Schools & Agents - Promoting Education Worldwide
Password was successfully changed.

IH Annual Young Learners Conference

Published Bernice on Friday, November 25, 2022 3:04 PM

IH Annual Young Learners Conference

The International House World network hosted its annual Young Learners Conference in Rome from the 11th to the 12th of November. This conference is a key event in IH Young Learner specialists’ calendars due to the insightful topics covered by both plenary speakers and colleagues from around the world.

There were plenty of opportunities for networking with both sponsors and other IH YL teachers and coordinators from a variety of schools.

IH Rome has a long history of developing YL teachers and was therefore a fitting location for the event. In 1997, the centre was one of the first in the world authorised by the University of Cambridge ESOL (now Cambridge English Language Assessment) to pilot their new Extension Course for Teachers of Young Learners. They were fantastic hosts and incorporated the culture of their city and school into the welcoming atmosphere.

It was the first IH event for Emma Hoyle, IHWO’s new Managing Director, and a great opportunity for her to meet more members of the network.  

“It was a fantastic introduction to the IH network as Managing Director and very special to connect with so many members of the community,” said Emma. “The enthusiasm of the YL conference attendees was infectious and the group of speakers engaged us all with their in-depth insight into teaching these age groups. Exchanging ideas, finding solutions and sharing experiences to develop our teaching skills is what IH is all about.”

There were a few common themes throughout the sessions. Firstly, a variety of speakers explored how to promote creativity and motivation in both learners and teachers. Alan Marsh gave an enlightening presentation on how teachers can be creative alongside meeting the demands of standardised curricula and testing. Speakers shared techniques for making lessons more memorable and engaging for Yls and teens such as incorporating movement, narrative techniques and science-based practical tips to optimize study sessions and maximise learning progress.

Many speakers looked at how important it is for teachers to consider their learner’s environments and external influences. Plenary speaker Chris Roland explored ways to make allowances for teens’ challenges and tensions in the classroom, offering both practical activities, tried and tested techniques and much food for thought. Milena Montalbano and Arianna Losa from IH Team Lingue, detailed their project to engage and motivate learners through ‘Show & Tell’ and TED Talks. We had a session on the Cognitive Load Theory from Diana Bauducco from IH London, who explained that the human brain can only cope with so much newness and therefore wise decisions on the ‘what’, ‘how’, ‘how much’ and ‘for how long’ can make learning more effective by increasing and improving long term retention of information.

Another recurring theme was creating a better world for YLs and teens through teaching. There was a session on Social and Emotional Learning and its importance for young learners from Ellen Setterfield, sponsored by National Geographic Learning. IHWO Director of Studies Coordinator and IH Reggio Calabria DoS, Lucie Cotterill shared ideas for lessons and activities focussing on themes which are of increasing importance and interest to Yl and teen students. Then, IHWO Italian Advisor, Chiara, Passantino demonstrated how engaging learners in meaningful experiences in English allows them to become effective communicators and global citizens.

A huge thank you to partners Guard Me for their ongoing support. IHWO is also grateful to all their sponsors for their continued support of the event – Macmillan Education, Trinity College London Cambridge English, National Geographic Learning, Pearson and DELTA Publishing.

In conclusion, attendees left with plenty of practical ideas to use in the classroom and much inspiration for new approaches and strategies to teaching YLs and teens. The IHWO team and IH network now look towards the next conference for Academic Managers and Trainers in London from the 11th-14th of January. It will be an extra special year as International House celebrates its 70th anniversary.

Promote Your School
Chat with US