Very Young Learners course at IH Barcelona

Teaching Very Young Learners (VYLs) course

Designed for teachers of English to Very Young Learners (5-7 year olds) in language schools or state schools


The 15-hour course comprises FIVE sessions of 3 hours each.

Day 1: Starting Primary

Teaching at primary level often causes teachers, particularly those who have trained to teach adults, a variety of problems and generates a range of worries. Those first lessons with the class can seem very daunting.

The first session on the course will help teachers form a clearer understanding of the needs and abilities of this age group and also look at classroom behavior. You will see that, by creating the right conditions for learning, chaos can turn into calm.

Day 2: Encouraging accelerated learning and finding the right resources

In this session we will look at planning different tasks and activities to promote accelerated learning and we will see how integrating content learning can engage and motivate students. Incorporating content can allow the child to experience English as a living aspect of their lives rather than something they read about in a book. Sourcing the right material is just the first step.

Day 3: Talking technology and working with stories

Technology is something which has become part of our lives. Young Learners are often more proficient users than we are. Many schools now have computer facilities and most learners also have internet access at home. This provides opportunities for both in-school tasks but also as a way of making homework meaningful through projects and activities. In the first part of this session we will look at the advantages of apps and the interactive whiteboard, sharing ideas on how they can work in your class, big or small.

Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see? I see a teacher looking at me.

Scared of sounding boring when you read to kids? In the second part of this session you will find out how to make stories come alive and will leave the session with lots of resources to use in your YL classroom.

Day 4: Phonics and phonetics and more CLIL investigation

Many teachers are given the daunting task of teaching young learners English at the pre-writing and pre-reading stage without really knowing very much about their learning capacities and how the process of reading and writing skills are integrated.

We will show you how to help prepare very young learners for reading and writing and by using content based learning you can build a more balanced skills syllabus full of discovery and fun.

Day 5: Improving your management skills and developing your syllabus over the year

Moving away from last minute planning, to seeing the big picture over the year can help you manage material and the learners. Knowing where you are going to be by Easter can help you balance topics, task types and keep the learners focused and motivated. This session will help you plan for the year and revisit key management issues.

Hopefully participants will end the Very Young Learners course with a bag full of ideas to use in future classes and will never throw out an old shoe box ever again!

Apply for the course

Download application form

See also payment details. As with all our courses, you should not make any payment until you have been accepted for the course.

Dates 2019

Full-time: September 16-20

  • Timetable 9:00 to 12:00

Part-time: Fridays, November 8, 15, 22, 29; December 13

  • Timetable 9:00 to 12:00.





Course tutor


Pere Cortiella has taught English to children, teens and adults for over 12 years, specializing in young learners in several different schools in the Barcelona area.

He is the coordinator for Young Learners at ICCIC, runs many teacher training courses for the Generalitat de Catalunya and has also co-authored a series of four books for primary students published by Mosquito Books BCN.

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