Special interest column: Young Learners

by Kylie Malinowska

There has never been a more exciting time to be part of the International House family! With 60th anniversary celebrations happening all over the network, there is a lot to get excited about. So for this issue’s ‘Five in a Flash’, it’s…..

5 ways for YL teachers to make the most of working for International House

1. Get sharing

One of the best things about working for IH is that you are never alone. I love being part of IHWO, and especially love knowing that I’m surrounded by so many amazing people only too willing to share their ideas and expertise.

Are you planning or recently held a special event? Share the details/photos with the network by emailing them to sophie.montagne@ihworld.com or posting them to the IHWO Facebook page.

Do you need some new YL resources? Ideas? Advice?

Or perhaps you have something you’d like to share? A TD session? A coursebook review? An idea?  An interesting article? Anything at all, we’d love to hear from you.

Over 100 YL Coordinators and Teachers from around the world use the IHWO YL Google group to discuss topics such as ‘What’s your favourite revision activity?’ or ‘What coursebooks do you use for YLE prep?’. To be a part of this worldwide virtual staffroom, all you need to do is email yladvisor@ihworld.com to start participating (or lurking, it’s your choice!).

And don’t forget to keep your eye out for ’60 snippets’.  YL Coordinators and Teachers from all over the world are celebrating 60 years of IH by putting together 60 ideas for teaching YL. Coming soon!

2. Get on board

The IHWO worldwide classroom is an exciting new project that takes pen pals to a whole new level. Sign your YL class up by contacting shaun.wilden@ihworld so that your students feel part of the worldwide network too.

3. Get involved

There are always loads of competitions and fun projects going on in the IHWO network, but especially at the moment with the 60th Anniversary celebrations underway.  Why not get your YL class to get creative with the IH logo or participate in ‘Around the World in 60 Days’. It’s a great way to get the students involved in something bigger than themselves and remind them that learning English is so much more than just passing their school exams. You could also print off the entries already posted on Facebook, stick them around your classroom and get your students to discuss and vote on their personal favourites.

4. Get online

I’m sure you’re already our Facebook fan and Twitter follower. If you are, then you will already know about the IHWO online workshops and conferences. If you missed them, never fear, it’s not too late. The IH Teachers Online Conference (IHTOC60) sessions are all online and freely available for you to watch and use (as well as recordings of previous online conferences and workshops, and don’t forget there are recordings for both the DOS and YL conferences and video gifts on YouTube to celebrate the big Six-0 !!). Why not give a teacher development session for other YL teachers at your school by showing the videos and using them to prompt further discussion? And don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for future workshops and conferences.

5. Get ahead

One of the reasons teachers choose to work for an IH school (and I’m sure one of the many reasons students sign up for IH schools) is the teacher development on offer. There is so much available for teachers who work for IH and YL teachers certainly don’t get left behind. The aforementioned Live Online Workshops and Online Conferences often include sessions for YL teachers (perfect for those who are time poor) and of course there are more formal standardised certificate courses like the IH CYLT (International House Certificate in Teaching Young Learners and Teenagers). The IH CYLT is offered not only face-to-face at many IH schools around the world, but also as a blended learning option via our  Online Teacher Training website and includes both theory and practice for YL teachers of all levels. And don’t forget the IH Certificate in Online Tutoring (IHCOLT) if you’re an approved IH CYLT tutor and would like to tutor online. Finally, keep your eyes peeled for the new courses that are currently being written for teaching VYL and for Teacher Training.

Already have loads of certificates and looking for other ways to improve your CV? Put forward a proposal to run an online workshop, yladvisor@ihworld.com .

I’m super excited to be a part of the IHYLWO. Are you?

Author’s Bio: Kylie Malinowska started with IH many moons ago at IH Newcastle, and is now a Teacher, YL ADOS, Pre-School Coordinator & IH CYLT tutor at IH Prague. She also works part-time at the YL Advisor for IHWO, as well as one of their IH CYLT online tutors & IH CYLT (TiT) Mentor. She is currently working towards an MA TESOL (Applied Linguistics) and tries to find time to post on her TEYL blog when she can.