The 2018 ELTons Innovation Awards

The ELTons Innovation Awards, now in their 16th year, are the international awards that recognise and celebrate innovation in English language teaching (ELT). The awards recognise innovative educational products, publications, apps and projects meeting high standards of excellence in innovation and supporting English language learners and teachers achieve their teaching and learning goals.

From a highly competitive international field of 110 submissions across five categories, 28 finalists were selected independently, individually and behind closed doors by the ELTons Innovations Awards’ expert judging panel.

The winners were announced at the ELTons Awards ceremony that took place in London on 18 June.

Excellence in course innovation

Get Set, Go! Phonics - Oxford University Press

Get Set, Go! Phonics takes a new approach to developing pre-school children’s phonological awareness and phonics knowledge. Important phonics skills are systematically acquired using the ‘Oxford 5 Steps towards Successful Phonics Learning’, developed specifically for the series. This approach helps children learn progressively—starting from counting syllables in Level 1, learning to identify onsets and rhymes at Level 2, and acquiring blending and segmenting skills at Level 3. Stories, chants, songs and games are used to build phonics skills, while nurturing learners’ confidence in skills essential for English language learning. The series also fully supports home learning.

Innovation in learner resources

Tim's Pronunciation Workshop - BBC Learning English

A series of 30 short, entertaining online videos, Tim’s Pronunciation Workshop helps English learners of all nationalities to improve their pronunciation by highlighting and raising awareness of features of connected speech. Each episode explores a specific feature of pronunciation, such as elision, assimilation, weak forms and more. Tim explains these via a range of digital techniques including slow-motion, text-on-screen, native speaker vox-pops - and Tim’s twin brother, ‘Tom’, puts in an occasional appearance! Practice opportunities are provided via text-supported native speaker models and we end on a visual summary. Further practice and extension opportunities are available as interactive online activities.

Innovation in teacher resources

PronPack 1-4 - Mark Hancock

PronPack is a set of four teacher resource books with an accompanying website. Each book takes a different approach to teaching English pronunciation, from workouts to puzzles, pairworks and poems. The books are very clear and attractive in design and are available as print books or ebooks. They contain printable worksheets plus teacher’s notes. The website contains downloadable audio files as well as image files of the worksheets, sound charts and slides for presenting the pronunciation points. The PronPack approach is innovative in its emphasis on increased intelligibility as the objective, and its flexible, non-prescriptive attitude to accent.

Digital innovation

Learn Languages with Ruby Rei - Wibbu

Ruby Rei is a language-learning adventure game to be used in classrooms. Students join Ruby as she crash-lands on a forgotten planet at the edge of the universe. Embarking on an education epic to save her friends and return home, Ruby must negotiate, collaborate, empathise, and build relationships.

Based on the proven technique of incidental learning, the game engages and energises students with a cliffhanger-laden story, loveable characters, beautiful visuals, engaging voice acting, and exciting gameplay.

Local innovation award in partnership with Cambridge English Language Assessment

EAL Assessment Framework for Schools - The Bell Foundation with Prof. Constant Leung, King's College London; Dr. Michael Evans and Dr. Yongcan Liu, Cambridge University (Cambridge University Technical Services Limited)

The EAL Assessment Framework for Schools provides teachers with an academically robust, curriculum-based, easy-to-use framework for assessing pupils with English as an Additional Language. It enables teachers within primary and secondary settings to effectively report English language proficiency of EAL learners to the DfE and gives practical strategies on how best to support and track progression.

Lifetime achievement award

Tessa Woodward

Tessa Woodward is an ELT consultant, a teacher, teacher trainer, and for many years was the Professional Development Co-ordinator at Hilderstone College, Broadstairs, Kent, UK. She has trained teachers in Japan, Switzerland, the UK, USA, and, for short stints, in many European countries. She regularly gives presentations at ELT conferences.

She is the founder editor of The Teacher Trainer journal, now in its 31st volume, for Pilgrims, Canterbury, UK. She is a Past President and International Ambassador of IATEFL and founded the IATEFL Special Interest Group for Teacher Trainers (now the SIG T Ed/TT). She is the author of many books and articles for language teachers and for teacher trainers. Tessa is also the founder of The Fair List. Her qualifications include an RSA Diploma in TEFL, and an M. Phil in Education from Exeter University. •