Using Language Link Interventions Successfully

By Christine Goode and Amanda Stait, Gladstone Primary School, Barry

Here at Gladstone School we pride ourselves on helping our children achieve all that they can and, with the help of Language Link and Speech Link, we have made that a reality since 2011. With the evidence of improvement shown between each session and in the measured outcomes, this is an invaluable asset to offer to any ESTYN inspector when they visit.

The printable resources for both Speech and Language are amazing and extensive, and sessions are always fun. Each child really enjoys coming with us. The infants are very fond of their tokens or stickers. Sadly, this doesn’t work with the juniors but we found that a sweet works wonderfully for all the good sitting, looking, listening and thinking chants we have before each session.

In Language Link, we have groups of up to four depending on their ability. We feel Language Link is not just a tool to teach children concepts, questioning and reasoning, etc. It actually teaches the child HOW to learn and once a child has this there are no limits, they will go from strength to strength. The talk at the end of each session helps us all to understand our strengths and weaknesses and how to move forward. In the juniors, a great deal of this is from their peers within the group. In the infants, we talk about how they may have enjoyed one game and not another. They have to tell us why they did or did not like a session. That way we can assess their understanding.

Over the years we have seen very unconfident speakers turn into wonderfully confident speakers, those children who will not put their hand up in class because they worry that they may not have the correct answer and that they cannot say the words correctly. These children have moved up through the infants to the juniors flourishing year on year. We have had the pleasure of seeing children move from reception to year 6 with the help of Language Link and Speech Link knowing they will now go on to high school feeling more positive about their futures and for that Gladstone Primary School says a big ‘Thank You’.

NEW Afasic App for Parents of Children with SLCN

Afasic England have been running very well received self-advocacy workshops for parents across England over the last three years. Following a number of requests Afasic has now produced an App for parents based on the workshop, providing useful information on the legal framework, a glossary of terms, useful links, a journal, and guidance on how to manage meetings.

Whilst aimed at parents who have children with speech and language difficulties it will be useful for other parents who have children with additional needs. It will be available as a free download from the respective App stores. Search for ‘Afasic’ in Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Afasic seeks to raise awareness and to create better services and provision for children and young people with speech and language impairments. It was founded in 1968 as a parent-led organisation to help children and young people with speech and language impairments and their families. We provide information and training for parents – and professionals – and produce a range of publications. Members meet in local groups in many areas of the UK.

For more information, go to

FREE Resource

Please help. Ask your children to colour and name our Speech Link parrot. Send us a photo and we’ll put our favourites on our website!

Find out more at

Prize Draw

Enter to win one of 3 copies of The Swimming Pool Group resource from Junior Language Link, printed and laminated to give away to the first 3 schools to write to us with their best language group stories of the year. Write to us at

Meet the team

Darrie Payne, Resources Illustrator

What job did you hope to be doing when you were a child?

I knew I wanted to be an artist since I was a kid. I studied Fine Arts at Dun Laoghaire School of Art in Dublin in the 80s.

What was your first job?

I became involved in the film business creating backdrops and sculptures for the industry. I painted the scenes of houses on massive canvases which took weeks of work – now it’s all CGI which is a different ball game!

The film business sounds very glamorous. Who was the most famous person you have met?

I first met the actor Daniel Day Lewis while painting the back drop for a street scene for the film ‘My Left Foot’. I nearly fell off my ladder a couple of weeks later when he ‘walked’ into the building and I realised that he didn’t have cerebral palsy at all and, as a method actor, he had spent the entire production in a wheelchair with the crew feeding him! What an actor. An Academy Award was totally deserved!

So how did you end up working at Speech Link Multimedia Ltd?

I began illustrating resources for teachers in Ireland. Derry Patterson, my wife’s cousin, developed the content and I created the artwork. I was working from home and with six young children that suited me fine.

I have been in the UK since 2010 and alongside working for Speech Link Multimedia Ltd, I play the guitar, carve stone and enjoy being an extra in films – look out for me serving the French King in The Tudors!!!

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