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Young learners and teens

Top image credit: courtesy of Rachael Harris


Finding time to attend events can be difficult, and with so many online resources it can be tempting to conduct our continual professional development (CPD) from the sofa. Going to conferences, however, provides many benefits: the talks themselves, the connection with like-minded teachers, and the chance to ask questions, meet new people and discover new things. So wherever you are in Switzerland, here are some events we recommend:

ETAS Annual Conference and AGM: This annual two-day event takes place every January, is packed with brilliant talks and is a great way to meet other teachers.

IATEFL Conference: Here's some strong advice: attend this conference, at least once! It runs a whole week, usually in April, and hosts hundreds of talks, workshops and forums.

ETAS Professional Development Day: A great way to start the school year on the right foot.

An even better way to up your CPD is to give a talk at one of these events! Got a great idea, something you feel strongly about, or simply something you want to learn more about? Then put in a proposal – preparing and giving a talk is a great way of structuring your ideas and sharing them with others. Too shy to present? Send an article to the ETAS Journal instead!

Resources we love

Here are some fab resources. Please share yours with fellow teachers by sending them to

e4innovation: Using iPads for learning, teaching and research Teaching Teens blog post – The fantastic Jamie Keddie shares his ideas for using videos and films in class. (A personal note: "The Box", used with several classes, has always been a hit!)

Film English by Kieran Donaghy – Kieran and James kindly share a whole package of free resources online, so be fair and donate, or at least buy their books. These guys are saving you hours of time and guaranteeing you amazing lessons!

British Council/BBC: Teaching teens – Some great reading (and other) resources on a variety of topics. Something for everyone – and check out their teacher development courses too.

Tes Resources - Times educational supplement shares a wide variety of resources aimed at British teachers in the UK, but often adaptable and very useful if you teach using Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL).


Here are some of our favourites:

Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College – Full of practical ideas to ensure learning and classroom management with teens.

The Lazy Teacher's Handbook: How Your Students Learn More When You Teach Less – Not the cop-out that the name may suggest, but full of ideas to encourage learner autonomy.

Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator – Another goodie!

While not exactly your run-of-the-mill resources, English for the Zombie Apocalypse and English for the Alien Invasion are fantastic for teens. Doing exactly what they say, these resources provide language practice for various situations (for example, your friend has been attacked by a zombie; do you a) kill him, b) leave him behind or c) take him with you hoping for a cure? Discuss in groups and act out the scene).

What Every Teacher Needs to Know about Psychology, by David Didau and Nick Rose, is a good, basic start on educational psychology, and is free to borrow from Amazon Kindle.


If you have a few moments to spare, webinars and recordings are a great way to up your CPD.

Check out IATEFL webinars here; you don't have to be a member to watch the webinars, but recordings are restricted.

Cambridge Assessment English: Webinars for teachers

Oxford University Press: "More equal than others" webinar

Macmillan English: Effective Exam Practice for Teenagers – by Malcolm Mann, English language teacher and materials writer

MacMillan English: Stories & Scaffolded Learning - by Viv Lambert, editor and author specialising in Primary ELT materials

MacMillan English: Motivating Teenage Learners - by Rebecca Robb Benne, teacher, editor and writer

Useful links



IATEFL IP & SEN SIG (Inclusive Practices & SEN) – If you teach students with specific educational needs or disabilities, consider joining this new special interest group.

Blogs we like

Olha Madylus: Young Learner teacher, teacher-trainer, trainer-trainer, author and consultant

Teacher Toolkit: Classroom Ideas, Teacher Training and School Resources

And of course, Fab English ideas!

If you blog, please contact us so we can add you to our list.

Free books!

If you are interested in receiving free material in exchange for a review, check out our book review page.

Rachael Harris, Coordinator 

Rachael has lived near Geneva for about 20 years and teaches in a secondary school, where she is the external examinations coordinator and has compiled the Special Educational Needs statement. Rachael holds an M.A. TESOL from Sheffield Hallam University and a SEN coordinator certificate from the University of Leeds. Besides being the editor for the IATEFL Inclusive Practices & SEN special interest group, Rachael enjoys running and reading in her spare time.

Contact Rachael at