TKT: Young Learners (YL) – What is it?

Hello Exam Seekers,

Recently, I updated some content related to the TKT (Teaching Knowledge Test), so if you haven’t read it yet, check it out! However, if you have already read it and are actually looking for more information about the TKT, you came to the right place!

As I’ve mentioned, the TKT is a test that assesses your knowledge about English language teaching. According to Cambridge: The tests are designed to encourage teachers in their professional development by providing a step in their progression on the Cambridge English Teaching Framework. Candidates can also use the TKT to access further training and enhance career opportunities.

The TKT is divided into 3 core 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.

And there are 2 specialist modules:

  • TKT: CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning)
  • TKT: Young Learners (YL).

Today we are going to dig a bit deeper into the (YL) Young Learners module.

TKT Young Learners - TKT YL cover - Cambridge English

Cambridge English Teaching Qualifications

Cambridge English Teaching Qualifications for TKT YL Young Learners
Cambridge English Teaching Qualifications – TKT Young Learners (YL)

As you can see, the TKT: Young Learners is part of the Cambridge English Teaching Qualifications. It means that it focuses on assessing your teaching skills. This test doesn’t have specific requirements, though. People who apply for these exams don’t necessarily need to have any teaching experience or entry qualifications. However, candidates are expected to be familiar with language relating to the practice of teaching English, and they have to enjoy children.

Teaching Kids and Adults or Teenagers
Teaching Kids and Adults

What are the differences between the TKT and the TKT: Young Learners?

Remember that this is not the regular TKT, this is the Young Learners version.

There are similarities between teaching adults and teaching young learners. Teachers of young learners will need many of the same skills in planning, teaching, classroom management, and language proficiency as teachers of adults. However, there are four key areas where teaching young learners differ from teaching adults:

  1. Young learners are still developing cognitively, linguistically, socially, emotionally, and physically. They are also  discovering the rules for interacting with others and learning to understand their own reactions to others and to events;
  2. Young learners often have no apparent reason for learning English, while many adults choose to learn English for a specific job-related purpose or for personal reasons;
  3. Young learners may not always have well-developed literacy skills to support their learning of English;
  4. Young learners often learn slowly and forget quickly.

As I mentioned, the TKT: YL doesn’t have specific requirements, although it is suitable for teachers of young learners who already teach other curriculum subjects in their first language, specialist young learner teachers who teach only English, or teachers of older learners or adults who also wish to teach young learners.

Test Paper and Pencil

Is the TKT: Young Learners only a test?

Yes, it is only a test. However, some people actually take courses before sitting for these kinds of tests due to the amount of language and input it requires.

Moreover, TKT prep courses usually help teachers to get ready for the real deal in a classroom because it involves the learning and development of young learners, planning lessons for them, teaching strategies, practice activities, and resources used to support and challenge language learning. It also tests knowledge of informal classroom assessment of young learners’ work.

If you are taking the Cambridge CELT-P, which is a qualification for English language teachers working in primary education (6–12-year-olds), the TKT: YL module comes as a prize. They use it to assess your knowledge regarding what you’ve learned from the course.

On the other hand, if you are not taking a course to better study for this test, you can find a non-exhaustive list of teaching terminology and definitions in the TKT Glossary.

Overview of the TKT: Young Learners

It is a paper-based test. The exam takes around 1 hour 20 minutes to answer the 80 matching and multiple-choice questions. Candidates should fill their answer sheets by shading the correct boxes with a pencil. Each question carries 1 mark. Here is a sample of a question:

Cambridge TKT Young Learners Sample
Cambridge TKT: Young Learners (YL) sample

As you can see, the tests are quite simple with A, B, or C option. You just have to be careful when reading what is asked.

By the way, can you guess the answers to the questions above?

What does the TKT: Young Learners involve? (Syllabus)

  • Knowledge of young learners and principles of teaching English to young learners
  • Planning and preparing young learner lessons
  • Teaching young learners
  • Assessing young learner learning through classroom-based assessment

If you want a more detailed syllabus, please comment in the comment section below, and I will be summarizing what Cambridge offers in the handbook for teachers. Or, you can download the handbook pdf file here:

In this pdf file you can also find a TKT sample test with answers! 🙂

Results and Notifications of results

After Cambridge receives the answer sheets, they take around two to four weeks to provide an answer to the center through which you enrolled. The grading process involves bands:

imagens 3

If you want some more information about the TKT Bands, take look at my post about it.

You also receive a certificate. In front of the certificate, there is the name of the TKT Module, your name, the number of your certificate, the date and the place of issue, and the band you got. At the back, there is an explanation about the bands. This is a sample of the certificate:

Cambridge TKT Young Learners Certificate Sample
Cambridge TKT Young Learners Certificate Sample

How to register for the test?

You must enter through an authorized Cambridge English examination or teaching qualification center. Some centers require candidates to enroll in the course, but it’s not mandatory. And the entries must be made at least six weeks in advance of the test date, especially if you have special requirements, which need special arrangements.

As I mentioned before, if you enroll for the CELT-P, you will get the TKT: Young Learners for free. So maybe, instead of taking the TKT: YL, you should take the CELP-P and get the TKT: YL.

Pretesting the TKT

One interesting thing about the Teaching Knowledge Test, is that I came across the TKT when I was still in college, and they were applying the TKT on the students (the ones who were taking the English Teaching course), but we were not going to get the TKT certificate, it was just a test for the school and for Cambridge. It is called Pretesting.

If your center or institution would like to be involved in TKT pretesting, giving candidates the opportunity to familiarize themselves with TKT task types under test conditions and to receive feedback on areas of strength and weakness, check Cambridge website and find out more.

Happy Kids walking together and playing

The TKT is the first step to other Cambridge Certifications. Usually, after taking the TKT modules, teachers enroll in the CELTA. Until 2016, teachers could also take the CELTA – YL Extension. However, Cambridge Qualifications stopped providing it and opened two other branches: CELT-P (Certificate in English Language Teaching – Primary) and CELT-S (Certificate in English Language Teaching – Secondary), make sure you check them out.

Hope I have cleared up some questions. If you still have more questions about the TKT, please, comment in the comment section below, and I will be glad to help.


That’s it for today! Please like the post and follow the blog on:

You can also listen to this post at Anchor!!!

Have a great week,
Patricia Moura


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