Research Report

Investigating global practices in teaching English to young learners


Garton S, Copland F & Burns A (2011) Investigating global practices in teaching English to young learners. The British Council. ELT Research Papers, 11–01. British Council.

This paper reports on the project Investigating Global Practices in Teaching English to Young Learners. Its main aims were to: ■■ discover what policy/syllabus documents inform TEYL practices around the world ■■ investigate and map the major pedagogies that teachers use ■■ better understand teachers' perceptions of their roles and responsibilities, including the challenges they face ■■ identify how local solutions to pedagogical issues can be effective and how these may resonate globally. The project was conducted using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Quantitative data was collected through a survey that resulted in 4,696 responses from 144 countries, with responses emerging from all continents. Qualitative data was obtained through five observational classroom case studies of teaching practices in Colombia, Italy, Korea, Tanzania, and the UAE. The study uncovered a wide range of factors concerning the teaching of English to young learners globally from the perspective of teachers involved in implementing these programmes. In particular, it showed that many of these factors are commonly experienced by teachers across different countries and contexts. Five recommendations are made: 1. The pre-service and in-service training provided to teachers of young learners needs to be considerably strengthened. 2. Greater opportunities need to be found for sharing ideas and experiences amongst primary school teachers of English both nationally and internationally. 3. For a large number of teachers, there is substantial need for English language development. 4. An expanded range of materials for teaching young learners is needed. 5. Educational policy developers should be provided with advice, based on current research and good classroom practice, on effective curriculum development for young learners to enhance the learning experience of children

Title of seriesELT Research Papers
Number in series11–01
Publication date31/12/2011
PublisherBritish Council
Publisher URL…t_2column_V3.pdf