SIG Focus: Teaching Younger Learners (TYL) SIG

Teaching Younger Learners (TYL) SIG

We are very excited to announce the formation of the new Teaching Younger Learners (TYL) SIG. TYL was formed by combining the Teaching Children SIG and the Junior and Senior High School SIG. Although the research and practical teaching interests vary greatly among teachers of these different age groups, many teachers regularly teach a variety of age groups or move around among the different age groups from year to year. As teachers of primary and secondary school children in Japan, we need to be aware of the changing English education policies put forth by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, Sports and Technology and the issues relating to their implementation in schools. For these reasons we decided that the two SIGs could better serve the teaching community by combining forces. This also saves JALT members from having to pay two SIG fees. 

Our main event every year is the 2-day JALT Junior conference held within the JALT international conference. This specialized international conference features presenters from all over the world and a variety of presentations and topics.  All presentations related to teaching children, junior, and senior high school students are put together in one location inside the main JALT conference venue. Teachers in these settings have a place to network and focus on issues and topics relevant to their profession. There are presentations on research, practical teaching ideas, business development ideas for school owners and ELT materials entrepreneurs and forums on current EFL topics. With over 60 presentations to choose from over two days, both new and experienced teachers will leave the conference with new information, ideas and inspiration. JALT conference attendees can attend JALT Junior presentations as part of their conference registration fee. Teachers only interested in teaching younger learners can join the JALT Junior conference at a discounted price. 

Our new SIG will continue publishing The School House, which was the Junior and Senior High School SIG publication. From now on it will reflect the new constituency of the SIG and include articles for teachers of young children as well.  In the past we have teamed up with to provide free webinars to our members. We have a new website at where we have a blog and links to our publications and recorded presentations and webinars. 

The focus of our SIG is teacher development and support for both new teachers just starting out and for more experienced teachers who are looking to expand their careers. Our SIG is a great place for teachers to share their wisdom and ideas by writing for our publication, The School House, presenting at JALT Junior, or contributing to our blog and Facebook page. The combined experience, wisdom and innovation of our members have created a community of inspiration, education and support for teachers of younger learners in Japan.