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Teaching Early Years Online and Phonics for teachers of Early Years

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Watch a recording of our 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.

Recorded on 29 November 2021

Watch a recording of 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. 

Recorded on 29 November 2021

Watch a recording of 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.