TKT: YL (Teaching Knowledge Test: Young Learners)

Hello young learner teachers, 🙂

This blog post was specially written for my dear friend Claire’s celtpees who are going to sit the TKT specialist module YL at the end of their course. However, if you teach young learners, studying for and sitting this exam could be a great way for you to learn about the magic world of kids! Therefore, if you are one of these people, this post is for you!

First things first! Let us review what TKT is all about:

According to Cambridge:

TKT is a flexible series of modular teaching qualifications, which test your knowledge in specific areas of English language teaching. You can take as many modules as you want, over any time period. You receive a Cambridge English certificate for each module you complete.

TKT comprises three core modules and two specialist modules.

TKT: Module 1 –  Language and background to language learning and teaching
TKT: Module 2 – Lesson planning and use of resources for language teaching
TKT: Module 3 – Managing the teaching and learning process

TKT: CLIL – Content and Language Integrated Learning
TKT: YL – Young Learners

You can take the modules as you wish, and you can sit them in any order you want.

If you are wondering whether you should take this exam, bear in mind that:

  • This is a Level 3 qualification (the levels are: 3, 5 and 7);
  • Methodology certificates x proficiency certificates (being proficient and having a proficiency diploma does not prove you are a certified teacher, but a language speaker);
  • This test might be taken by novice teachers as well as experienced teachers without any proof of their teaching.

These tests are part of the foundation and developing stages of professional development, according to Cambridge:

PD framework


Oh! It is also worthwhile to mention that Cambridge suggests that you have English proficiency at CEFR Level B1 or above!

Now let us focus on TKT YL. Find some further information on the exam below.

Test format
– 12 tasks in 80 questions during 80 minutes — roughly, 1 minute per question, but not exactly that since some questions are harder than others;
– multiple choice and matching questions.

– 1 question = 1 mark;
– Final results: Bands 1, 2, 3 and 4:

Band 4: extensive knowledge of TKT: YL content areas
Band 3: breadth and depth of knowledge of TKT: YL content areas
Band 2: basic, but systematic knowledge of TKT: YL content areas
Band 1: limited knowledge of TKT: YL content areas

Test contents and syllabus
Knowledge of young learners and principles of teaching English to young learners: eg, children’s characteristics as language learners (theory focused)
Planning and preparing young learner lessons: eg, lesson plans – components/headings; providing support and challenge when selecting and using coursebooks and supplementary materials
Teaching young learners: eg, scaffolding children’s understanding of language and use of language through teacher language and teaching strategies
Assessing young learner learning through classroom-based assessment: eg, purposes of different types of classroom-based assessment.

Preparing for the test
– previous tests (mock / answer key);
– further reading at the end of this post.

Hope this post has been able to guide you somehow! If you have any further questions, let me know! Leave a comment or get in touch with me!


Further reading

English Teaching, C. (2019). TKT: Young Learners – TKT. UK: CUP,
Cameron, L. (2001). Teaching languages to young learners. UK: CUP.
Ioannou-Georgiou, S. & Pavlou, P. (2003). Assessing young learners. UK: OUP.
Moon, J. (2000). Children learning English. NY: Macmillan Heinemann.
Scott, W. & Ytreberg, L. (1990). Teaching English to Children. UK: Longman.

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