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 2018 PCE Programme

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


The highlight of the annual YLTSIG events calendar is our Pre Conference Event, and the 2018 theme focuses on applying the United Nations Rights of the Child and Sustainable Development Goals to Young Learners ELT.

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. We will build on their plenaries using TED style talks by speakers representing early years, primary and secondary ELT contexts. We are thrilled to announce the following line up of global YL expertise:

Early Years
Gail Ellis & Jen Dobson

Nayr Ibrahim & Katherine Bilsborough

Lower Secondary
Carol Read & Laura McWilliams

Upper Secondary
Judy Boyle & Rachael Pooley

The PCE will culminate with a debate around a ‘pedagogy-changing’ motion led by a specialist panel.

Join us in Brighton to discover how rights-based pedagogies and incorporating the Sustainable Development Goals can transform your work with children and teenagers.

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

IATEFL 2018 YLTSIG PCE Programme

IATEFL 2018 YLTSIG PCE Programme

YLTSIG / GISIG Pre Conference Event, Africa TESOL, Dakar Senegal

We are collaborating with GISIG to jointly deliver Africa TESOL’s inaugural PCE in Dakar on 4 May 2018, the theme is Africa in the World, the World in Africa: Quality secondary English language education for local and global understanding. 

We would like to thank our delivery partner ELT Consultants for sponsoring the YLTSIG talks and workshops (find out more about ELT Consultants in this video)

We are also thrilled to announce that we have been awarded an EVE shield for near gender parity in the speaker line up! To learn more about EVE, please see https://evecalendar.wordpress.com/


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