Tips for Effective Phonics Instruction in the Young Learner Classroom

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As children become readers, they need to understand and learn the relationship between sounds and letters. The systematic and purposeful teaching of phonics provides a solid foundation for children to read and write in English.

What does an effective instructional phonics routine look like? How long should it be? What do effective phonics teachers do during these routines? How can teachers provide children with opportunities to apply what they learn during these routines? These frequently asked questions and other useful tips will be covered and discussed in this practical webinar for teachers of young learners.

Presented by:
Luciana Fernández

Luciana Fernández is a graduate teacher of English who has been teaching English for the past twenty-three years. She specializes in methodology and teaching practice. She holds a diploma in Educational Research from the University of Cambridge. She is a reading and literacy expert and has been training teachers for the past ten years. She has designed several presentations and courses for professional development both in Argentina and abroad. Her presentation at ARTESOL 2015 was selected to be presented at TESOL International as a Best Affiliate Session. She is one of the 50 scholarship winners who attended and presented at IATEFL, held in Birmingham in April 2016.

Currently, she is a Learning Consultant and reader for National Geographic Learning. She is also a facilitator at ESSARP (English Speaking Scholastic Association of the River Plate), where she trains administrators and teachers from bilingual institutions in Argentina.

Managing Mixed Level Classrooms for Young Learner Teaching

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Walk into almost any English-language classroom and you’ll encounter a mix of students with a range of abilities, interests, learning styles and English levels. It can be very challenging, then, for teachers to provide their students with the individualized support and instruction they need to learn best while also moving the whole class and curriculum forward as required. And if the differences in English levels between students are vast, it can feel impossible!

In order to promote learning opportunities for all our young learners and enable all of them to achieve to the best of their abilities, we must find ways to tailor our lessons to support the abilities and English levels of all students in our classroom, not only the majority. But how?

In this webinar, teacher trainer Anna Hasper will provide a variety of practical ideas for managing the mixed-level young learner classroom and adjusting our lessons to serve the needs of all students without modifying the expected language outcomes.

Presented by:
Anna Hasper

Anna is a teacher, trainer and international English Language Teaching consultant based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Anna’s specialty is enabling teachers within local constraints, such as limited resources, to become the best teacher they can by enhancing all students’ learning opportunities through engagement. She has been working in the ELT industry for over 13 years and has worked on various projects for the British Council, International House, Ministries of Education, private schools, education providers and publishers in primary, secondary and vocational contexts. She loves exploring new places and learning about different cultures and has worked in a variety of countries such as China, Jordan, Iran, Uganda, Senegal, Algeria and Armenia. She currently writes and trains teachers for publishers and delivers a variety of Cambridge accredited teacher training courses (TKT, CELTA, YL Ex & Delta Module 3) around the world.

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Tight on Time: Tips for Teaching the Four Skills in Every Young Learner Lesson


Can we maximise opportunities for practising the four skills in every lesson? Is there really enough time? Is it worth doing? Yes, Yes and Yes! In this webinar Katherine will demonstrate how small changes and add-ons to existing activities can have a big impact on our young learners’ skills development. After sharing a range of practical ideas she will suggest a simple framework to help teachers make sure that the four skills are covered in every lesson.

Presented by:
Katherine Bilsborough

Katherine has been creating ELT materials for 30 years, for her own students and for some of the top ELT Publishers. She has written more than 30 course books and many online courses. She writes monthly lesson plans for the British Council/BBC website teachingenglish.org.uk and is the author of ‘How to write Primary materials’, a training course for ELT writers. Katherine is currently co-authoring an upcoming series for young learners of English with National Geographic Learning.

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Engaging Young Learners with Projects


Projects provide an active, interactive, and creative way for learners to use their language and express themselves. They engage learners in multi-sensory experiences that contextualize both content and language. Projects provide concrete examples of what they have been learning, and they can share these projects with others (the class, their friends and families, or their school). They appeal to a variety of learning styles and can be done individually or with partners.

In this webinar, we’ll discuss the steps for a variety of successful projects including: creating family posters or photo-autobiographies, conducting surveys or experiments and sharing the results, creating brochures or posters that support academic content and involve critical thinking, planning a TV show or video, and making puppets or designing a new machine.

Presented by:
Dr. JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall

Dr. JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall is Professor Emerita of Education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where she co-directed the M.A. TESOL Program and established and directed the Ph.D. Program in Language, Literacy, and Culture. She is coauthor of the professional development book Teaching Young Learners English., and a series editor for the Our World suite of materials for young learners, including Welcome to Our World, Our World, and Explore Our World, and Impact, a program for teens.

Teaching Reading and Writing in the Young Learner Classroom

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For many reasons—class size, children’s attention span, children’s level of literacy in their native language, lack of time, etc.—we tend to focus on oral language skills in the young learner English classroom.

Listening and speaking skills are of course key areas of focus for young English learners, but it’s possible, and in fact vital, to develop their written language skills at the same time to ensure our learners have a well-rounded language skill set early on.

In this presentation, we’ll look at:

  • activities you can use to integrate more reading and writing in your classes from very beginning levels,
  • why this is important even if you have a listening and speaking focus in your classroom,
  • and how to do this while still having fun and remembering the basic characteristics of young learners.

Presented by:
Dr. JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall

Dr. JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall is Professor Emerita of Education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where she co-directed the M.A. TESOL Program and established and directed the Ph.D. Program in Language, Literacy, and Culture. She is coauthor of the professional development book Teaching Young Learners English., and a series editor for the Our World suite of materials for young learners, including Welcome to Our World, Our World, and Explore Our World, and Impact, a program for teens.

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Channeling Your Inner Explorer: Encouraging Curiosity in Young Learners and Teens

In this webinar, National Geographic Explorer, marine biologist, and educator Dr. Asha de Vos will share her personal journey of becoming an explorer, and provide insights for teachers to help foster curiosity, confidence, and global citizenship in young learners and teenage learners.

Presented by:
Dr. Asha De Vos

Dr. Asha de Vos is a Sri Lankan marine biologist, ocean educator and pioneer of blue whale research within the Northern Indian Ocean. She calls the population of whales in the water around Sri Lanka 'the Unorthodox Whales' because through many years of research, she has discovered that they are simply – different. She has degrees from the University of St. Andrews, University of Oxford and the University of Western Australia but escaped academia to establish her own Sri Lankan grown non-profit, Oceanswell. She also runs 'The Sri Lankan Blue Whale Project' which is the first long term study on blue whales in her region, and her work has led to many key research publications, that are used to inform policy at the local and global level.

Additionally, Asha's work has been showcased internationally by Channel 7 Australia, the BBC, the New York Times, CNN, WIRED UK, the New Scientist, TED, Grist, GOOD and National Geographic. Asha is the first and only Sri Lankan to have a PhD in Marine Mammal research, the first Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation from Sri Lanka and also the first National Geographic Emerging Explorer from her small island nation. Asha is also a TED Senior fellow, an Ocean Conservation Fellow at the New England Aquarium, a Duke Global Fellow in Marine Conservation, a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and currently serves as a Senior Advisor to Oceana. Asha's life work is to change the current marine conservation model, protect this unique population of blue whales and inspire the next generation of ocean heroes from the developing world.

Read Asha's National Geographic Explorer Bio

Watch Asha's TED Talk

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Ensuring Young Learners Success Through Assessment

When we see the word "assessment," most of us think of formal tests, especially end-of-course exams or standardized tests required by educational institutions, or what has been called "assessment OF learning." But we can actually assess in many ways, both formally and informally, and for many different purposes.

Some of the most important assessments involve "assessment FOR learning," where we get an idea of how our students are truly doing in class and what we might need to review with some or all of our learners to ensure their success.

In this webinar, Dr. Crandall will discuss and demonstrate both formal and informal assessments that can be used for a range of purposes. She'll provide:

  • examples of engaging, developmentally appropriate assessment activities
  • a set of guidelines for using informal assessments for learning
  • idea for encouraging our learners to assess themselves

Presented by:
Dr. JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall

Dr. JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall is Professor Emerita of Education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where she co-directed the M.A. TESOL Program and established and directed the Ph.D. Program in Language, Literacy, and Culture. She is coauthor of the professional development book Teaching Young Learners English., and a series editor for the Our World suite of materials for young learners, including Welcome to Our World, Our World, and Explore Our World, and Impact, a program for teens.

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Literacy Programming for Young EFL Learners

Developing literacy skills in a foreign language can begin as early as foreign language instruction begins. Although some EFL programs delay literacy instruction for young learners and only focus on oral language development, studies have shown that it is not necessary, or even recommended, to take this approach.

In this webinar, Dr. Joan Kang Shin will discuss how literacy activities can be introduced with learners as young as pre-school age and provide the building blocks for balanced literacy programming for young EFL learners.

Presented by:
Dr. Joan Kang Shin

Dr. Joan Kang Shin is an Associate Professor of Education at George Mason University and the Academic Program Coordinator of the Teaching Culturally & Linguistically Diverse & Exceptional Learners (TCLDEL) program. Dr. Shin specializes in teaching ESL/EFL to young learners and teenagers and has provided professional development programs and workshops to EFL teachers in over 100 countries around the world. She is a Series Editor of National Geographic Learning’s young learner programs Welcome to Our World, Our World, and Explore Our World, as well as the teen program Impact, and an author of the professional development title Teaching Young Learners English.

Connect with Dr. Shin: Google Site

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Inspiring Environmental Responsibility in the Young Learner Classroom

Being aware of your impact on the environment, both locally and globally, is an important part of being a responsible global citizen. But for young learners growing up in a digitally-focused global society, the disconnect between their everyday lives and the natural world is greater than ever.

How, then, can educators reconnect students with the environment, motivate them to care, and empower them to protect our planet?

In this webinar, photographer, conservationist, and National Geographic Young Explorer Gabby Salazar will share with you:

  • her unique story
  • her experiences working with children around the world
  • and practical ideas for using photography in the classroom

to help you foster environmental responsibility, raise global awareness, and use photography in your young learner classroom.

All participants will receive a free Photography Project Pack, detailing one of Gabby's classroom photography projects, too!

Presented by:
Gabby Salar, National Geographic Young Explorer

Photographer and conservationist Gabby Salazar travels around the globe to document rare and endangered species and to raise awareness about their plight. She is a National Geographic Young Explorer, a former President of the North American Nature Photography Association, a U.S. Fulbright Scholar in Photography, and a member of the Emerging League of the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP). At 19, she founded a student magazine with Nature's Best Photography to promote photography as a way to connect kids with nature. She continues to teach photography to children and teenagers around the world.

Connect with Gabby: gabbysalazar.com

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Fostering Global Citizenship in the Young Learner Classroom

Presented by:
Dr. Joan Kang Shin

Dr. Joan Kang Shin is an Associate Professor of Education at George Mason University and the Academic Program Coordinator of the Teaching Culturally & Linguistically Diverse & Exceptional Learners (TCLDEL) program. Dr. Shin specializes in teaching ESL/EFL to young learners and teenagers and has provided professional development programs and workshops to EFL teachers in over 100 countries around the world. She is a Series Editor of National Geographic Learning’s young learner programs Welcome to Our World, Our World, and Explore Our World, as well as the teen program Impact, and an author of the professional development title Teaching Young Learners English.

Connect with Dr. Shin: Google Site


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