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What the judges are looking for

The main qualities we look for in applications to the ELTons are innovation and functionality. The judges, experts from across the field, use their professional judgement to look for these qualities in the entries. 

Winners should demonstrate something new (such as a new approach or use of technology) that's different from existing products and services. Price is not a consideration for the awards.

The material or product should also appear workable and useful to the audience they are intended for. Winning applications must be something that:

  • teachers and learners can use;
  • learners can learn from; or
  • will benefit the process of teaching and learning English as a foreign language.

How the judging works

The ELTons are judged by an independent panel of English language teaching professionals, using the Delphi Technique. This is a method for structuring a group communication process so the process is effective in allowing a group of individuals, as a whole, to deal with a complex problem.

In the case of the ELTons, the judging process is administered by an independent Judging Facilitator. Comments, discussions and votes of the judges are kept confidential and, where indicated in the procedures, are kept anonymous. Judges work remotely and anonymously to arrive at a clear choice on the short-listed and then winning entries.

The ELTons judges have longstanding experience and breadth of expertise in a wide range of fields. They come from a wide range of backgrounds, nationalities and first languages. The judges generally serve for three years, which allows the panel to evolve and include new talent, bringing fresh insight and reflecting the changing work of the English language teaching world.

The judging rounds explained

There are usually three rounds of judging.

Round one

The first round of judging is based solely on the information provided in the application form, so it is essential that you use the supporting statement to describe clearly and concisely (in no more than 500 words) exactly how your product is innovative and functional. 

Round two

In the second round the judges are provided with the materials, or access to the materials, supplied by applicants. The judges are asked to comment individually on these. Comments are circulated anonymously. Judges are then asked to nominate the entries they think should be included in a shortlist of about six. 

Round three

In the third round the judges are asked to comment briefly for the final time on the shortlisted items, drawing particular attention to the qualities of each entry which meet the award criteria. Again, these comments are circulated anonymously. Judges are then asked to identify the entries that they think best merit the award. 

If a clear winner does not emerge from the process of the third round, a fourth round is held. 

Please note, judges are not able to provide feedback on individual applications.