Richard McCully

Taking the TYLEC

A chance to improve and upgrade my teaching skills

This past week I started the TYLEC course (Teaching Young Learners Extension Certificate) with the aim of being better prepared, and more qualified, to teach young learners. 

For those not familiar with the course, it’s pretty similar to the CELT-YL in that it’s an add on course aimed at young learners. Most teachers take it after completing a CELTA or equivalent. 

The ten week course (one input session per week and five observations) goes through a number of ideas, theories and techniques to help teachers perform better in the YL (young learner) classroom. I haven’t previously done an offical YL course and wanted to put down my thoughts on it after six input sessions and an observation. 

Input sessions

So far I’ve had six input sessions which have covered a variety of topics including creating context in the YL classroom and setting routines. Whilst some of these techniques are already in use in my classroom, it’s certainly been beneficial to get a refresh and to learn some new ideas. 

It’s been around five years since my CELTA and I’ve probably dropped into some bad teaching habits so this course is probably well-timed to help me get back on track and to improve. 

With upcoming input sessions on grading reading books for YLs, adapting materials and using songs in the classroom I’m pretty excited that I’ll get to learn some new tools for my classroom. 

There is also a little theory to learn but it isn’t too heavy. I previously stated my indifference to academic TEFL writers on this blog but so far I’ve not had to go beyond know a few names and just discussing them with my fellow trainees. There isn’t an exam or essay in the TYLEC which means a lot of what is discussed is practical rather than theoretical. 


As part of the TYLEC you get observed five times (one is a diagnostic observation) and also have to observe at least six hours of other teachers in the classroom. I obviously appreciated observers giving me feedback but I’m pretty excited about getting to see some of my YL-qualified colleagues in action. I haven’t observed another teacher in a while due to schedule issues. 

After my first observation I’ve gotten some good ideas of where I am with my teaching and what I should work on. I’ve been given a task to work on and my next observation is next weekend so I’m looking forward to trying to improve. 

I’ll be observing other teachers in a couple of weeks and I’m looking forward to that. Two of the teachers teach the same level as me so I’d love to see what they do differently. I know one of the teachers is great at being creative with her YL classes, which is probably my biggest weakness, so I’m looking forward to seeing that class. 

Future benefits 

Having a recognized YL qualification should bring me a few solid benefits. 

Firstly my teaching will improve. I’ve just finished teaching today and used a few new techniques in my classes which went down a treat. I feel I’ll get a lot of techniques to use in terms of routines and using music in class over the coming weeks. 

It’ll also make it easier to apply for other jobs in the future. It’s a desired qualification for many language schools, especially those who teach young learners. It can also boost salary too.

TYLEC review

So far I’m really glad I did the course and found it really beneficial. If you have a chance to do take it, I’d certainly recommend it. It can also be done as a more intensive four week course if your time is restrictive. 

I’ll write a follow up report at the end of the course in case anything changes but I’m guessing I’ll be equally glowing in my praise at the start of August when it’s finished. 

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Hi. Thanks for the TYLEC review
Where can I take the TYLEC in Bangkok? How much does it cost?
How regularly are the courses run? Is it more widely recognised than the CYLT run by International House in Bangkok?

By Chris, Bangkok (30th October 2020)

Mr Whippy

Not here to argue over things that aren't important but overall I can see you at least see the course has benefits.

I chose to do the course to further myself and learn some new things which I can already see are bringing benefits. The CELTA doesn't cover teaching young learners in great detail, for that reason alone it's worthwhile taking the TYLEC as I teach around 8 hours a week to learners under 16.

The other points, if you choose not believe me, then no worries but I can assure you I didn't make anything up when writing this. Also the course is on a non-teaching day (not my weekend either).

By Richard, Bangkok (5th June 2019)

Nice to see a person living the mantra of life-time learning. Attempting to improve one's level of skills is rarely a waste of time.

By Jack, City of Angels (Angles) (5th June 2019)

If teachers want to do the course because it makes them happy and gives them a warm, fuzzy glow inside, then let them do it. What's the problem? If it leads to more cash in your pay packet, then great! And if it doesn't, at least you stand every chance of being a better teacher.

By Phil, Samut Prakarn (4th June 2019)

You get a yearly bonus and a pay rise for doing this course? I wonder who from because the BC certainly doesn't offer such incentives.

Also don't forget that you are teaching lessons (probably on your usual day off) while doing this course and your course provider will certainly be charging the parents for these lessons.

I know the tefl industry very well. It's a noble thing to keep on developing your teaching skills but if you already have a celta this course offers you no further financial benefit. You'd be better off spending the hundred or so hours you spend on this course doing privates.

It is also completely unrecognized outside of the bc, ih etc.

By Mr whippy, Cornwall (4th June 2019)

Good questions David.

The course is not specifically for Thailand but we do speak about our learners here, however we do teach students from many countries in our classes.

So far I've had a positive response from my youngest class aged 6-8 years old. They're keen to use the new chanting and singing ideas and enjoyed new lessons based on different contexts.

I've got 8 more weeks and 4 more observations left so hopefully there will be many more improvements to come and I'll update my review of the course then.

By Richard, Bangkok (4th June 2019)

Hope it continues to work out well for you Richard. Wondering what on the course may address typical learner needs in Thailand, and I'm curious how those learners are responding to the new tools you are now using in class.

By David B, UK (3rd June 2019)

I get an extra yearly bonus and pay rise for doing it from my employer. I also got funded for the course so didn't have to pay for it.

Work for a good employer and money will come to you if you develop...

By Richard, Bangkok (3rd June 2019)

Waste of time. It doesn't bring you a pay rise anywhere. Tefl is a dead end unless you have delta or masters.

By Mr whippy, Cornwall (2nd June 2019)

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