Thursday 07 September 2017


The British Council has launched a worldwide call for applications for the ELTons Innovation Awards 2018, celebrating innovation in international English language teaching and learning.

Now in their sixteenth year, the British Council’s ELTons Innovation Awards are open for applications from English language teaching professionals – educators, writers, authors, publishers and project managers – around the world. 

The 2017 awards received submissions from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas, leading to an impressive field of 115 international finalists, spanning the different needs of English language learners at every age, in diverse contexts.

Anna Searle, Director of English Language at the British Council, said:

“The British Council’s ELTons Innovations Awards programme recognises and promotes innovation and excellence in English language teaching worldwide. It celebrates the organisations, teams and individuals whose original approaches, products and services shape the future of English language teaching.”

In a survey of ELTons winners and finalists of the past decade, 88% 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. 

Submissions are sought for original products, publications, apps or projects, that are both functional and innovative additions to the ELT sector and help the efforts of both language learners and teachers.

There are five award categories:

Digital innovation – Use of digital technology or media – cutting edge technologies, or original use of existing technology – to benefit high-quality English language learning

Local innovation – Resources or project 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 stretching 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

Applications go through a rigorous, three-round judging process. Judging takes place independently, individually, behind closed doors, meaning that even judges will not know the winners until they are announced at the awards ceremony in June 2018.

Those shortlisted are invited to join guests from the international English language teaching sector at the British Council ELTons Innovation Awards 2018 ceremony, an evening showcasing excellence in ELT. The ceremony will be hosted in central London in June 2018.

The ceremony also sees the announcement of the British Council Lifetime Achievement Award, for an ELT professional who has made a substantial and long-lasting contribution to the field of English language teaching. Past winners include Dr Catherine Walter, co-author of The Good Grammar Book, broadcaster and linguist, Professor David Crystal and Brita Haycraft, co-founder of International House.

The deadline for submissions to the ELTons 2018 is 3 November 2017 with a shortlist to be drawn up by March 2018. Application packs can be downloaded at

If you are a journalist and require more information, contact Conor Dwan on +44 (0) 203 285 3667 or 


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.