Monday 07 October 2019

The British Council has launched a worldwide call for applications for its 2020 ELTons Awards for Innovation in English Language Teaching, which celebrate the best innovations for teaching and learning English.

For the past eighteen years, the ELTons Awards have recognised new ways to meet the needs of English language teachers and learners across the world, through methods including original courses, publications, projects and apps across the full breadth of media.

In 2018, entries were received from 45 countries across six continents, with two thirds coming from the UK and Europe. There were also multiple notable entries from Nigeria, Japan, China and central Asia.

Applications for the 2020 ELTons Awards are now open for original submissions that have been developed in the last two years, and which demonstrate excellence in innovation and functionality in helping English language teachers and learners meet their goals.

In a survey of ELTons winners and finalists from the past decade, 88 per cent reported increased visibility for their work and brands through the Awards. More than half used the Awards to generate new business and to expand their networks.

Mark Robson, director English and examinations at the British Council, said: “The ELTons celebrate the organisations, teams and individuals whose original approaches, products and services are shaping the future of English language teaching. If you’re an educator working with limited resources, a member of an international team or organisation – large or small – or an author or entrepreneur flying solo, we want to hear from you.”

 There are five award categories: 

  • Digital innovation – Use of digital technology or media – from cutting edge technologies to original use of existing technology – to benefit high-quality English language learning;
  • Local innovation – Resources or projects innovating to meet specific, local needs, within local, national or regional contexts around the world;
  • Excellence in course innovation – Courses using a fresh variety of content, formats or media, to help learners achieve higher levels of English language proficiency;
  • Innovation in teacher resources – Resources supporting English language teaching professionals, whether through teacher training, education, or Continuing Professional Development;
  • Innovation in learner resources – Services, activities, materials or works using innovative means to improve English language learners’ proficiency in vocabulary, grammar, fluency, receptive and productive skills, or vital language skills for study or for work.

2020 sees the introduction of the new ELTons Judges’ Commendation for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), which celebrates finalists whose resources bridge educational inequality, reflect diversity and promote the inclusion of typically underrepresented groups. It is intended to encourage improving access to high quality English language teaching for all, and specifically for those who may not typically get access. 

Applications are open until Friday 8 November 2019, 23.59 (UK time).  Applicants are notified of going through to round two in December. Application packs can be downloaded at:

Finalists will be invited to the ELTons Awards Ceremony, held in London in June 2020.

Notes to Editor

For more information about the ELTons Awards 2020, please contact Amber Mezbourian in the British Council press office.  

The British Council is committed to making sure the ELTons Innovation Awards are inclusive and reflect the broad diversity of English language education around the world. We welcome and encourage applications from all backgrounds. Applications are assessed by panels of expert judges, independently, individually and behind closed doors (using the Delphi method). Applications are open until Friday 8 November 2019, 23.59 (UK time).  Applicants are notified of going through to round two in December. Application packs can be downloaded at:

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 65 million people directly and 731 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.