DMU part of team shortlisted for world teaching award


De Montfort University Leicester (DMU), together with project partners, was shortlisted for a British Council award celebrating the best innovations in English language teaching and learning worldwide. The ELTons – English Language Teaching Innovation Awards - are awarded annually to the most innovative programmes being used around the world to help learners and teachers.


Ross Little and Professor Rob Canton of DMU’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, worked with Learning and Work Institute and The Bell Foundation to create a Tutor Pack, designed to support learners in prisons or those with recent experience of the criminal justice system.

Together with literacy and language skills, the pack aims to help develop wider life skills and capabilities such as digital, health and financial skills. Its modules emphasise involving learners, teamwork and activities. The resource is designed for professionals working in prison with people unable to speak English, or who want to improve their language and literacy skills. These skills are necessary for coping in the prison environment and to better access the support required beyond the prison walls.

Ross Little, senior lecturer in criminology at DMU, said: “It's been a real privilege to work with colleagues at L&WI and The Bell Foundation on the Improving Language, Improving Lives project. The Tutor Pack has been one of the successful outcomes of working together. We hope it continues to benefit the teaching professionals working in our prisons, and the people they work with.

"So often, they’re working in challenging circumstances with limited resources focused on professional development and high quality materials. Their work is often an unnoticed part within the system, so it’s been great to contribute to something so useful."

* Book a place at DMU's next open day
* How student projects have helped prisoners feel part of Leicester community
* Students and prisoners learn alongside each other in bold prison project

The development of the Tutor Pack was chosen from more than 150 submissions from around the world to be one of just six finalists for the Local Innovation category. A British Council spokesman said: “This year, we have once again been impressed by the high-standard of the applications and, through these awards, we are delighted to be recognising innovative ELT professionals making a significant contribution across many English language fields. 

“The ELTons recognise new innovations and the impact these can have for English language learners, meeting demand and reflecting new learning styles. These awards are a great way to support and showcase the creativity in the sector, and to help to bring new ideas to the wider ELT community.”

The ‘Improving Language, Improving Lives’ ESOL tutor resource pack is shortlisted in the local innovation category and its creators will find out if it has been selected as a winner at the awards ceremony on Monday 10 June.

Download the resource from the Bell Foundation website.

Posted on Friday 7th June 2019

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