Chris Roland

Structuring Fun for Young Learners in the ELT Classroom

Practical ideas and advice for teaching English to children to engage and inspire them throughout their primary schooling

Structuring Fun for Young Learners in the ELT Classroom is a textbook full of lesson ideas, exercises and tips for teaching English as a foreign language to young learners.




Structuring Fun for Young Learners in the ELT Classroom is designed for ELT teachers, directors of studies and academic managers.  It provides an extensive repertoire of creative ideas and techniques to work with in the classroom.

Teaching young learners can be a huge amount of fun. As teachers, we can introduce all sorts of games, projects and variations on traditional exercises. All this needs careful structuring if the resulting activity is to be manageable and, more importantly, if it is going to help students learn and practise words and sentences in English. In Structuring Fun for Young Learners you’ll learn about the principles behind that structure. Chris Roland provides a roller coaster ride of colourful ideas, examples and anecdotes for your classroom. In addition, there are over three hundred diagrams and photographs to help explain exactly how the described activities work and give you the flavor of ELT classes at primary level.

When fun in the classroom is properly structured, everyone is a winner. Your students will remember those activities for years and you will still be able to cover your course content without compromising on classroom management. For this to happen, we have to ask important questions such as: ‘How do children behave in classrooms?’, ‘Why do they want to do some tasks and refuse to do others?’, ‘What is learning anyway and how can we tie our target words and sentences to the activities we do?’. These fundamentals are covered in the first five chapters of the book.

The second part of the book explores movement, text, space, novelty objects, teacher-student dialogue, personalisation, clips, images, support for learners, and the use of coursebooks. In addition, it examines your own professional development as a young learner teacher. So, whether you are a new teacher, a seasoned veteran or a teacher trainer with young learners classes, Structuring Fun for Young Learners in the ELT Classroom is for you.

The Teaching English series offers a mixture of methodology and practical ideas for teachers of English as a foreign language.  Like Understanding Teenagers in the ELT Classroom by Chris Roland, this book can be used:

  • for self-study,
  • as guided reading on more structured training courses,
  • by trainers preparing their own sessions at an in-house level.

If you currently teach online, take a look at Chris’ accompanying title: Structuring Fun for Young Language Learners Online


“The book is imaginative, humorous and often inspirational; it is liberally illustrated with photographs. The author’s style is highly personable. Should prove useful for new and experienced teachers of children.” – Pete Sharma, EL Gazette. Read the full review here.

Structuring Fun for Young Learners in the ELT Classroom can contribute to the innovative tools and inspiration primary English language teachers are looking for. [It] is more than just a recipe book of activities and ideas; it also provides support for those activities, addressing the reasons why and the ways in which activities work through real examples and personal anecdotes… For primary English language teachers looking to refresh, ignite or inspire new ideas in their classrooms, this book is a good resource.” – This review by Heidi Haavan Grosch was featured in the IATEFL YLTSIG TEYLT Worldwide publication (Issue 1, 2021). Find out more about becoming a member of IATEFL YLTSIG here.


Structuring Fun for Young Learners in the ELT Classroom is for all teachers of English language who work with young learners.


IBSN: 9781913414535

Publication date: w/c 29 June 2020



Part 1

Chapter 1: Working with groups of young learners – the basics
Chapter 2: Classroom management – some more little tricks
Chapter 3: What is creative young learner teaching?
Chapter 4: Language content 1 – Teaching words and sentences
Chapter 5: Language content 2 – Scripting events

Part 2

Chapter 6: Exploring Fun 1 – Novelty objects
Chapter 7: Exploring fun 2 – Using space, our senses and time
Chapter 8: Exploring fun 3 – Playing with text and truth
Chapter 9: Exploring fun 4 – Movement and moving tasks
Chapter 10: Task design for games, stories and crafts
Chapter 11: Personalisation and agency
Chapter 12: The massive potential of clips and images
Chapter 13: Themed lessons – Potatoes, turmeric and stickers
Chapter 14: Providing support in the classroom
Chapter 15: Making better use of the coursebook
Chapter 16: Observed lessons and professional development



Chris Roland is a teacher, trainer and ‘ideas man’, well-known for his lively but practical sessions on the international conference circuit. He has taught in both the private academy sector and mainstream education system in Spain as well as holding posts with the British Council in Damascus and Barcelona. He works with teachers across a wide range of contexts. These include in-house training for ELI, the language school where he is based in Seville; intensive courses on methodology for Lexical Lab, London and tutoring on Trinity Diploma courses for Oxford TEFL, Barcelona. He is a regular speaker at events organised by TESOL Spain and has a close working relationship with APPI, the association for teachers of English in Portugal. He has recently made repeat appearances for Teachers for Teachers, Ukraine, and has been co-moderator at the ELT Trends conference in Moscow. He is the author of Understanding Teenagers in the ELT Classroom (Pavilion Publishing, 2018) and has contributed many articles to Pavilion ELT’s magazines: English Teaching professional and Modern English Teacher.

Kindle edition

If you would like to get your copy immediately or save on postage costs, you can now buy a Kindle version of Structuring Fun for Young Learners in the ELT ClassroomYou can also take a look inside before you buy. Kindle editions can be read on the Kindle app across most devices, including phones, tablets and computers, so you do not need a Kindle device to purchase a copy.


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