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BC holds first virtual ELTons Awards

The British Council has held its first virtual ELTons Awards in English language teaching to celebrate the work of ELT professionals from around the world. 

Winner, The Garden Project - Brazil Edition, is an ELT pre-primary program based on the principles of sustainability. Photo: The Garden Project

"Dunn has written over 40 English language picture books"

Entries were submitted from 35 countries across six continents, ranging from original courses and apps, to projects addressing global challenges.

“It is encouraging to see so many projects addressing global challenges and trends”

An independent judging panel selected five category winners from a “highly competitive” field of 29 finalists.

Several projects were celebrated for their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) for the first time in the awards’ history. 

“The story of the ELTons 2020 is truly one of firsts: our first virtual, themed ceremony, ‘Connecting People in 2020’, and the first to recognise finalists’ commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion,” said Mark Robson, director of English and Exams at the British Council.

“What remains the same is the enduring ambition of the finalists and winners to pioneer innovative teaching solutions which respond to the ever-evolving needs of students and teachers, and the unpredictable times we are living through.

“It is encouraging to see so many projects addressing global challenges and trends, including the rise of remote learning and climate change,” he said.

The virtual awards ceremony was presented by English musician and broadcaster, Reverend Richard Coles and streamed live to the public via the ELTons website.

Winners included picture book writer Opal Dunn, who received the Outstanding Achievement Award. Dunn has written over 40 English language picture books and worked in the ELT sector for more than 60 years.

“I confess I was completely surprised and thank you for your messages today, I feel humbled and honoured,” she said. 

“I would like to consider this award as a recognition of the unique and important role played by early years English teachers in the holistic development of young children,” Dunn added. 

The Garden Project – Brazil Edition created by Hoopla Education in partnership with Macmillan Education Brazil won the award for Local Innovation.

“The Garden Project is a tribute to Mother Nature,” commented Angelica Manca, co-founder of Hoopla Education and author of The Garden Project.

“It serves as a reminder that everything begins and ends with her.

“I truly believe The Garden Project offers a very special framework that fosters creativity through a one-of-a-kind approach.” says Patricia Souza, director of Languages for Macmillan Brazil.

“The STEAM framework provides the perfect approach for the big questions to be investigated, develop language skills as well as knowledge of the world.

“This is the true foundation for environmental awareness, to take better care of our planet.”

Other winners included a ‘Smart Review’ revision tool; a nature-inspired curriculum aimed at pre-primary learners; and a global community for teachers to reduce the ELT sector’s environmental footprint.

After the ceremony attendees were able to meet finalists in interactive booths and connect with each other in one-to-one video calls. 

A video of the ceremony can be watched here.  

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