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.


" Lovely course tutor always ready with support and resources, and a supportive group to learn with. "

Suganthi - 2019

Is this course for you?

Location: Online
Experience: Degree. Language teaching experience
Language Level: B2/C1 or higher
Course dates:
16 September - 20 November 2024
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: 18
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

" I would recommend this course to other because] it was practical and useful in linking theory to practice. "

Participants - 2019

" The resources that have been provided are treasure trove, along with the ideas of how to make the materials child-friendly. "

Participant - 2018

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.

MA Module Leader: Małgosia Tetiurka

Małgosia TetiurkaMałgosia is a lecturer and teacher trainer at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland. She has been teaching English for nearly thirty years. She has taught every age and level, but has always particularly enjoyed teaching children.

For the last fifteen years, Malgosia has also been sharing her experience as an in-service teacher trainer, materials writer and conference presenter. She has worked with teachers in many countries including Croatia, Lithuania, Russia, Estonia and Ireland. She is also a Cambridge ESOL Oral Examiner for all proficiency levels.

Available dates:

Course dates Location Course length
16 September - 20 November 2024 Online 9 weeks