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The Great Contenders

The British Council has announced its shortlist for the ELTons 2018. Federica Tedeschi looks at who is in with a shot at winning

The prestigious British Council ELTons Innovation Awards recognise the achievements of organisations, teams and individuals who have made a significant impact in English language teaching.

The shortlist was published this month (see table below), and the 2018 winners will be announced in London on 18 June, celebrating innovation in five categories: Digital Innovation, Local Innovation, Excellence in Course Innovation, Innovation in Learner Resources and Innovation in Teacher Resources.

Traditional British publishing-house giants advanced to the final as usual: Cambridge University Press and the Oxford University Press emerge in two and three different categories respectively. Also shortlisted are Macmillan Education, Pearson with the BBC and National Geographic Learning. Finalists come from all over the world and, perhaps surprisingly, three out of seven international final contestants are from Brazil.


The best things in ELT are free

The EL Gazette looked at three ELTons Innovation Awards finalists whose projects are free education technology tools:

AL Assessment Framework for Schools
‘This is a tool that will enable schools to easily and effectively identify the level that students are at. It also shows clear progression and the path every EAL learner needs to take at each assessment point,’ said Julia Shervington, communications manager for the Bell Foundation.

Interactive Phonemic Chart
Joanna Duchesne, who teaches pronunciation at Morley College in London, said the idea for this resource came from using other online phonemic charts which she found did not always meet the needs of her learners.

She stressed how difficult pronunciation can be for some students, and teachers can also avoid it through lack of confidence or knowledge. The tool, funded by The Service Communications Cooperative Ltd and Morley College, is based on a visual approach, with explanations of how people make certain sounds.

Learners can use it both in the classroom and the privacy of their own homes.

The Family Skills Toolkit
This resource supports both migrant parents and carers who are not native English speakers and their children who are attending primary school reception classes in England. It is produced by Learning Unlimited Ltd. The kit contains detailed guidance, session plans and resources for a 30 hour course. It is designed to help parents develop their own literacy and language skills and feel confident enough to support their children and liaise with their teachers. The project was funded by EEF, Bell Foundation and Unbound Philanthropy.