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

IATEFL YLT SIG’s First Web Conference! 24 – 26 February 2017

Visit our Events Page to discover the 30 speakers for our first web conference, ’30 Pearls of YLT Wisdom’!

We are delighted to be holding our first web conference in February 2017, featuring 30 speakers, each giving a 30-minute talk on an area of YLT. This online event will include all YL age groups (early years, primary and secondary). Check our social media in the New Year for registration information.

IATEFL Glasgow 2017 Pre Conference Event

21st Century Values Education in Teaching English to Young Learners

3 April 2017

Our PCE theme this year is relevant for today’s classroom practitioners, content developers, academic managers and teacher educators working with all Young Learner age ranges (Early Years / Primary / Lower Secondary / Upper Secondary).

We are delighted to announce the following line-up:

  • Opening Plenary: Carol Read, Award-Winning Author, Teacher Trainer, Educational Consultant and IATEFL Past President
  • Second Plenary: Dr Joan Kang Shin, Associate Professor of Education, George Mason University, USA
  • Practical Workshops (facilitators TBC)
  • Panel Discussion
  • Closing Plenary: David Valente, YLTSIG Publications & Website Editor.

Register now for the PCE:



Recent webinars