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This content is taken from the British Council's online course, Teaching Young Learners Online. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second Hello, everyone. I’m Claire. In a moment, I’m going to introduce this Teaching Young Learners Online course. But before we get started, I wanted to say a little bit about the videos you’re going to see. We’ve put this course together very quickly, while Josh and I and all the other teachers you see in the course are mostly locked down at home because of COVID-19. This means that we’ve made all the videos at home without the benefits of all the camera operators, sound, and lighting people who make us look and sound fantastic when we’re in the studio.

Skip to 0 minutes and 38 seconds So you may notice some bits where the sound isn’t absolutely perfect or the light isn’t quite right, but we hope that won’t stop you enjoying the course.

Skip to 0 minutes and 57 seconds Hello, everyone. Welcome to Teaching Young Learners Online. I’m Claire Ross, and my colleague Joshua Underwood and I will be your guides throughout this course. Whether you teach 5-year-olds or 17-year-olds, in live classes or asynchronously, this course will help you to plan, create, and facilitate inclusive online learning that engages and inspires young people.

Skip to 1 minute and 28 seconds Hi, I’m Josh. We built this course around seven beliefs. First and foremost, make it meaningful. Here, you’ll be learning about language acquisition and learning, as well as understanding what our learners enjoy, what they expect and need, and how we can provide this in online learning environments. Secondly, be human. It’s so important to remember this, even though we may be worried about the technology. The relationships with our learners and their parents remain the key to teaching. Principle three is create the best conditions for interaction. Online interaction is different from face to face. And we’ll look at the best ways to involve and engage your primary and secondary learners in the online learning environments that you work in.

Skip to 2 minutes and 29 seconds Principle four focuses on learning design. Each week, we’ll ask you to plan and share an inclusive online activity to engage and inspire your learners.

Skip to 2 minutes and 45 seconds The fifth belief is about managing online interaction and giving constructive feedback. This is essential to maximise learning opportunities for children and to help them and their parents be aware of progress. Belief six is learn together. Children can learn from collaborative work, and we believe we can all learn from each other on this course, too. So we’ll be asking you to share your ideas about teaching, teaching children, and teaching online. And finally, principle seven reflect on what you know, reflect on new ideas, reflect on how your young learners respond, and reflect to keep learning and experimenting to become a better online teacher.

Skip to 3 minutes and 39 seconds You’ll be hearing from primary and secondary teachers who teach online, as well as parents talking about the experiences of their children. Whether you’re new to teaching online or you’ve been doing it for a while, you’ll have something to share. And we’re really looking forward to learning along with you. So let’s get started. Our first question for you is what do you think is most important in online learning? Post a comment below and let us know what you think.

Our beliefs

Watch Claire and Josh talking about their beliefs and what’s in store for you over the next few weeks.

We have organised each week of the course into 7 activities, following these principles:

  1. Make it meaningful for your learners
  2. Be human
  3. Create the best conditions for interaction
  4. Design or adapt ​lessons to help your learners develop language ​and skills
  5. Manage interaction and give constructive feedback
  6. Learn together
  7. Reflect

Although not specific to online teaching, we’ll look at how following these principles can help you plan and deliver engaging, inclusive English language lessons for children in online learning environments.

  • What do these principles mean to you? Which are you most interested in, and why?
  • What do you think is most important for online learning?

Find out more

Read about TESOL’s 6 principles for exemplary teaching of English learners.

Read an article by Rod Ellis on 10 principles of second language instruction. (pdf)

Find out about the British Council’s 12 professional practices for teachers.

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This video is from the free online course:

Teaching Young Learners Online

British Council