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Teaching Early Years Online and Phonics for teachers of Early Years

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Join us on Monday 29 November for two webinars about teaching early years students

A young child looking at a laptop computer screen

Webinar 1 - Teaching Early Years online

About the webinar

Are you nervous about teaching Early Years (EY) students online? Do you struggle to keep your students engaged without being physically present? With the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, we were propelled into teaching 3 to 5-year-olds on an online platform. This webinar will give EY and even Primary teachers insights into what we have learned since then, including practical activities and typical problems and solutions in an EY classroom. We will highlight ways to encourage speaking, how to set up routines, use songs, rhymes, and chants, model teaching phonics, and set up pretend play activities, all while keeping EY students engaged and motivated online.

Date and time

29 November 2021 - 11.00am UK. See what time this is in your location

Register for this webinar

About the speakers

Tashya Mitchell started out with a BSc in Economics and Management, working in the finance sector, but quickly realized that it was not a good fit. She took on a temporary part-time job teaching English, and what started out as a stopgap measure, turned into a lifelong vocation. She’s worked for British Council for over 15 years now and taught a range of nationalities and age-groups. Her wide experience includes teaching general and business English courses to adults, and also primary, secondary and early year students. She is passionate about promoting literacy and creating a student-centred classroom that fosters learner-autonomy. She has worked as an examiner for several widely recognized exams testing proficiency in English and has mentored newly qualified English teachers. She’s a firm believer in the importance of continuous professional development and the value of reflecting on your own teaching and sharing experiences with colleagues.

Cherie Umagiliya found her calling as a teacher when she completed her CELTA in 2010 and has been working at the British Council Sri Lanka since then. She has experience teaching adults, professionals, young learners and delivering teacher training courses. She added TYLEC (2013) and DELTA (2016) to her credentials, specialising in teaching Primary and Early Years students, and completed the Nile Online Teaching English in Pre-Primary Education in 2020. Her strength in classroom practice lies with classroom management and fostering curiosity and creativity in her students. She is passionate about training YL and EYL teachers and is a qualified CertPT and TYLEC tutor. She is also a DELTA Module 2 Local Tutor. Cherie has made it her life's mission to share her knowledge and years of experience in teaching, to train and inspire the next generation of teachers in Sri Lanka and around the world.

Webinar 2 - Phonics for teachers of Early Years

About the webinar

This session simplifies for teachers, who are new to teaching phonics, the reasons as to why we teach phonics and the methods that are used. Teachers will be taken step-by-step through the information containing useful examples and practical tips and games to use with young students.  Following the presentation teachers will be able to explain why we teach phonics using the method described and use the terminology. The presentation contains examples of teaching materials and approaches that have been successfully used in Sri Lanka. 

Date and time

29 November 2021 - 12.15pm UK. See what time this is in your location

Register for this webinar

About the speakers

Neelam Abdul Gani, Nimali and Eromi Mahamudalige are current practitioners at the British council in Colombo. They teach primary and early years students. Neelam is also a lecturer in English, foundation program at the Universal College Lanka and has been awarded BSc in Psychology, an MA in TESOL and is reading for an MSc in Applied Psychology and Behavior Change. Eromi is currently reading for a BA (Hons) in TESOL and English. Nimali holds a degree in English Language and International Relations from University of Westminster, United Kingdom. 

Eromi, Neelam and Nimali are all trained in TESOL for young learners and have completed courses accredited by the British Council to teach early years and primary young learners. They have followed courses to teach phonics and delivered information sessions to parents on using phonics to help young children read and write.

All presenters work at the British Council in Sri Lanka. They are part of a successful team of teachers who were the first to teach Early Years online and incorporate phonics into lessons online.

Important information about our webinars - please read

How to watch the webinar

Our webinars are free.

They take place in Zoom. You do not need any special equipment to watch the webinars apart from a computer with the audio on. 


You should register for the webinar at the link provided above. In order to receive updates and a link to join the webinar, you will need to provide a valid email address. Your information will not be used for marketing purposes unless you explicitly give us permission to do so during the registration process. For more information about the British Council's privacy policy, please follow this link: 

Once you have registered for the webinar, you will receive an email with:

  • a link to join  
  • a passcode that you will need to enter to join the webinar 
  • any other relevant information

Please do not delete this email.

If you have any specific accessibility requests, please contact us by email at You should say which webinar you are attending and ask us to contact you regarding your needs. 

Instructions for joining the webinar

  1. Click on the link that was emailed to you when you registered for the webinar
  2. If requested, introduce the passcode that was emailed to you when you registered for the webinar
Webinar recordings

All TeachingEnglish webinars are recorded and available to watch on demand between 24 and 48 hours after the live webinar has ended. To view the recording of this webinar, please visit the same page on TeachingEnglish, or go to where you will find a list of all webinars and available recordings. Recordings will be available to watch for a minimum of six months and up to two years after the live event.


Certificates of attendance are available for all attendees. The link to obtain your certificate is provided in the following places:

  • At the end of the webinar in the chat box
  • In the 'Thank you for attending email' that you will receive 1 day after the webinar.
  • At the end of the feedback survey once you have answered the questions.
  • You should type your name on the certificate and download it. We recommend using Google Chrome or Internet Explorer to do this.
Copies of the presentations

Where possible, we will make a PDF copy of the presentation available for you to download. However, for copyright reasons, this may not always be allowed.