Monday 14 February 2022

A global call for applications for the 2022 edition of the British Council ELTons Awardsfor innovation in English language teaching (ELT) goes live today.

This year marks the 20-year anniversary of the ELTons, the only international awards celebrating the latest innovations in English language learning and teaching, and the creators behind them. The window for entries runs until 23.59 UK-time on March 17.

The ELTons 2022 search is now on for the most trailblazing and inspiring ways to teach and learn English from the past two years. The 2022 awards will honour the extraordinary resourcefulness and ingenuity of those who have found revolutionary ways to limit disruption to education throughout the pandemic.

The British Council is searching for the most innovative live classes, online courses, apps, platforms, projects, and more emerging from the pandemic, as well as new ways to support teachers’ development and wellbeing. The ELTons is also on the look-out for the use of cutting-edge technologies to benefit high quality English language learning and teaching through, for example, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and speech recognition.

Award finalists in 2021 included language learning in immersive 3D worlds, original TV series specifically for English language learners and fresh perspectives for teachers to cut through the distractions students face.

The ELTons continue the work of the British Council in creating global opportunities across education, arts and culture and the English language. In 2021, over 180 entries came from 55 countries, with projects addressing significant global challenges in climate change and educational inequality. The British Council is committed to making sure the awards are inclusive, reflect the broad diversity of English language education around the world and promote environmental sustainability.

There are five award categories in total:

  • Excellence in Digital Innovation – Use of new, cutting-edge technologies (or breaking new ground with existing technologies) to benefit high-quality English language learning.
  • Innovation in Learner Resources – For materials which draw on new modes of delivery or methods to engage, inspire and motivate learners across all age ranges.
  • Innovation in Teacher Resources – For new resources which provide educators with the support they need, whether back at school, teaching online or a blend of both.
  • Excellence in Course Innovation – Highlighting the complete, multi-level courses which help learners of any age achieve stretching levels of English language proficiency to meet their real-life needs.
  • Excellence in Local Innovation – Resources or projects finding new and original ways to overcome challenging circumstances in specific, local contexts.

Speaking about the launch of the awards, Mark Robson, Director of English and Exams at the British Council, said:

“Over the last two decades the ELTons have shone a spotlight on the extraordinary innovations which have helped shape English language teaching across the world. The awards are especially significant in 2022 as we honour the creators, educators and organisations who have helped keep people learning during the most challenging times we’ve faced.

We’re delighted to again give special recognition to those finalists who excel in the realms of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and environmental sustainability. Wherever in the world you come from, if you’re from a small business start-up, part of a teaching collective, whether you work in an international organisation or if you’re an entrepreneur flying more or less solo, these awards are for you.”

Finalists and winners from past years have shared examples of how the awards have helped them to build networks, enhance professional development and create tangible business benefits:

Angelica Manca, Co-Founder, Hoopla Education, winner of the ELTons Award for Local Innovation 2020 said:

Participating in the ELTons Awards was both a rewarding and humbling experience. It gave us the realisation of the importance of ELT [English language teaching] in education, by connecting students worldwide with a common language. The most important lesson we’ve learnt from participating in the ELTons is that you’re never too small to make a difference and to be recognised!”

Adam Salkeld, Co-Founder and Director at Digital Learning Associates, winner of the ELTons Award for Innovation in Learner Resources 2019 said:

Clients, partners and end-users recognise the ELTons more than any other award. It facilitates contacts and improves networking potential pretty quickly. The benefit to us with our Ready to Run authentic ELT [English language teaching] suite of resources has been tangible. We have seen a 25% increase in business over the past year.”

Thom Kiddle, Director at NILE (Norwich Institute for Language Education) said:

[The ELTons] is exciting for the opportunity it gives us to talk to and collaborate with other organisations in our field and learn about the work they are doing. This direct engagement has led to three significant collaborations with ELTons winners. This peer-to-peer collaboration is central to our approach at NILE, and the quality and exposure which the ELTons provides is a fantastic space for the development of such partnership opportunities.

Key dates for the ELTons 2022: The call for entries to the British Council ELTons Innovation Awards 2022 closes on Thursday 17 March 2022, 23.59 UK time. Applicants are invited to submit their entry on the British Council’s TeachingEnglish website.


For media enquiries, please contact: Rosalind Gould on +44 (0) 7770 934 953 or

About the ELTons: The ELTons Awards for innovation in English language teaching are the British Council's own international awards. Now in their twentieth year, the ELTons aim to find the latest, most original ways to learn and teach English from around the world, with awards for courses, resources for teachers and learners, digital innovations and for projects which bridge educational inequality.  Find out more and apply here:

About the British Council: The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. In 2019-2020 we reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 14.5 per cent core funding grant from the UK