Language Link packages, a reader of The Link, use our Parent Portal or dip into The Link Facebook Group occasionally, you are all part of The Link Community, and we want to hear from you!

What’s new?

Do you get frustrated that informative and useful information relating to speech, language and communication needs is not always easy to access? Well, look no further… we are relaunching our information website and it will offer you a fantastic FREE SLCN support library which will include searchable back issues of The Link magazine, The Ultimate Guide to SLCN and all our blog posts. Just type a word into the search box and away you go – all the information from the library relating to that topic will be available!

Visit: www.speechandlanguage.info

Save the Date: The Link Live 2023

After the tremendous success of The Link Live 21 & 22, we are thrilled to announce that our SLCN online conference returns on Friday 10th March 2023. We have a fantastic programme of speakers who will offer schools the very latest thinking, the best advice and effective strategies for supporting children and young people with SLCN from EYFS to secondary aged students.

Tickets cost £80+VAT, but early bird discounted tickets will be on sale after half term. As always, subscribers to Speech and Language Link packages will pay the very special price of just £30+VAT.

Help and Support

We regularly receive lovely feedback about our Speech and Language Help Desk. Maz, Laura, Jenny and Natalie are all experienced TAs and have worked with many children with SLCN. Newbie Natalie has also been a speech and language therapy assistant for the NHS. Between them, they have the answers to your technical and administrative questions. The SaLT team Derry, Sophie, Louise, Juliet and Ali will answer SLCN specific questions regarding Speech Link and Language Link assessment outcomes and the next steps for identified pupils.


For your Diary

If you are a subscriber to a Speech and Language Link support package, we have some key dates for your diary:


  • Book your free training webinars for Speech Link and Language Link – details will be on your homepage
  • Set up your classes and upload/assign your pupils
  • Complete assessments on children who have previously scored blue/red


  • Screen your new cohorts with Infant Language Link and Junior Language Link


  • Commence whole class and targeted group interventions
  • Book your early bird tickets for The Link Live 2023

The Link Facebook Group

Join the conversation with 600+ members and receive weekly videos and posts from our speech and language team, take part in polls and share good practice.

The Link magazine is a finalist in the free resource category!

Would you like to write for The Link? Please get in touch with your ideas and we will endeavour to feature them in forthcoming issues.

Best wishes,

The Speech and Language Link Team


School Spotlight

A huge thank you to Lorraine Challen-Johnson a SaLT HLTA from St. Matthews Church of England in Suffolk, who got in touch to share her tips for successful intervention groups.

Top tips for successful speech/language sessions

10 second (or more) rule! Always give the child time to process and answer.

  • Remind children that it’s ok to say, “I don’t know / I don’t understand / Can you say that again please?”
  • Give specific praise. “Good listening / good looking / good thinking / good talking.”
  • Give specific feedback. “I liked the way you said that tricky word.”
  • If a child is struggling to answer, take the pressure off them by asking, “Are you still thinking or would you like some help?” (I also find that looking away when a child is unsure what to say, helps avoid them feeling on the spot.)
  • Provide a forced alternative. “Is it a book or a ball?”
    (When using a forced alternative, always provide the correct answer first, as many children will simply repeat the last word they hear.)
  • With EAL children, ask them, “Can you say the word in Polish / Portuguese / Roma?”
  • Say the first sound of the answer. “The clouds are in the s…”
  • Mime or point to the answer.
  • Tell the child, “It rhymes with hop.” (I tend to not use this approach with EYFS children as they can find it too difficult.)

Spread the word

Get everyone in your school talking with our NEW Spread the Word Pack, which is being introduced this term with all new purchases of Infant and Junior Language Link.*

Creating an environment which optimises the speech, language, and communication opportunities for all pupils is the ideal. It is also the most inclusive way to put communication at the forefront of school life.

This is why we have created the ‘Spread the Word’ pack. Use it throughout your school community to add another tier of support which will benefit all pupils.

This pack includes a comprehensive SLCN audit tool enabling your school to identify and build on good practice. Use our ‘Take a break’ resources at play times to encourage communication and our ‘Good to Go’ resources for the classroom. Our ‘Grounds and Around’ posters and stickers will keep everyone talking.

Contact us for more information helpdesk@speechlink.co.uk

*The Spread the Word Pack isn’t available in conjunction with any package discounts.

Get in touch – We’d love to hear your school news

Have you got something speech and language focused that you would like to share with our community? It could be your own top tips, a case study, or something else you think other schools would be interested to read about. Send over your ideas to claire.chambers@speechlink.co.uk and we will feature as many schools as we can. We look forward to hearing from you.

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