The new IH Online Course in Teaching Young Learners and Teenagers

We are very excited to present the new IH Online Course in Teaching Young Learners and Teenagers starting on the 28th of September. It is 100% online so you can access the material and discussions whenever suits you. Xana de Nagy, IHWO Young Learner Advisor tells us more about it:

"When interviewing and training on CELTA courses one of the questions I am frequently asked is, “Will this course also prepare me for teaching Young Learners?” This is because trainees are often looking for a training course that will allow them to teach both adults, teenagers and YLs and ideally, would like the CELTA to cover all areas.

While the CELTA does touch on what teaching YLs is like, it naturally, is focused on teaching adults and because of time issues, does not go into this area in any sort of depth. So, another course would be ideal.  However, it is possible that new teachers don’t have the time and the luxury to do two courses back to back.

So, this means that often new teachers who have just taken the CELTA, are finding themselves teaching young learners in their first job and don’t feel sufficiently well prepared. Of course, there are many schools that offer face to face training for YL teachers.  But you may also find yourself in a situation where you would like to find out more about this aspect of teaching and don’t have access to any training at your school or even in your area.

As an experienced YL trainer, teacher and manager I know that new teachers need to reflect on the differences between teaching YLs, teens and adults and also need some practical skills to allow them to feel confident to deal with different types of classes. That is why we have created this new online course that covers many different aspects of teaching YLs and teens. The course is input based which means that you will be given the opportunity to reflect on various aspects of teaching YLs without the pressure of teaching practice and is suitable for teachers with different levels of experience.

- If you are new to teaching young learners, it will give you an insight into what a young learner classroom is like, as well as exploring some more concrete areas such as: classroom management; dealing with the four skills; clarifying and practising new language, different types of learners, etc.

-If you are already teaching YLs but have no specific training in this area, you may find yourself in a situation where you feel you need some input or a refresher, the course will allow you to try out and test what you are learning with your own classes.

- If you have recently trained as a teacher and think that later you would like to do a course that also involves teaching practice, this online course could provide a good foundation for a course that involves both input and TP.

The fact that the course is relatively short, it is run over eight weeks, means that teachers could do it over one term. It will provide you with a comprehensive overview of what a YL classroom is like and a chance to reflect on the principles, procedures and methodology involved in the teaching of YLs.

In my opinion, there are many advantages to doing an online course, one of these is, of course, the fact that you will be interacting with people from all over the world, some of whom will be in a totally different teaching context to yours. As a participant and trainer on online methodology courses, I have found that this interaction can be very enriching and adds a dimension to training and learning as you get to exchange ideas and discuss a variety of issues within a range of contexts.  This is particularly true in the area of teaching YLs and teens, where the class size, range of ability and methodology can vary considerably from country to country. On a recent face to face YL course, I had some participants who were teaching 121 classes online to YLs in China; some teaching large classes of 60, primary age children or teens face to face and then others teaching smaller classes in language schools. This may also be the case on an online course and with the added advantage that participants will be working in many different parts of the world. Of course, as I have already mentioned, some participants may be new to teaching and as there is no teaching practice, there is no need to have your own classes or even access to YLs.

The discussion and exchange of ideas arising from a course of this type offers a wealth of expertise and experience and can generate lots of very useful practical ideas for teachers wanting to further their development or start out in the area of YL teaching."

Xana de Nagy is a tutor on various OTTI courses including the new YL course and a trainer at IH Lisbon