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Teaching English in Early Childhood Education

Code: 106450 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2500797 Early Childhood Education OT 4 2


Maria Dolors Masats Viladoms

Teaching groups languages

You can check it through this link. To consult the language you will need to enter the CODE of the subject. Please note that this information is provisional until 30 November 2023.


Berta Torras Vila


Minimum language requirement: CEFR B1.2. 

Objectives and Contextualisation

This elective course aims at providing an introduction to teaching and learning the English language in pre-primary education. It is a key subject for those student teachers who plan to teach English in the future.

It has two main goals: (a) to help future teachers gain knowledge, develop teaching strategies and become familiar with those tools and resources necessary to teach English efficiently in Early Childhood Education classrooms; and (b) to promote critical thinking on teaching English to very young learners.


  • Being able to encourage an initial approach to a foreign language.
  • Deal effectively with language learning situations in multicultural and multilingual contexts.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the aims, curricular contents and criteria of evaluation of Infant Education
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the evolution of nonverbal communication and language in early childhood, and be able to identify possible dysfunctions and ensure proper development.
  • Demonstrating knowledge of the evolution of non-verbal communication and language in early childhood, knowing how to identify possible dysfunctions and ensuring their proper development.
  • Know and master oral and written expression techniques.
  • Know the language, reading and writing curriculum at this stage as well as theories on the acquisition and development of relevant learning.
  • Promote speaking and writing skills.
  • Properly express oneself orally and in writing and master the use of different expression techniques.
  • Recognize and evaluate the social reality and the interrelation between factors involved as necessary anticipation of action.
  • Take sex- or gender-based inequalities into consideration when operating within one's own area of knowledge.
  • Understand oral tradition and folklore.
  • Understand the learning process of reading and writing and how to teach it. Address language learning situations in multilingual contexts. Recognize and value the appropriate use of verbal and non-verbal language.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Acquire the relevant knowledge related to the oral language curriculum at this stage as well as theories on the acquisition and development of learning related to it.
  2. Communicate using language that is not sexist or discriminatory.
  3. Describe the evolution of language in early childhood and know how to identify possible dysfunctions.
  4. Knowing how to analyse aspects of the evolution of non-verbal communication and language in early childhood, identifying possible dysfunctions and suggesting proposals for its proper development.
  5. Knowing how to analyse different meta language learning situations in multilingual contexts.
  6. Knowing how to use language strategies that aid and stimulate the development of children's speaking capacities.
  7. Knowing how to use tools and strategies to generate interest in order to understand and communicate in a third language.
  8. Knowing how to use verbal and non-verbal expression techniques that aid communication and linguistic interaction with children.
  9. Master the use of different expression techniques and express oneself adequately both orally and in writing in situations in the professional field.
  10. Orally and in writing explain the objectives, curriculum content and evaluation criteria of spoken language in infant education.
  11. Recognising and evaluating the social reality and the interrelationship of the factors involved, as a necessary prelude to action.
  12. Understand the linguistic effects of contact with language in learning situations.
  13. Using stories, poems and tones of voice characteristic of the culture of the target language and appropriate for infant education.


1. Early Years Curriculum in Catalonia. Activities to promote communication and speaking skills.

  • Teaching foreign languages in multilingual milieus. Pluralistic approaches to languages and culture in Catalonia. Tasks to promote the development of children’s plurilingual and pluricultural competence in early childhood education.
  • Designing activities to promote early second/foreign language learning.

2. Verbal and non-verbal communication. Language play and creativity in early foreign language learning.

3. Teaching resources: drama techniques, songs, stories, and poetry to support literacy and language development in early childhood education.


In this course we will gain theoretical knowledge needed to develop skills to teach English in Early Childhood Education. Theory will be combined with practice contextualised within the framework of the Catalan curriculum for the area of English. We will analyze and create real classroom tasks, activities and resources and we will provide ample opportunities to share teaching strategies, didactic materials and digital tools. Students will be expected to work individually, in pairs and/or small groups to meet the course goals and requirements.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Direct instruction 45 1.8 12, 2, 10, 13, 11, 5, 7, 8
Type: Supervised      
Teacher-student conferences 30 1.2 12, 2, 9, 10, 11
Type: Autonomous      
Papers and activities directly related to the contents of the subject. 75 3 12, 2, 9, 10, 13, 4, 7



1) All assignments are compulsory, including attendance (80%).

2) Assignments are marked from 0-10. To pass the course ALL assignments must obtain a minimum score of 5.

3) Students cannot obtain a PASS mark if their assignments are too faulty.

4) Any form of plagiarism in one of the assignments results will FAIL the course. 

5) Assignments must contained references cited following the rules of APA citation style. 

Retake session: Friday 28th June 2024 from 8:00am to 11:00am. 

Only those students who have a pass mark in 3 out of the 4 evaluation tasks are allowed to participate in the retake session.

At the retake session, students can only take a maximum mark of 5 out of 10. 



Students who opt for Single Assemment, must submit and elaborate the following tasks on 28 June 2024 from 8am to 11 am:

1) Writen expository text based on 3 academic texts 30%. The text must be submitted on 28 June 2024 from 8am to 11 am

2) Design of a teaching sequence 40%. The text must be submitted on 28 June 2024 from 8am to 11am. The proposal should be implemented on that same day, after the submission.

3) Presenatation of an activity based on one of these topics: TPR, Music, Classroom Routines or Arts and Crafts 10% The activity will be presented orally on 28 June 2024 from 8am to 11am.

4) Justified selection and narration of a story 20% The activity will be presented orally on 28 June 2024 from 8am to 11am.

Retake: Friday 5 de july 2024 from 8am to 11am.

Only those students who have a pass mark in 3 out of the 4 evaluation tasks are allowed to participate in the retake session.

At the retake session, students can only take a maximum mark of 5 out of 10. 

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
1 expository and reflective essay to discuss methodological issues related to the topics dealt with in class or in the course readings (individual task) 30% 0 0 12, 2, 1, 11, 4, 5, 7, 6
Attendance and active participation (individual) 10% 0 0 12, 4, 6
Designin and presenting a teaching sequence. (Group work) 30% 0 0 2, 3, 9, 10, 13, 1, 7, 8, 6
Planning and presentating four activities to teach very young children English (Pair work) 20% 0 0 9, 10, 13, 8, 6
Selecting and telling a story in class. Elaborating a reading card (individual work) 10% 0 0 9, 13, 8


Álvarez, Yolanda (2022). Improving skills by playing: Trabajar las habilidades mediante actividades lúdicas. Castelló: Sar Alejadría Ediciones.

Brewster, Jean, Ellis, Gail, & Girad, Denis (New Ed. 2012). The primary English teacher’s guide. Harlow: Penguin English Guides.

Cameron, Lynne (2001). Teaching languages to young learners. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Available at: https://didactics-a.wikispaces.com/file/view/lynne+cameron.pdf

Dooly, Melinda, & Masats, Dolors (2015). A critical appraisal of foreign language research in CLIL, YLL and TELL in Spain (2003-2012). Language Teaching: Surveys and Studies, 48(3), 1-30.

Giannikas, Christina, McLaughlin, Lou, Fanning, Gemma, & Deutsch, Nellie (Eds.). (2015). Children learning English: From research to practice. Reading: Garnet Education.

Lightbown, Patsy M. & Spada, Nina (New Ed. 2013). How Languages are Learned. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Masats, Dolors (2016). Recursos y materiales para aprender lenguas. In D. Masats & L. Nussbaum (Ed.), Enseñanza y aprendizaje de las lenguas extranjeras en educación secundaria obligatoria (pp. 225-251). Madrid: Síntesis.

Mitchaell-Schuitevoerder, Rosemary, & Mourao, Sandie (Eds). (2006). Teachers and young learners: Research in our Classrooms. Canterbury: IATEFL.

Mont, Maria, & Gonzalez-Acevedo, Nathaly (2019). Coding toys while learning English: Programming with veryyoung learners. In Dolors Masats, Maria Mont & Nathaly Gonzalez-Acevedo (Eds). Joint efforts for innovation: Working together to improve foreign language teaching in the 21st century (pp. 59-65). Rothersthorpe: Paragon Publishing. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3064130

Mont, Maria, & Masats, Dolors (2018). Tips and suggestions to implement telecollaborative projects with young learners. In Melinda Dooly & Robert O’Dowd (Dirs.) In this together: Teachers’ experiences with transnational, telecollaborativelanguage learning projects (pp. 92-122). New York/Bern: Peter Lang. Gold open access.

Moon, Jayne (2000). Children Learning English. Oxford: Macmillan Heinemann.

Otto, Ana, & Corina-Pérez, Beatriz (Eds.). (2023). Handbook of CLIL in pre-primary education. Berlín: Springer.

Paran, Amos, & Watts, Eleanor (Eds). (2003). Storytelling in ELT. Whitstable: IATEFL.

Pinter, Annamaria (2006). Teaching Young Language Learners. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Reilly, Vanessa, & Ward, Sheila M. (1997). Very Young Learners. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Roth, Genevieve (1998). Teaching very young children. Pre-school and early primary. London: Richmond Santillana.

Schwartz, Mila (2018). Preschool bilingual education: Agency in interaction between children, teachers, and parents. Berlin: Springer.  

Shin, Joan, & Crandall, Joann (2013). Teaching young learners English. Heinle & Heinle. 

Torras Vila, Berta (2021). Music as a tool for foreign language learning in early childhood education and primary education. Proposing innovative CLIL music teaching approaches. CLIL Journal of Innovation and Research in Plurilingual and Pluricultural Education, 4(1), 35- 47. https://revistes.uab.cat/clil/article/view/v4-n1-torras-vila/60-pdf-en


No special software is required to enrol in this course.