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ESU English language awards winners

Matt Salusbury looks at the victors and contenders who fought for glory at this year’s English Speaking Union awards.

The English Speaking Union (ESU) English Language Awards for outstanding ELT resources is back. After ‘resting’ for a year, the ESU’s awards return in a new format with four categories replacing the original two. We’ll know who the winners are shortly after we go to press, with the awards to be presented at a ceremony at the historic Dartmouth House in London’s Mayfair.

Just before the December 2016 issue went live online, the Gazette attended the English Speaking Union Awards. And the winners (in red), the runners up (in green) and the shortlisted entries were… 

Resources for Young Learners (aged 3–13)

Discover with Dex by Sandie Mourão and Claire Medwell, Macmillan Education; This three-level coursebook series for young learners, introduced by enthusiastic dinosaur Dex, features numerous British nursery rhymes. (Co-author Mourão was interviewed on teacher training for pre-primary education in the November 2016 Gazette young learners supplement.)

Tiger Time by Carol Read and Mark Ormerod, Macmillan Education; A six-level coursebook for primary school, including songs, chants and humorous stories told in different genres.

Guess What! by Susannah Reed and Kay Bentley, CUP; A coursebook series presenting facts in an engaging way, using photography and video to explore the natural world while learning English.

The Thinking Train – At The Zoo by Herbert Puchta, Günter Gerngross, Helbling Languages; A title in a series of picture books which focus on the developing children’s thinking skills through the use of stories, supported by free online games. 

President’s Award for New Technology

Say It: Pronunciation from Oxford OUP in partnership with Phona; An app in iOS format to improve pronunciation, fluency and confidence in English, its features include interactive phonetic spelling allowing the user to listen to the individual sounds for each word, and to record their speech and compare soundwaves and stress markers against model pronunciation.

Learning Circles BBC Learning English; Online sessions to help users and their families learn English. Its videos, games and flashcards include everyday English needed to survive in the UK, from job interviews to calling an ambulance.

Velawoods English Velawoods Learning Ltd; An app for tablets, this self-study course in collaboration with CUP and Cambridge English is set in an animated ‘virtual town’ and includes speech analytics and help from a ‘virtual teacher’.

Shakespeare Speaks produced by Catherine Chapman, BBC Learning English website; A series of twenty online video sessions with each exercise based on an expression from a Shakespeare play that’s entered the English language, from ‘as dead as a doornail’ to ‘spotless reputation’. 

Resources for Secondary and Higher Learners (aged 12 and up)

Keynote by Paul Dummett, Lewis Lansford and Helen Stephenson, National Geographic Learning with Cengage Learning; An ELTon award-winning coursebook series based on TED talks, published in response to thousands of enquiries from English teachers about TED videos to use with classes.

Shakespeare Speaks (see above).

Navigate by Caroline Krantz and Julie Norton, OUP; An adult coursebook informed by academic research on how adults best learn languages.

BBC Learning English YouTube Channel BBC Learning English; A YouTube channel with new videos appearing every day, covering grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and business English, answering viewers’ questions and giving tips on study skills. 

Resources for Teachers

Language Learning with Digital Video by Ben Goldstein and Paul Driver, CUP; A guide for teachers with practical activities and technical tips on using video in the language classroom, from YouTube clips and documentaries to learner-generated material.

Teaching Children How to Learn: Plan, Do, Review by Gail Ellis and Nayr Ibrahim; Written by two British Council experts on young learners, this book aims to help teachers create the optimum conditions for children to reach their full potential as enthusiastic and motivated language learners.

Film in Action – Teaching language using moving images Delta Publishing; This book includes over 100 activities for teachers on bringing film into the language classroom, with how-to guides for teachers and learners on creating their own moving images.

Speaking Games: Photocopiable activities to make language learning fun by Jason Anderson, Delta Publishing; Fifty speaking games in book form for teachers of English to use in class with both adult and teenage learners, compiled by an ELTon award-winning author. It includes ‘Rules of the Game’ handouts which become an authentic reading task. 

this is what an ESU award actually looks like

Pic courtesy: Matt Salusbury