Discover how very young children learn English as an additional language and how you can help them progress.
Weekly study2 hours
English in Early Childhood: Language Learning and Development
Other courses you might like
This course isn't running right now. We can email you when it starts again, or check out these other courses you might like.
Teaching English to children while they’re still learning their mother tongue is a challenging but rewarding prospect. In this online course, you’ll learn how and why children learn best through play. What can parents and practitioners do to enable children to get the most out of a learning experience?
This course for parents and practitioners will explore how young children learn English and investigate many more aspects of early childhood learning and development.
British Council educators will share their insights and experiences, so that you can learn how to best talk to young children; how to create the best environment for them to learn English as an additional language; and how to monitor their progress.
Through articles, videos and live events you will hear from early childhood experts and parents, and see for yourself how young children learn inside the early years classroom. At every stage, you will be offered tips, advice and downloadable resources that will help you with teaching English as a foreign language to children.
What topics will you cover?
How children learn
- Early childhood development
- Children and language acquisition
Learning through play
- The importance of play
- Creating the right environment for play
- Developing language through play
How to talk to young children
- Encouraging emotional development
- Developing language through interactions
Learning: English and everything
- Developing the whole child
- Learning English in context
- Guiding the learning experience
Positive relationships and enabling environments
- Helping children feel safe and happy
- The importance of knowing the child well
Watching children learn
- Every child is unique
- Assessment in the early years
- Planning: building on what children can do
Learning on this course
On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.
What will you achieve?
By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...
- Investigate how children learn and how they acquire language
- Discuss the importance of play and look at language development opportunities
- Reflect on ways to communicate effectively with young children
- Explore meaningful learning and developing language in context
- Demonstrate the connection between learning and a child’s well-being
- Identify ways to support and challenge children, and measure their progress
Who is the course for?
This course will be of interest to you if you are: a parent of young children who wishes to support their child learning an additional language; an English teacher or an early childhood practitioner; or someone who is interested in the area of child development and language acquisition.
If English is not your first language please be reassured that this course is suitable for those who have learnt English to around intermediate level (approximately B1 on the CEFR).
The principles of learning an additional language during early childhood apply to all languages, so if you are a parent, teacher or practitioner interested in teaching languages other than English, you will find plenty of relevant methods in the course.
What do people say about this course?
Who will you learn with?
More than 20 years experience working with early years children and young learners in kindergartens, schools and teaching centres. I never stop learning, growing and changing.
I have been teaching languages for over 25 years. I love the creative aspects of teaching and learning, and I now mostly work in the areas of teacher development and materials writing.
Who developed the course?
The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language.
We work on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2019-20 we connected with 80 million people directly and with 791 million people overall, including online and through our broadcasts and publications.
Learning on FutureLearn
Your learning, your rules
- Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
- Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
- Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores
Join a global classroom
- Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
- Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
- Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others
Map your progress
- As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
- Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
- Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate
Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn
Learner reviews cannot be loaded due to your cookie settings. Please and refresh the page to view this content.
Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...
You can use the hashtag #FLEarlyChildhood to talk about this course on social media.