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ELTons showcase ‘sheer range of innovations’ in ELT

An English language series centred around peace and diversity, an interactive talking book, and an online text analyser were among the recipients of this year’s ELTons Innovation Awards, which recognise innovation in the English language teaching industry.

ELTons Innovation Awards 2017Susie Dent (left), pictured with the ELTons Award for Excellence in Course Innovation winners Students for Peace and English UK chief executive Sarah Cooper (right). Photo: David Lake Photography.

"We encourage all practitioners, professionals and would-be innovators to take inspiration"

The British Council awards, now in their 15th year, were hosted by language writer and broadcaster Susie Dent, who is most well-known for her role on the UK game show Countdown.

“What’s remarkable is the sheer range of innovations created for a diverse range of English language learners and teachers in different contexts around the world”

Among the winners was Brazil-based ELT series Students for Peace, which teaches students about peace, accepting different points of view and respecting diversity alongside their language training.

Winning the Award for Digital Innovation was TextInspector.com, which scores English text benchmarked to the Common European Framework Reference.

Also shortlisted in the digital innovation category was Chris Moonie of Mackenzie School of English, whose app encourages students to learn during cultural visits. He said it’s important to keep up with the changing technological demands of the ELT industry.

“Our vision is the same as it was 10 years ago when we opened, but the industry has changed dramatically,” he told The PIE News.

“If you don’t move with the times and you’re not embracing technology, then you’re not going to survive much longer.”

The ELTons were hosted by the British Council, in collaboration with Cambridge English Language Assessment, and took place at the Millbank Tower in London this week.

Reflecting on the entries, Anna Searle, director of English language at the British Council, said: “What’s remarkable is the sheer range of innovations created for a diverse range of English language learners and teachers in different contexts around the world.”

“We encourage all practitioners, professionals and would-be innovators to take inspiration and find new, practical tools and resources for the classroom from this year’s ELTons winners and finalists.”

The winners of the 2017 ELTons Innovation Awards are:

Award for Digital Innovation: www.textinspector.com – Stephen Bax with Versantus IT Services and Web Design
by S Bax, N Roberts, N Rhymes, S Clarke, R Robinson

Award for Excellence in Course Innovation: Students for Peace – Richmond
by E Amos, I Valverde, A Almeida, S Possas, AC Pilliposian, D Viegas, CC Filho

Award for Local Innovation in partnership with Cambridge English Language Assessment: Hausa-to-English Talking Book 1 – Mavis Computel Limited
by Samuel Ucheaga, Chiemezie Ucheaga, Chigoziri Ucheaga, Chizaram Ucheaga, B Y Hassan, AH Amfani, M M A Umar, L B Earl

Award for Innovation in Learner Resources: Develop EAP: A Sustainable Academic English Skills Course
by Averil Bolster and Peter Levrai

Award for Innovation in Teacher Resources: Tigtag CLIL – Twig World
by K Kelly, K Halstead, J Clegg, A McNulty, A Zaparucha, P Betts, S Citron

Master’s Dissertation with Best Potential for Impact in ELT Award: Jason Anderson – King’s College London under the supervision of Dr Martin Dewey, Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics

A qualitative study into the role of initial teacher training courses in the professional development of experienced non-native speaker teachers of English.

The ELTRAs: English Language Teaching Research Awards

Queen’s University Belfast
Digital Data-Driven Learning and Teaching: Making best use of corpora for English Language Teaching – Dr Aisling O’Boyle, Lecturer in Education

Northumbria University
English language education and migration: implications for secondary level students who have English as an additional Language – Dr Graham Hall, Associate Professor in Applied Linguistics and TESOL

University of Glasgow
Establishing and sustaining pre-sessional student partnerships across borders – Anna Rolinska, Lecturer at the English for Academic Study Unit

Lifetime Achievement Award: Professor Ronald Carter

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