Carol Read

Teaching and Learning English in the Early Years


All you need to know to be the best teacher possible

Teaching and Learning English in the Early Years provides a lively, varied, ‘must have’ A–Z compendium of how to teach English to very young children between the ages of 3–6. It combines discussion of methodology with a wide range of practical, creative teaching ideas and strategies which are easy to implement in pre-school classrooms globally, and enables teachers at any level of experience teach with confidence.



Teaching and Learning English in the Early Years offers teachers an extensive repertoire of creative ideas and techniques to work with in the classroom. The A–Z format provides a memorable and easily-referenced manual for teachers, with a large variety of low-preparation, practical teaching ideas. Each one links clearly to a language point with easy-to-follow teaching notes. Each also links to a section providing further reflection and teacher development.

What does the book cover?

The 26 chapters go from A to Z, each reflecting key areas in early years language teaching. They offer a combination of theoretical insight, methodological guidelines, and practical ideas for the classroom. There are chapters on classroom activities, plus key educational and developmental areas and areas of current topical interest. The range and combination of the chapters aims to broaden teachers’ understanding of what is involved in effective early years language teaching. It aims to raise their awareness of how to maximise children’s language learning in the context of their overall development.

Just like The Creative Teacher’s Compendium, each chapter starts with a quotation that is pertinent to the topic or theme. A concise and accessible introductory discussion then follows. This highlights relevant background theory and key methodological considerations, and sets the scene for the suggested practical applications which follow. Guidance is also in place to help teachers develop an understanding of how to differentiate their approach with younger and older pre-school children.

At the end of each chapter, a professional development section includes questions for reflection as well as ideas to try out and share with other colleagues. The Glossary at the end defines any unfamiliar teaching terms. It provides a useful reference for child development and language teaching terminology that is used regularly throughout the book. This supports the professional development of early years language teachers in understanding and using the vocabulary of their profession.

Teaching and Learning English in the Early Years is part of the Teaching English series, which offers practical and accessible methodology across a wide range of different topics.


Teaching and Learning English in the Early Years: All you need to know to be the best teacher possible is a compelling book that draws from Carol Read’s years of experience teaching young learners. Teacher educators, teachers, and trainees will greatly benefit from reading the book which is rooted in a substantial body of research and activities that have been implemented and tested in the classroom. Her work favours the role of teachers as educators and promotes the teaching of well-rounded children…

“Apart from being an informational resource, Teaching and Learning English in the Early Years is rich in practical activities that have proven to be successful in a preschool environment. Core to Read’s framework for integrating global skills in ELT with children is the use of diverse activities that would promote young learners’ development of their own agency, assume responsibility, find their own voice, and take action.”  – This review by Ana Cecilia Cad was featured in IATEFL YLTSIG’s newsletter TEYLT Worldwide. Find out more about becoming a member of IATEFL YLTSIG here.



The book is suitable for:

  • early years ELT teachers who work in state and private sectors in countries potentially all over the world;
  • early years mainstream class teachers, with no previous ELT training, who teach English as part of the early years curriculum;
  • candidates who follow early years ELT teacher education courses such as International House ‘Certificate in Teaching Very Young Learners’, British Council / FutureLearn ‘English in Early Childhood: Language Learning and Development’, NILE ‘Teaching English in Pre-primary Education’ or Language Fuel Online Training ‘Getting Started with Early Childhood English Teaching’.
  • ELT teachers of older learners who are asked to teach pre-school children for the first time;
  • Teacher educators and teacher trainers who deliver training on teaching English in the early years.


Carol Read is a teacher, teacher trainer and materials writer with over 30 years’ experience in English language teaching. She has taught students of all ages and levels, from very young children to adults.

Her interest in early years and primary education grew after having her own children. She became fascinated by child development, bilingualism, and foreign language teaching and learning in mainstream education – all areas which continue to be central to her work today.

Her experience includes teaching, teacher training and academic management posts in Venezuela, Portugal and Spain. She has also published extensively in the field of teaching English to young learners.

She is currently working as a writer and international educational consultant advising on pre-primary and primary foreign language programmes, and delivering customised teacher education courses. She is also a former President of IATEFL.


ISBN: 978-1-80388-039-6

Expected publication date (subject to change): March 2023

Teaching and Learning English in the Early Years comprises the following: Introduction, 26 chapters, Glossary, Index, Suggested further reading. The chapters are organised from A–Z with titles as below:
A. Agency and Autonomy
B. Building positive relationships
C. Class puppet and Communication
D. Digital media and technology
E. Everyday lessons and learning routines
F. Finding out about the world
G. Games and play
H. Home-school link
I. Imagination and creativity
J. Junk modelling, art and craft
K. Kinaesthetic learning
L. Literacy development
M. Managing behaviour
N. Nursery rhymes, chants and songs
O. Outdoor activities and projects
P. Picturebooks and storytelling
Q. Questions and scaffolding techniques
R. Recycling and Reviewing learning
S. Social and emotional learning
T. Thinking skills
U. Using children’s mother tongue and other languages
V. Values and Values education
W. Words and language chunks
X. Xtra ideas to keep in mind
Y. Young children and assessment
Z. Zest, Zeal and Zzzz – wellbeing for children and for you!


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