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

YLTSIG is going to Athens!

TESOL Greece, with the support of the IATEFL YLTSIG, are hosting a two-day colloquium on YL ELT in October 2017. More details and a call for proposals will be announced very soon, watch this space!

Christina Giannikas

After 4.5 years of service to IATEFL YLTSIG, Christina Giannikas has decided to step down from the committee. Christina served as Social Media Coordinator and more recently as Joint SIG Coordinator and was involved in a number of significant projects. These included acting as Editor in Chief for the SIG-Garnet publication, ‘Children Learning English: From Research to Practice’ as well as spearheading the SIG’s inaugural web conference, ’30 Pearls of YLT Wisdom’ in celebration of our pearl anniversary. We wish Christina all the best with her future career in YL ELT and thank her very much for the contributions she has made to YLTSIG.

New Webinars Available!

We are proud to present three recordings from our web conference ’30 Pearls of YLT Wisdom,’ which was held in February 2017.

The featured talks are by Carol Read, Nayr Ibrahim, and Mark Oliver. You can view them in the ‘recent Webinars’ section on this page or by visiting our new YouTube Channel.

Stay tuned for more webinars soon!

Follow YLTSIG on Social Media!

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

Join our Facebook Group

Follow us on Twitter  and use the #iateflylt hashtag!

Subscribe to our new YouTube Channel




Recent webinars