• British Council
  • British Council Presents Learning Time with Sean and Timmy logo

English in Early Childhood: Language Learning and Development

Discover how very young children learn English as an additional language and how you can help them progress.

221,828 enrolled on this course

Educators are currently active on this course

English in Early Childhood: Language Learning and Development
  • Duration

    6 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours
  • 100% online

    Learn at your own paceHow it works
  • Unlimited

    $15.83/monthLearn more

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
  • Observation
  • Assessment in the early years
  • Planning: building on what children can do

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

If you'd like to take part while our educators are leading the course, they'll be joining the discussions, in the comments, between these dates:

  • 25 Oct 2021 - 5 Dec 2021

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?

"I want to thank the British Council for giving me the opportunity to learn about how children learn English in early childhood. I learned about how children learn, about learning through play, about how to talk to young children and about watching children learn. Now I feel more confident about child development and language learning thanks to this course and I will certainly apply what I learned here in the future because I hope to become an early childhood practitioner. "

"I definitely feel more confident about child development and how it really works, teaching English to very young children. I'm now more confident about how to explain the learning process to parents. It's important to share this knowledge with the parents so they can support their children in the best way."

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?

British Council

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 Time with Timmy - British Council

The British Council presents an innovative approach to learning English for 2-6 year olds in partnership with animators Aardman.

Endorsers and supporters

recognised by

Early Years Excellence logo
Recommended

Ways to learn

Upgrade this course

Unlimited

Basic access

Choose the best way to learn for you!

$59

$15.83/month

Billed annually at $189.99/year

Free

Unlock your expertiseEndless possibilities!Try before you upgrade
Access to this courseticktickLimited to 8 weeks
Access to ALL eligible short courses with additional benefits, for a yearcrosstickcross
Discuss your learning in commentstickticktick
Certificate when you're eligiblePrinted and digitalDigital onlycross
Join and Upgrade

Ways to learn

Buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year or Upgrade just this course for extra benefits. Or, join with basic access.

Unlimited

$15.83/month

Billed annually at $189.99/year

Endless possibilities!

  • Access to this course
  • Access to ALL eligible short courses with additional benefits, for a year
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Certificate when you're eligible

Upgrade this course

$59

Unlock your expertise

  • All of the above* for this course only

*Excludes access to all eligible short courses with additional benefits for a year

Basic access

Free

Try before you buy

  • Limited access to course content for 8 weeks

Find out more about certificates, Upgrades or Unlimited.

Available until 22 November 2021 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Find out more about certificates, Upgrades or Unlimited.

Available until 22 November 2021 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • 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

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.