British Council holds first virtual ELTons Awards

Entries were submitted from 35 countries across six continents, ranging from original courses and apps, to projects addressing global challenges.

“It is encouraging to see so many projects addressing global challenges and trends”

An independent judging panel selected five category winners from a “highly competitive” field of 29 finalists.

Several projects were celebrated for their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) for the first time in the awards’ history. 

“The story of the ELTons 2020 is truly one of firsts: our first virtual, themed ceremony, ‘Connecting People in 2020’, and the first to recognise finalists’ commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion,” said Mark Robson, director of English and Exams at the British Council.

“What remains the same is the enduring ambition of the finalists and winners to pioneer innovative teaching solutions which respond to the ever-evolving needs of students and teachers, and the unpredictable times we are living through.

“It is encouraging to see so many projects addressing global challenges and trends, including the rise of remote learning and climate change,” he said.

The virtual awards ceremony was presented by English musician and broadcaster, Reverend Richard Coles and streamed live to the public via the ELTons website.

Winners included picture book writer Opal Dunn, who received the Outstanding Achievement Award. Dunn has written over 40 English language picture books and worked in the ELT sector for more than 60 years.

“I confess I was completely surprised and thank you for your messages today, I feel humbled and honoured,” she said. 

“I would like to consider this award as a recognition of the unique and important role played by early years English teachers in the holistic development of young children,” Dunn added. 

Other winners included a ‘Smart Review’ revision tool; a nature-inspired curriculum aimed at pre-primary learners; and a global community for teachers to reduce the ELT sector’s environmental footprint.

After the ceremony attendees were able to meet finalists in interactive booths and connect with each other in one-to-one video calls. 

A video of the ceremony can be watched here.  

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