At National Geographic Learning, our mission is to inspire students to learn the skills needed to be successful in their careers and educational experiences and become lifelong caretakers of the planet.

We want English language teachers to experience the excitement and joy of learning as well. That's why we strive to help teachers achieve personal success and be better citizens of the 21st century.

With National Geographic Learning Webinars we aspire to do just that. We hope you'll join us!

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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.

All participants will receive a Certificate of Participation!

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 the professional development book Teaching Young Learners English, and a series editor for the Our World suite of materials for young learners, inlcuding 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 the professional development book Teaching Young Learners English, and a series editor for the Our World suite of materials for young learners, inlcuding 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 the Director of TESOL Professional Training Programs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), and specializes in the training and professional development of teachers of English to young learners. In this position she administers numerous online professional development programs for EFL teachers in over 100 countries, including her own courses Teaching English to Young Learners and Teaching English to Teens.

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 the Director of TESOL Professional Training Programs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), and specializes in the training and professional development of teachers of English to young learners. In this position she administers numerous online professional development programs for EFL teachers in over 100 countries, including her own courses Teaching English to Young Learners and Teaching English to Teens.

Connect with Dr. Shin: Google Site


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Making an Impact: Teaching Our Students to Be Global Explorers

Today’s teenage students have limitless access to information; they can connect around the world at any time of day and night; they have more opportunities to travel than at any time in our past. How can we arm our students with the necessary skills to navigate their journey in this new and exciting 21st century world?

In this workshop participants will be encouraged to reflect on the 21st century learner and to discuss their own students and how they interact with the world around them. Together, we will exchange views about how we can develop students’ technological literacy so that they are able to extract the most significant facts that they need from the wealth of information available to them. We will think about the tools needed to help our students become creative and critical thinkers. Then, using videos, photographs and true stories from some of National Geographic’s most inspirational explorers, we will look at a variety of topics and discuss how we can make them interesting and relevant to students.

Finally, we will talk about how we can empower them to go out and make a positive impact on their world.

All participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance!

Presented by:
Katherine Stannett

Katherine Stannett is an author with over twenty years of experience. She spent two years in Japan in the 1990s, teaching English to a wide variety of students in different settings. She is the co-author of several successful secondary series and has also written articles, songs and raps for popular EFL magazines. Most recently, she has written two levels of the new National Geographic Learning course for young teenagers, Impact. She has given presentations and run workshops in countries around the world, including Poland, Kazakhstan, Portugal, Honduras, Nicaragua, Spain and Slovenia and also conducts webinars from her home office in the UK.

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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

Watch Webinar

Empowering 21st Century Teenagers

For young teenagers, life can be both exciting and confusing. At this age, teenagers are discovering who they are and who they want to be, and exploring the qualities that make them unique as well as the qualities they share with their peers.

In this webinar, Dr. Joan Kang Shin will offer tips and ideas for teachers of young teenagers to help their students better understand themselves, each other, and the world they live in.

Presented by:
Dr. Joan Kang Shin

Dr. Joan Kang Shin is the Director of TESOL Professional Training Programs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), and specializes in the training and professional development of teachers of English to young learners. In this position she administers numerous online professional development programs for EFL teachers in over 100 countries, including her own courses Teaching English to Young Learners and Teaching English to Teens.

Connect with Dr. Shin: Google Site


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Stand Out: Evidence-Based Instruction for College and Career Readiness

This webinar will provide participants with student-centered activities from the new edition of Stand Out. Rob Jenkins will demonstrate how these activities promote College and Career Readiness, El Civics, and critical thinking through National Geographic content. Come prepared to practice and learn how to teach with Stand Out’s new edition.

Presented by:
Rob Jenkins

Rob Jenkins is a professor of ESL for Santa Ana College School of Continuing Education in California. He is a recipient of the Santa Ana College Distinguished Faculty Award. Rob is also a textbook author and consultant for National Geographic Learning. He is the author of Stand Out and series editor for World English, and Grammar Explorer. Rob and Staci Johnson, his co-author, were awarded the Heinle Outstanding Achievement Award for their contribution to publishing in 2013.

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Challenges Teachers Face while Teaching Grammar and Writing

What grammar do your students need for better writing?

What grammar problems should teachers anticipate?

How can you help your students with the grammar they need for their writing?

Presented by:
Keith S. Folse

Dr. Keith Folse is a Professor of TESOL at the University of Central Florida. He is the author of 57 textbooks on a variety of subjects from grammar to vocabulary to composition, including five best-selling books in the Great Writing series by National Geographic Learning.

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Critical Thinking in English Language Teaching

Critical thinking is one of the key 21st Century Skills but is it the role of the teacher to develop those skills alongside English language learning? In my talk I’ll address this question by considering how teachers might use higher order thinking activities to enhance their lesson planning and materials design. We’ll also see how critical thinking in the language classroom demands more from the learner but in doing so makes their language learning a much more rewarding experience.

Presented by:
John Hughes

John Hughes is a teacher, teacher trainer and course book author. He has worked in ELT since 1992 and managed departments of Business English and Teacher Training. He currently combines a variety roles including part-time teaching, running online training courses, and lecturing on ELT methodology at Oxford University in the summer. He has written many books with National Geographic Learning including Spotlight on First, Practical Grammar (three levels), Total Business 2, Success with BEC Vantage, Aspire, and the six-level general English course series called Life. He lives near Oxford and writes the blog www.elteachertrainer.com.