ELTons Awards host, Michael Rosen, standing on stage with Outstanding Achievement Award winner, Professor Penny Ur, who is holding the glass award trophy, and Dr Catherine Walter who presented the award. All smiling happily.
ELTons Awards host, Michael Rosen with Outstanding Achievement Award winner, Professor Penny Ur and Dr Catherine Walter who presented the award. ©

British Council

Friday 02 December 2022
  • The 20th anniversary of the ELT (English Language teaching) innovation awards was hosted by children’s author and poet Michael Rosen
  • From dial-up to fully digital, from physical lessons to virtual classrooms, the British Council looked back at the innovations that have changed the way people teach and learn English around the world
  • Leading lights from the ELT world came together to celebrate the cutting-edge innovations helping teachers and learners rise to meet unprecedented new local and global challenges  

This week (Wednesday 30 November) marked 20 years of the British Council ELTons Awards, the only international awards for innovation in English language teaching (ELT). ELTons award winners, past and present, joined celebrated children’s author and ceremony host Michael Rosen for a landmark 20th anniversary event held at The Institute of Engineering and Technology, London. The hybrid event was live streamed around the world with teachers and learners engaging with hosts, award winners and industry luminaries throughout the evening proceedings. 

Over the last two years, professionals in the global ELT community have shown extraordinary resourcefulness, finding ways to limit the disruption to learners’ education, at an unparalleled pace. The ELTons 2022 was an opportunity to recognise and celebrate teams and individuals innovating against the odds. 

This year, The Helbling Shakespeare series from Helbling languages (Austria) claimed the award for Learner Resources thanks to a course combining reading and performance and inspired by the Bard’s most famous works. Meanwhile, in the Teacher Resources category, Ideas in Action claimed the award for pioneering material designed to help teachers incorporate meditation into ELT classrooms. 

The award for Excellence in Course Innovation went to Brain Juice, from University of Dayton publishing (Mexico), for their 6-level primary course that supports students in their understanding of the world and the role they play in it. The award for Local Innovation went to Picture This! for innovations designed to bring participatory photography into both physical and virtual ELT classes.  

In the Digital Innovation category EF Hyper Class, from EF Education First (UK), won out thanks to an online approach that immerses adult English learners in virtual environments that simulate real-life communication and interactions. 

The ELTons award for Outstanding Achievement went to Professor Penny Ur OBE, in recognition of her over 30 years of positive contribution to the field of ELT. 

Mark Walker, Director of English & Exams at the British Council said: “For over 20 years the ELT sector has been at the forefront of global innovation in education. The last two years in particular have presented educators and learners with an unprecedented array of emerging challenges. Winners and finalists have had to innovate against the odds embracing hybrid approaches and harnessing digital innovation like never before. They’ve worked so very hard to ensure that English language education continues to play a vital role in connecting and uniting people around the world.  

“The British Council is honoured to be able to continue to recognise and reward the incredible achievements of this wonderful global community of educators through the ELTons. Many congratulations to all the finalists and winners.”

The ELTons awards 2022 was a hybrid event, welcoming over 200 innovators and leaders from the global ELT community, joined by over 10,000 online viewers. 

ELTons TV broadcast live from London, with online audiences able to connect and engage with hosts Callie Massie and Chia Suan Chong in real time throughout the evening. The ceremony was streamed live worldwide via the Teaching English – British Council Facebook Page  


Notes to Editor

For more information or images from the ELTons 2022, please contact Maz Seyf, Media Manager, British Council: maz.seyf@britishcouncil.org  

Photo caption: ELTons Awards host, Michael Rosen with Outstanding Achievement Award winner, Professor Penny Ur and Dr Catherine Walter who presented the award. © British Council.

Additional Awards 

ELTons Judges’ Commendations for Environmental Sustainability and Climate Action

•  Brain Juice (University of Dayton Publishing)

•  Lift (National Geographic Learning, Cengage Learning EMEA Ltd with Empatico)

•  Speak Out for Sustainability (Pearson English with BBC Studios)

ELTons Judges’ Commendations for Equality Diversity and Inclusion

•  Classroom Practices:English as a Lingua Franca (StandFor/FTD Educação)

•  Dau Dau (Keningau Vocational College with Macmillan Education and International House World Organisation)

•  May Moo and Me (StandFor/FTD Educação) 


About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. We work with people in over 200 countries and territories and are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2020–21 we connected with 67 million people directly and with 745 million people overall. 

See also