The ELTons

Everyone at Richmond was deliriously excited about getting an ELTon nomination for our Big Picture app. The ELTons are the very prestigious British Council awards that recognise innovation in ELT.

Deborah Tricker, our Global Publishing Director, Laura Orchard who works in our Oxford marketing department and is the queen of all things social media and I were the lucky three to get the opportunity to go to the awards ceremony.

We prepared our acceptance speech as we had been instructed by the organisers. Deborah and Laura fretted about what to wear. This kind of thing is easier for me — I have two suits, so I just need to check the weather forecast to decide between my winter suit and my summer suit. I did wear a tie!

We were interviewed on the red carpet, which felt very glamorous and we were surrounded by all the great and the good of ELT… But we didn’t win!

It must be very hard for the judges to come to a decision. The Oscar judges need to assess the merits of films from a variety of genres, but they are just judging films. Whereas the ELTons judges need to choose between all sorts of different things. Our app had been nominated in the Digital Innovation category and we were competing against a system that used sensors attached to kitchen utensils and inserted into food to help students learn English by following instructions in a recipe, a teacher who had exploited a non-ELT geolocation app to get students to create stories based around the towns and cities where they lived, amongst others. The eventual winner of the category was an online environment for people learning English for medicine that was created in Australia.

One award that I found particularly moving was the Lifetime Achievement Award for Michael Swan. I did my DELTA at the Swan School of English, which he founded with his ex-wife in Oxford and his Practical English Usage has been something of a bible for me during both my teaching and editorial careers.

To see the full list of nominees and winners, as well as to see a very nervous Richmond Digital Publisher in the red carpet, click on the link below.

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Luke Baxter

Luke Baxter is the Digital Publisher at Richmond in Oxford. He taught English in Argentina and then Madrid, where he founded a Business English academy. He joined OUP as an Editor before going to Richmond in 2010. Luke has an MA in Latin American Literature from Warwick University.

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