What is teaching English for young learners and why is it popular?

Teaching English for young learners usually just refers to classes for people who are under approximately thirteen years old, i.e. they are children. There is also a classification of very young learners, which usually equates approximately to 3 – 5 years old. Teaching English to Young Learners and Very Young Learners is arguably the largest market in the TEFL industry, and it is enjoying very buoyant growth throughout the world at present. Teaching these age groups comes with its own unique challenges, but can be very rewarding.

Young Learners (YL) and Very Young Learners (VYL) are two of the biggest markets in the teaching English as a foreign language industry. There are many reasons for this, but they might include some of the following:

Firstly, Young Learners and Very Young Learners are likely to be in education full-time already, and are often required to study foreign languages, often English, at school. This leads to increased demand for students to improve their academic performance at school, so demand rises.

Secondly, adults have less time to study and are likely to be too busy, meaning the adult classes are still popular but something of a smaller market. Parents are also more inclined to invest money in educating their children, generally speaking.

Thirdly, parents often recognise that English is going to be an important requirement in the future, for taking advantage of educational and career opportunities later in life. Parents also recognise the importance of beginning their children early, so that they can benefit from more time studying and take advantage of the period of language development, which research has shown to slow later in life.

These are some of the reasons that YL and VYL classes are incredibly popular and are one of the largest growing markets in the field of TEFL.