IH Very Young Learners

Dates Sort descending School Location Mode Fee
29 Jan - 09 Apr 2022
Online Training 100% Online PT £450
28 May - 06 Aug 2022
Online Training 100% Online PT £450
08 Oct - 17 Dec 2022
Online Training 100% Online PT £450


The full course price is £450, and if you will be taking this course in the UK, or your employer is a UK based company, there will be 20% VAT to pay ontop. 

The good news is there is a discount of 10% if you have completed a different IH OTTI course in the last 12 months, and there is a special price of £260 for teachers working in an IH school. Just let us know on the application form if you would like to claim these discounts. 

Who is this course designed for

If you are a qualified language teacher with experience of teaching adults or young learners age 6 or above, and would like to specialise in teaching younger children age 3 to 5, this course is for you.

If you are a teacher in an international school or kindergarten and would like advice and help in managing children in the classroom (not English as a Second Language specific), this course will help you do this.

This course is also for an ESL teacher with experience who…

  • is working in other fields but is looking to specialise in VYLs;
  • has been teaching adults and would now like to broaden their skills to teach VYLs;
  • is specialising in other areas, e.g. test preparation or business English, but is looking to develop their teaching;
  • is looking to bridge a gap in their teaching capabilities;
  • wants to learn more about how to be an effective teacher;
  • wants to have a better chance to work at an international level;
  • already teaches Very Young Learners and wants to learn more to improve their teaching;
  • wants to know more about the aspects of language learning and development in early childhood;
  • wants to find new ways to inspire and motivate VYLs.

Entry requirements

To apply for this course, you should have some experience of teaching English to adults, teenagers, or Young Learners (age 6 and above). You do not need to have taught Very Young Learners previously.

Please note that your level of English should be B2 or above.

Please note online applications close on the Wednesday before the course starts. But we sometimes have late availability, so please get in touch with the admissions team on ihotti@ihworld.com and we will see if there are any last minute spaces. 

Course objectives

The aim of this course is to prepare teachers for the unique challenges of working with learners, age 3, 4 and 5. It will give you the specific skills and tools required to teach Very Young Learners.

Teaching children of this age is very different from teaching young learners age 6 or above. For VYLs, your role is more than just a language teacher – you have more responsibility for the care of the children while they are in your classroom. The method of teaching for VYLs also requires different activities and learning styles. A child age 3 is not consciously wanting to learn a new language and might never have been in any kind of classroom before. As a teacher of this age group, you need to have the skills to be able to react to the children and their needs and have the right duty of care towards them.

This course is precisely designed to aid language teachers who want to teach children aged 3-to-5 years old.


Frequently Asked Questions

What time do I need to devote to studying? We recommend at least 7 hours each week reading, completing tasks, and joining in the discussion forums. 

Are there live sessions? No. All online courses are asynchronous meaning you can access materials and discussion forums whenever it suits you. 

Do I have to be teaching a very young learner class now? No. But if you can try out the techniques you are learning you’ll find it helpful. 

Do I have to read other books? No. We provide all the materials and links that you need. 

Can I join after the start date? Sorry, no. Your whole group learns together to discusses themes and topics, so you need to be there from the start.

How many people will be in my group? Usually between 8 and 12.

Will I get a certificate? Yes. See below!


Course content

There are 10 sessions in this course which will cover the following topics:

  1. What are Very Young Learners (VYLs)
  2. The Very Young Learner (VYL) teacher
  3. Managing young children in the classroom
  4. Coursebooks and materials
  5. Materials development
  6. Lesson planning
  7. Story telling for children
  8. Games and songs for children
  9. Music and chants for children
  10. Early literacy and learning

Over the 10 modules, you work will include participating in discussion forums, quizzes, readings, tasks and activities to try out in your classes. The work you complete is dependent on the subject matter of the module that week, for example the first and last modules involve personal reflection. Generally, the tasks are quite practical and do not involve writing essays. There will be some lesson planning and trying out the material and activities covered during the course, e.g. for the story telling module, you will be given a story to adapt and use in a VYL classroom.

This course is asynchronous which means you can access the material online whenever it suits you. You do not need to log on at a certain time every week, so the course suits busy lifestyles, work and/or family commitments, and a variety of time differences.

The discussion forum on this course creates an online community and is what participants really value. You can share best practice tips, exchange ideas, and discuss experiences involving Very Young Learners with your peers. When everyone is logging on and talking about what they have learnt, all course participants gain a huge amount of insight, knowledge and experience which you can take on board throughout your professional career.


There are ten weeks of tutor led input on this course. After this you will have two weeks to complete and submit your portfolio of work ready for assessment. 

Your time commitment

The time commitment will vary depending on participant involvement in the online discussion forums, but as a minimum this should be five hours per week. A further two hours per week should be spent completing portfolio tasks, which will involve applying the practical course input to the participant’s everyday teaching of Very Young Learners.

Your fellow course participants and online community

The number of course participants will be at least eight (that is our minimum), but is usually between twelve and eighteen. 

Your fellow trainees will be one of the best sources of inspiration for you - sharing activities, games, songs that they have found successful with their own classes. 

This opportunity to discuss in an international environment is unique - your peers will be from all over the world and everybody learns from discussing and sharing together. Although the course has reading and theoretical input, it is primarily a very practical course to test ideas and techniques and learn from each other. 

So you won't find yourself just studying all on your own - you'll learn from each other as well as from the course material and your tutors.

Participants have commented that the discussion forums are almost like having a ‘mentor on tap’; a mentor that has experience of a variety of different contexts, different language learners and managing teachers from different countries.


Each of the 10 modules are assessed by the course tutors. The final assessment is based on a portfolio at the end of the course which is made up of the tasks completed during the course and a final reflective essay. This will be assessed by the IH World Assessment Unit.

The work completed during the modules, including participation in the discussion forums, quizzes, etc., is not assessed.

Your verified digital certificate

On successful completion of this course, and when your assignments have been moderated by an external assessor, you will receive a digital certificate. This is stored securely on a verified site, so everybody can be confident that it is authentic and real.

It will look like the image below:

VYL Certificate

You can share this with a prospective employer, client, or anybody else that you choose.

A digital certificate is more safe and secure for you than paper – it won’t get lost in the post, it won’t get damaged over time, and won’t get lost. It is always available, you can share in just one click, or you can print as many copies as you like whenever you would like. And, it’s better for the environment. Reducing paper, ink, and delivery means a lower carbon footprint.

Click here for a short video about verified digital certificates from our partner Accredible.


Meet our IH OTTI tutors here



The IH VYL (Very Young Learner) Course is delivered by IH OTTI (the IH Online Teacher Training Institute). IH OTTI courses are accredited by AQUEDUTO, the Association for Quality Education and Training Online. This is a charitable organisation dedicated to evaluating blended and online training courses against a quality assurance framework. Aqueduto accreditation helps language teaching professionals identify high quality course providers and enrol with confidence.


More 100% online, part time, courses

Find other specialist courses which can boost your TEFL career from the IH Online Teacher Training Institute (IH OTTI).

Whichever course you take you’ll have a dedicated tutor to guide and support you and a group of peers to have discussions and share ideas with, so you'll feel part of an online community.

And all courses are online and asynchronous so you can access the information whenever it suits you.


Online teacher training