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.
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.
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.
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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