Oxford Teachers’ Academy: Teaching Young Learners

Teachers of young learners are well aware of the privilege and responsibility that comes with being a child’s first English teacher. The privilege is that of being able to harness the child’s natural curiosity, vitality, and love of meaningful learning. The responsibility is that of making sure that the challenges of the classroom match –and keep pace with –the changing capacities of the students to deal with language.
This course is both an insightful reminder of what children can and can’t do, and a collection of practical and child-friendly ideas and techniques that will help teachers to build an engaging and meaningful classroom learning environment for their young learners.

The course is mindful of the changing needs and abilities of young learners as they get older, and looks both at the questions of how children learn at different ages –and also what they learn. The role of the English teacher is defined not only as an instructor, but also as a guide. Children can learn grammar, vocabulary, reading and speaking, but they also learn about themselves and about the world, through stories, games and other classroom activities.


Whether you are new to teaching young learners, or an experienced practitioner in this age group, the course offers food for thought, practical resources, and an opportunity for reflection and discussion.

During this course you will:

  • recognise how activities can help or hinder children’s learning and to consider the level of support YLs require.
  • make the most of the wider learning affordances of the classroom with an approach which combines language-learning goals with life-skills learning goals.
  • explore your own beliefs about learners and the learning process that influence our classroom management as well as look at practical strategies and techniques for a successful classroom management.
  • illustrate the importance of stories as a teaching tool for language and other valuable competencies
  • consider an engaging approach to teaching grammar which reflects the changing needs of young learners over time.
  • develop criteria for effective vocabulary activities based on the learning needs of young learners.
  • consider the conditions for successful reading,and to identify practical stages and activities for successful classroom reading activities.
  • consider the conditions for successful speaking, and to identify practical stages and activities for successful classroom speaking activities

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