YL Conference 2020

18-20 November 2020

We are really pleased to confirm that the YL conference this year will be hosted online from the 18th to the 20th November 2020. 

We are looking forward to seeing you all at the conference this year. All International House YL teachers, DOSes, YL coordinators welcome! 

Registration for the event is now closed, if you still want to attend send an email to Georgina.Deacon@ihworld.com

Participants will be from all over the world and there will be a mixture of plenaries and workshops with both Young Learner related managerial content and practical classroom ideas.

As always we are looking forward to sharing the wealth of expertise in the IH network. This will be an opportunity to share old and new ideas, to explore principles and procedures of YL teaching and to collaborate with the wonderful IH YL community.

Conference schedule

Wednesday 18th November, 09.00 - 13.30 GMT

Respite from the Chaos: A Conversation about Language Teachers’ Self-care

Tammy Gregerson, Professor of TESOL at the American University of Sharjah

The global pandemic has made language teachers’ already stressful days even more chaotic. This presentation will demonstrate the need for teachers to engage in self-care and the positive implications this will have on teachers and learners alike. Strategies for coping and activities that foster wellbeing will be discussed.

Our approach to hybrid classes with YLs and Teens

Emma Heyderman, IH Lacunza San Sebastián

Like many other IH Schools, to meet the demands of the ‘new normal’, we decided to offer hybrid classes. This ‘case study’ will explore how we approached this, the training we offered, the lessons learnt and how we plan to move forward.

Exam preparation is FUN!

Alena Chigrinova, Teacher Trainer at Cambridge Resource Centre

This session focuses on the ways of using extra resources for Exam preparation. Self-created board games, self -created activities for posters and digital activities are fantastically adaptable resources for the YL classroom. I am going to share digital games and printed colourful board games that attract students’ attention and help teachers in developing language skills.

The importance of dyslexia awareness in primary EFL classroom

Maria Samsel, IH Reggio Calabria

Individuals with dyslexia experience difficulties with learning an orthographically deep language such as English, and for those without an official diagnosis, a language classroom may be one of the first places where their learning differences are noticed. This talk will focus on the unique role of primary EFL teachers in contributing to recognition of differences in learning amongst their students.

A to Z of homework for very young learners

Anka Zapart, BKC-IH Moscow

Half an hour is not enough to look at all the issues related to assigning homework for the VYL but we will definitely make time to talk about the letter S (‘Should we even do it?’), the letter P ( ‘Parents’ involvement’), the letter E ( ‘Extended exposure’), the letter B ( ‘the basics) and the letter A (‘the alternatives’).

Read aloud to VYLs!

Anastasia Taraskina, IH Voronezh-Linguist

What could be more interesting, as well as useful and challenging, than reading aloud to very young and young learners? Anastasia would like to share her experience and ideas in creating reading activities for children.

Thursday 19th November, 14.00 - 18.10 GMT

What training this year has taught me

Xana de Nagy, IHWO Young Learner Coordinator

A quick look at some of the best lessons I have learnt from training online this year.

Using images to activate YLs’ curiosity and creativity - Sponsored by National Geographic Learning

Katherine Bilsborough, Teacher, Trainer and Author

In this presentation, Katherine will suggest ways of using an image to arouse the curiosity of your learners, to get them thinking, keep them focused and to encourage them to use their imagination and creativity.

TPR activities in the Online class

Belén Martinez Natale, IH Buenos Aires - Belgrano

Teaching online has been a big challenge for YL teachers. We need to adapt our games and activities. However, we can still have fun activities that involve moving around the house while learning. We will work on different activities than can be adapted to different levels, easy to prepare and fun to play.

9 (online teaching) lessons we learned the hard way

Chris Bain, AKCENT IH Prague

Here at IH Prague, as in many other schools, the transition to online YL teaching was a highly challenging one. In this session, we’ll explore some of the lessons learned from the enforced transition, and how these have helped carry our school forward and be better prepared for the next round of online teaching.

Making YL activities less COVIDy

Glenn Standish, IH Torun

This summer I sat down to give my new staff some practical YL teaching tips. It suddenly dawned on me that those classic activities such as fly swatting, pelmanisms and even mini-whiteboards are all rather COVIDy. In my session I will try and give you some alternatives to make lessons less COVIDy but still as fun and engaging as they’ve always been.

Vision On

Roderick Fraser, IH Ancona - Jesi Victoria

This session will look at how teachers can make better use of the webcam in order to engage learners and manage the online classroom.

5 key considerations for safeguarding young learners online

Jen Dobson, Author, Trainer and Consultant

The sudden move to emergency remote teaching also brought increased safety risks. Having well-established child protection procedures in place provides secure foundations which can be adapted to changing circumstances. We will explore 5 key safeguarding issues to protect both ourselves and our young learners for future eventualities.

Friday 20th November, 11.00 - 15.30 GMT

Projecting Ourselves into the Future

Diana England, IH Torres Vedras & Lisbon

In this session, we shall look at how we are starting to incorporate project-based learning into our online teaching. Apart from discussing the obvious benefits, we’ll show how we are trying to meet some of the challenges to ensure effective and enjoyable learning in this brave new world.

Critical thinking for teens

Ethan Mansur, IH Madrid

With the amount of information on the internet that is unreliable, biased or even intentionally misleading, it’s hard to underestimate the importance of developing a critical mindset to the media we consume. That is why critical thinking has been designated as a key 21st century skill and why it’s important to make space for in our YL classes.

Dusting off the bookshelves

Ian Raby, IH Voronezh-Linguist

Inspired by the books held in storage from my childhood which were called into service during lockdown, this session looks at how to use mainstream published materials in the online (V)YL classroom. We’ll discuss what helped and what hindered the learning process and if there are any conclusions to be drawn.

Take effective notes in an effective notebook

James Munday, IH Reggio Calabria

Effective note taking is another vital skill easily lost down the side of teaching’s sofa. But, by making a well structured notebook, good note-taking can be automated.

Activities for engagement and well-being in the socially-distanced VYL classroom

Emma Gowing, IH Madrid

With many of us working in the new context of socially-distanced classrooms, how can we balance the needs surrounding the physical and psychological well-being of teachers and learners with classroom practices that are both safe and engaging? This talk draws on IH Madrid teachers' experience in the VYL classroom and offers some activities and approaches that have worked for us.

Inspiration seeking: taking the cue from our YLs

Andrea Littlewood, IH Madrid

As teachers we are constantly learning, creating and looking for that extra task, twist or angle which will make our lessons meaningful and memorable for our young learners. This session focuses on ideas inspired by children’s comments, thoughts and behaviour which have led to greater engagement in routines, moments of creativity and some classroom fun!

Tech it for the team - Collaborative activities for the online classroom

Lucie Cotterill, IH British School Reggio Calabria and IHWO DOS Coordinator

Participants will leave this session with a number of ideas for using tech tools for collaborative activities in the teenage (12-17 years old) classroom (or even in PD sessions!). This is a highly practical workshop where you will experience the activities as a learner would.

With thanks to our partners 


and our 2020 sponsors!

See the video from last year's conference: