This year sees a diverse range of products winning a prestigious ELTon award. These include an online teacher development programme about dyslexia and a scheme that involves local teenagers in helping international students settle into the community during their stay.

The awards are organised into five categories: Excellence in Course Innovation, Innovation in Learner Resources, Innovation in Teacher Resources, Digital Innovation, and Local Innovation, as well as The Macmillan Education Award for Innovative Writing and the British Council Lifetime Achievement Award. And the winners are…

The Macmillan Education Award for New Talent in Writing

This award is sponsored by Macmillan Education and gives previously unpublished writers the opportunity to win a £1,000 prize and have their work published. Through this award the British Council and Macmillan Education aims to discover and encourage up-and-coming ELT authors to take the next step in their writing careers.

Winner - Compass (Upper Intermediate) by Elizabeth (Lizzie) Pinard

Compass (upper intermediate) is a six-task module designed to stimulate and support learners who are studying in an English-speaking environment. It incorporates task-based learning theory and aims to foster the intercultural awareness and communication skills necessary for success in a globalised world.

The judges described the winner as “very innovative and thorough. It includes current and controversial themes that will evoke real discussion, and is fun and engaging to use.”

Excellence in Course Innovation

This award recognises innovation in the complete course packages which publishers produce for EFL or ESL learners of any age.

Winner - Dyslexia for Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (Dystefl) - Dystefl Project

This course is an innovative professional development programme that aims to raise teachers’ awareness of the foreign language learning needs of dyslexic students. The training booklets are freely downloadable from the project website and the course is available in an online self-study format.

The judges described the winner as “a much-needed course for teachers and one that addresses a gap in the market.”

Innovation in Learner Resources

This award recognises innovation in any product or service across any media intended for learners.

Winner - Academic Skills Series - Collins

This is a six-book series for students who are studying, or preparing to study, at an English-speaking institution. Essential study skills and English language practice are combined to help students step up their performance from their IELTS or TOEFL score to achieve academic success on their course. Each book stands alone, focusing on one skill required at university. Skills include writing, research, lectures, presenting, group work and numbers.

The judges described the winner as “even native speakers could benefit from the kind of structured, systematic thinking taught in this entry.”

Innovation in Teacher Resources

This award recognises innovation in a product or service aimed at developing and supporting EFL and ESL teachers.

Winner - The Disabled Access Friendly campaign - Katie Quartano and Paul Shaw

Disabled Access Friendly provides ELT teachers with a large bank of free, downloadable, stand-alone lessons covering all learner levels and age ranges in a variety of forms. These resources are unique because besides focusing on linguistic aims thematically, they focus exclusively on raising awareness about mobility disability.

The judges described the winner as “a great initiative to embed useful social content into mainstream ELT lessons.”

Digital Innovation

This award recognises the innovative use of technology.

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

This is an interactive English for Medical Purposes (EMP) web-based resource for non-native English speaking doctors. It includes doctor-patient consultations that can present challenges for clinical communication. Users watch the videos and explore language and communication issues related to cases involving alcohol misuse, depression, sexually transmitted infections and chronic pain.

The judges described the winner as “a fascinating insight into the world of doctors, patients and the English they need”.

Local Innovation

This award recognises innovation in creating learner or teacher solutions to meet a specific local need within a specific local context and which are developed at a local, national or regional level.

Winner - P.A.L.S Scheme, (Promoting Acceptance of Language Students) - Country Cousins Ltd

This is a scheme set up by Country Cousins alongside Devon Youth Service that aims to recruit teenagers from the Ilfracombe area to integrate international language students into the community. Each member is given formal training and provided with a uniform so that they are identified by our students

The judge’s described the winner as “a worthy project that is very effective”.

The Lifetime Achievement Award

This awards an ELT professional who has made a substantial contribution to the ELT profession throughout their career.

Winner - Michael Swan

“Must-have texts” and “an influence on a generation of students” – just some of the phrases that describe the impact of Michael Swan on the world of English language teaching. Michael is a hugely worthy winner of the lifetime achievement award at this year’s ELTons. He modestly describes himself as a “freelance writer, specialising in English language teaching and related matters” but he is so much more, including being an influential writer and an award-winning poet. The British Council is thrilled to be presenting him with the award.

Click here to watch a recording of the award ceremony and find out more about the ELTons.