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ELTons awards celebrate ELT innovation

The British Council held its twelfth annual ELTons in London on Thursday to celebrate excellence and diversity in English language teaching. Accolades were given in six categories including course innovation, teaching innovation, new talent in writing and digital innovation.

Stuart Maconie presents the Digital Innovation award.

"We had no idea of the impact we would have"

The diverse range of winning projects and products being recognised here today certainly highlights the continued and exciting growth of the sector”

Anna Searle, Director of English Language at the British Council opened the awards, which celebrate for the first time the fields of Special Educational Needs (SEN) in ELT and English in medicine.

The diverse range of winning projects and products being recognised here today certainly highlights the continued and exciting growth of the sector as a whole, as well as the important achievements and advancements happening within it,” she said.

Lizzie Pinard won the The Macmillan Education Award for New Talent in Writing for Compass, a six-task module she created during her Masters course. “I think I have filled a tiny little niche,” she told the PIE News. Judges said her course material includes current and controversial themes that will evoke real discussion, and is fun and engaging to use”.

The Innovation in Teacher Resources award went to The Disabled Access Friendly Campaign, a voluntary initiative led by Katie Quartano and Paul Shaw that produces free teaching materials to raise awareness of the issues faced by people with a mobility disability.

“We want students to be able to develop their emotional intelligence, and to leave the classroom feeling that they’ve learnt something more substantial than, say, how to order a coffee,” Quartano said.

“We had no idea of the impact we would have,” she said, adding that the Campaign’s website is receiving traffic from around 120 countries worldwide. “We had no idea that it would get this big, and we are so proud that this initiative came out of Greece, and so grateful to the British Council and to the judges for promoting it.”

Renowned writer and poet Michael Swan won the Lifetime Achievement Award last night for his contribution to the English language teaching. In a video montage, he was praised by professionals across the industry for his “sheer erudition”, “formidable intellect” and “plain, simple common sense”.

The winners

The Macmillan Education Award for New Talent in Writing: Compass (Upper Intermediate) by Elizabeth (Lizzie) Pinard

Excellence in Course Innovation: Dyslexia for Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (Dystefl) by Dystefl Project

Innovation in Teacher Resources: The Disabled Access Friendly campaign by Katie Quartano and Paul Shaw

Digital Innovation: Doctors Speak Up: Communication and Language Skills for International Medical Graduates by R. Woodward-Kron, C. Bow, C. Fraser, J. Pill, E. Flynn

Local Innovation: P.A.L.S Scheme, (Promoting Acceptance of Language Students) – Country Cousins Ltd

The Lifetime Achievement Award: Michael Swan

See more information about the winning entries here.

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