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British Council ELTons celebrate innovation

Forward-thinking English language training publishers were recognised at last night’s ELTons in London – the British Council’s annual awards celebrating innovation in the UK sector and beyond within English language teaching.

Macmillan Education collecting the Innovation in Learner Resources award for their pronunciation app

"There is so much demand for the innovation that our nominees and winners represent"

Winners included Kate Khoury, Sarah Raybould and Louise Salim, who took the Macmillan Education Award for Innovative Writing for their Sensing Humour in English book; and Bell for Excellence in Course Innovation, for their Bell Blended Learning for ELT teacher-training software.

It was also the first year an app won, Macmillan Education taking the Innovation in Learning Resources award for Sounds: The Pronunciation App, which helps students and teachers learn English pronunciation.

Addressing the 260 guests at British Medical Association, Michael Carrier, head of English Language Innovation at the British Council said: “Demand for English is showing no sign of reducing… It’s incredible. And there is so much demand for the innovation that our nominees and winners represent, and for the materials, methods and new ideas that are created around our profession.”

Plans were unveiled to run ELTons in other parts of the world

In keeping with the theme of innovation, it was the first year the awards included operators from outside the UK and plans were unveiled to run ELTons in other parts of the world, reflecting the “globalisation of the industry”. It was also the first time the event was streamed live around the world through the British Council‘s website.

While the event was primarily about ELT’s future, there was special mention of its past. A lifetime achievement award was given to Alan Maley, a “colossus” of the ELT world who has helped improve provision worldwide through his Teacher Resource Books and other publications.

Accepting the award he said: “I am grateful for what has been a most interesting life in English language teaching… I think of all the places [I have worked] – Yugoslavia as it was then called, Ghana, Italy, France, China, India, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia … Wonderful!”

Summing up the evening, Carrier said: “The ELTons event has become a key fixture in the ELT calendar, and we believe it inspires more and more young teachers and writers to develop new ways of making learning effective and fun.”

The winners are:

The Macmillan Education Award for Innovative Writing:
Sensing Humour ‘in English’, by Kate Khoury, Sarah Raybould and Louise Salim
A book contemplating the language of humour and how that translates into English.

Excellence in Course Innovation:
Bell Blended Learning for ELT, Bell
An innovative approach to developing teachers’ knowledge and abilities to understand and develop their own blended learning courses for students.

Innovation in Learner Resources:
Sounds: The Pronunciation App, Macmillan Education
The first ever app to win an ELTon. The app (for Apple iOS and Google Android devices) that helps students and teachers study, practise and play with English pronunciation wherever they are.

Innovation in Teacher Resources:
Digital Play, Delta Publishing
A pioneering book on the use of computer games in language teaching, offering an eye-opening journey for teachers who want to move with the times – and with their learners.

Digital Innovation:
WORDREADY Academic English, L2
A powerful online vocabulary learning resource aimed at students preparing to study, or already studying, at an English medium college or university

Local Innovation:
The Colour of Words, Colour Trick S.l.
An innovative and user friendly new method to learn how to pronounce English correctly, using colour as the link between the written word and its pronunciation.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Alan Maley

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