YLT iatefl
Our Mission

Our mission is to lead, drive change and set standards in Teaching English to Young Learners and Teenagers (2 – 17 years old) for training and development, classroom practice and assessment. We aim to provide practical advice regarding different models of YL ELT (e.g. EFL, EMI, CLIL), age-appropriate pedagogy, child-safe recruitment as well as suitable ELT qualifications for young learner teachers. Our members include classroom practitioners, teacher trainers, researchers, academic managers and materials / content developers working in both state and private sectors worldwide.

We source inspiration and guidance from UNESCO and other global organisations which focus on education.  The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child defines a ‘child’ as a person below the age of 18, unless the laws of a particular country set the legal age for adulthood younger.  18 and 19 year-olds therefore have different rights and each age range under 18 have specific requirements regarding methodology, course structures, materials, learning environment and appropriately qualified teachers as well as those related to duty of care, child protection and safeguarding.

As David Graddol in English Next (2006) states, ‘The age at which children start learning English has been lowering across the world.  English has moved from the traditional ‘foreign languages’ slot in lower secondary school to primary school – even pre-school’.  We therefore acknowledge that ‘Young Learners’ is an umbrella term encompassing all these age ranges and that there are differences in our members’ national educational systems and transition stages. We advocate use of the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) mapping criteria which helps us to refer to these differences http://www.uis.unesco.org/Education/Documents/isced-2011-en.pdf and provides a common terminology for clarity, consistency and knowledge sharing:

  • Early Years (2 – 5 year olds)
  • Primary (6 – 10 year olds)
  • Lower Secondary (11 – 14 year olds)
  • Upper Secondary (15 – 17 year olds)
Latest Updates

New Committee Members

We are delighted to announce that David Dodgson, Joan Kang Shin and Lia Testa Teismann were nominated and stood unopposed for the positions of Web Coordinator, Social Media Coordinator and Events Coordinator respectively for the YLTSIG Committee.

They join our Joint Coordinators, Christina Giannikas and David Valente as well as PR & Business Development Coordinator, Gerhard Erasmus to form a skilled Committee with breadth and depth of YLT expertise. Find out more about all six members


YLTSIG Web Conference: '30 Pearls of YLT Wisdom', 24 – 26 February 2017

We’re excited to be hosting what’s promised to be the biggest YLT online event of the year in commemoration of the SIG’s Pearl Jubilee! Featuring 30 speakers, each giving a 30-minute talk on a different area of YL ELT, the event will include talks for teachers of all age groups (early years, primary and secondary). Join our free, public-access event each day via this link: http://iatefl.adobeconnect.com/yltsigwebinars

Discover the 30 fantastic speakers and the schedule of their talks


IATEFL Glasgow 2017 Pre Conference Event

IATEFL Glasgow 2017 Pre-Conference Event



Recent webinars