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MA - Teaching Young Learners

This module looks at major theories of young learners’ cognitive, social and emotional development. You will see how theories of mother tongue acquisition inform understanding of how young learners acquire foreign languages. You will look at the relationship between curriculum and classroom, develop a range of teaching, assessment and observation procedures for young learners and consider their effects on teacher/ learner relationships.

You will also look at the principles of language teaching pedagogy for children and the roles of teachers in supporting children’s overall development and understanding and use of language.

This module carries 30 credits.

Is this course for you?


Location: Online


Experience: Degree. Language teaching experience


Language Level: B2/C1 or higher


Course dates:
18 September - 29 November 2023


Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma or MA awarded by University of Chichester


Course Length: 8 weeks (+ 1 week break)


Course fees: £1210


Minimum age: 18


Max class size: 16


Tutor-led and highly interactive


Live and asynchronous eLearning platforms


Specialist ELT eLibrary


Accredited by AQUEDUTO

Course content


Major theories of the last 80 years relating to young learners’ cognitive, social and emotional development, and to their acquisition of the mother tongue


How pedagogical foreign language teaching movements of the last 50 years inform understanding of how young learners acquire a foreign language


A range of approaches and methods for teaching English as a foreign language to young learners


The inter-relationship between curriculum and classroom, with reference to broad educational objectives, language syllabus, methodology, materials and assessment


A range of classroom procedures and their effects on teacher/ learner relationships including the development of learning strategies


Assessment procedures relevant for a range of young learner contexts


Techniques and procedures for carrying out limited classroom observation

Assessment (written after completion of the course and supervised at distance by tutors):

A portfolio (50%) containing TWO of the following three options:

  1. A report on a limited classroom observation task, complete with lesson transcript extracts, lesson plan and materials (1,500 words or equivalent)

  2. Analysis of a self-designed lesson plan, to include lesson plan, materials, and explanation of how the teacher would provide support and challenge in the lesson (1,500 words or equivalent)

  3. Explanation and analysis of a tool designed for classroom-based assessment, to include rationale, assessment procedure, and assessment materials (1,500 words or equivalent)

A written assignment of 3,000 words (50%) or equivalent on an aspect of teaching languages to young learners chosen for its relevance to your teaching context and experience. You should provide evidence in this assignment of your ability to relate theory to practice.

Further Information

Online courses are broken down into individual units and activities, forming a clear structure. Tasks will be interactive, involving voice chat, forums and community walls, and they will utilize a range of multimedia including images, audio files and videos. Participants need a computer, a headset (with microphone) and an Internet connection. You can do much of the course on a tablet or mobile device, but will need a computer for certain activities.

All participants have access to NILE’s extensive ELT e-library and the NILE digital Tasks are interactive, involving live online sessions, forums and community walls, and utilise a range of multimedia including images, audio files and videos.

All NILE’s courses involve a significant element of English language improvement and/or development of language awareness.

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