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 YLTSIG Call for Bloggers!

We are looking for new contributors to our blog.

YLT SIG publishes monthly posts covering ideas, issues, and experiences from around the world of teaching English to Early years, primary and secondary YLs.

We are looking for posts about lesson ideas, best practices, teacher training, YL ELT Management, your personal ‘a-ha’ moments… whatever you want to share with us as long as it is related to working with Early Years, Primary, or Secondary English language learners.

We are especially interested in posts about practical ideas which are underpinned by sound principles and can be applied by readers globally.

We welcome posts from ELT professionals of all backgrounds and levels of experience. First-time writers are especially encouraged.

If you have an idea for a post for our blog and for more details, please use our contact form.

Alternatively, send an email to yltsig@iatefl.org with the subject line ‘YLTSIG Guest Blogger’ and a brief overview of your idea.

Join us for Katherine Bilsborough's Webinar 'Writing good quality primary materials'

YLTSIG is proud to join up with MaWSIG to bring you a webinar with Katherine Bilsborough – Writing good quality primary materials: tips, tools and common sense.

Date: 24 September 2017, 5pm GMT
Venue: http://iatefl.adobeconnect.com/yltsigwebinars/

This webinar will be free to attend and no registration is necessary.

In the meantime, enjoy Katherine’s recent contribution to our blog – Choice in the Secondary Classroom

Plenary Speakers for TESOL Greece annouced!

Date: 21-22 October 2017
enue: The American College of Greece, Athens

We are thrilled to be supporting the TESOL Greece Colloquium on Young Learners in October. Katherine Bilsborough and Joanna Budden are speaking under the SIG banner with their plenaries on primary and secondary ELT respectively. Find out more here: TESOL Greece Speakers

Also, see the call for participation – deadline for proposals is 3 September!






IATEFL 2018 YLTSIG PCE: Children’s rights, children’s future: practical applications in TEYLs

Date: Monday 9 April 2018
enue: The Brighton Centre, Brighton UK

The United Nations defines a ‘child’ as a person under the age of 18 and provides guiding principles to protect and safeguard children’s rights globally. Here is a version of these rights in child-friendly language: https://www.unicef.org/rightsite/files/Know_your_rights_and_responsibilities.pdf

Closely related to children’s rights is the need to contribute toward their future by tackling poverty, caring for the environment and ensuring prosperity, as reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/

The YLTSIG 2018 Pre Conference Event offers an innovative exploration of ways to incorporate children’s rights and the SDGs in the classroom and materials design. Annamaria Pinter and Harry Kuchah Kuchah are our plenary speakers and will expertly unpack the what, why and how of children’s rights and the SDGs in YL ELT. We will build on their plenaries using short TED-Ed style (https://ed.ted.com/) talks by speakers from early years, primary and secondary ELT contexts. The day will culminate with a lively debate around a ‘pedagogy-changing’ motion led by a specialist YL ELT panel. Delegates will have an opportunity to put their questions to the proposers and opposers of the motion before casting their votes.

Join us in Brighton to discover how rights-based pedagogies and incorporating the SDGs can enrich your YL ELT repertoire and transform your work with children!

Registration for the PCE and the Conference is now open through this link.

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Make sure you follow YLTSIG through our social media accounts to share resources and ideas, and connect with other YL teachers around the globe!

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Recent webinars