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Young Learners and Teens

Top image credit: courtesy of Rachael Harris


It can be difficult to find the time to attend events, and with so many online resources it can be tempting to conduct our CPD from the comfort of the sofa. However there's an awful lot to be got from going to conferences, not just in terms of the talks themselves but also the connection with like-minded teachers, chances to ask questions, meet new people and discover new things. So wherever you are in Switzerland here are some events we would recommend:

ETAS AGM takes place every year in January, this two-day event is packed with brilliant talks and a great way to meet other teachers.

If you haven't attended an IATEFL conference then I strongly advise you do so, at least once! It takes place over a whole week, usually in April and hosts hundreds of talks, workshops and forums.

ETAS PD DAY is a great way to start the school year on the right foot!

An even better way to up your CPD (continual professional development) 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. To shy to present? - Send an article to the journal instead!

Resources we love :

 Here are some fab resources, please share yours with your fellow teachers by sending them to

Using Ipads in the Classroom

Teaching Teens blog post -  the fantastic Jamie Keddie shares his ideas for using videos and films in class. I've used "the Box" with several classes and it's never failed to be a hit!

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

British Council 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 th UK, ut often adaptable and very useful if you teach CLIL.


We've recently been asked about book suggestions, so here are some of our favourites:

Teach Like a Champion - This book is full of practical ideas to ensure learning and classroom management with teens.

The Lazy Teacher's handbook - not the cop out it sounds, but full of ideas to encourage learner autonomy

Teach Like a Pirate - another goodie!

While not exactly your run-of-the-mill resources, I think "English for the Zombie Appocalypse" and "English for the Alien Invasion" are fantastic for teens, doing exactly what they say, these resources provide language practice for various situations ( 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 & Nick Rose is a good basic start on educational psychology, and is free to borrow from amazon kindle

Webinars: 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 webinar live but recodrings are restricted.

Cambridge webinars

Oxford webinars

Effective Exam Practice for Teenagers - Malcolm Mann (Macmillan)

Stories & Scaffolded Learning - Viv Lambert (Macmillan)

Motivating Teenage Learners - Rebecca Robb-Benne (Macmillan)

Useful Links:



If you teach students with Specific Educational Needs or disabilities then why not join the new IATEFL IP & SEN SIG (Inclusive Practices & SEN)?

Blogs we like:

Olha Madylus

Teacher toolkit

and of course Fabenglish 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 then check out our book review page.

About: Rachael Harris

Rachael has lived near Geneva for about twenty years and she teaches in a secondary school where she is external examinations coordinator and has also compiled the Special Educational Needs statement. Rachael holds an M.A. TESOL from Sheffield Hallam university and a SEN coordinator certificate from Leeds university. Rachael is editor for the IATEFL Inclusive Practices and SEN Special Interest Group. In her free time she enjoys running and reading.

Contact Rachael at