The ELTons Award for Innovation in Teacher Resources celebrates resources that are made especially for teachers.
A good teacher creates a safe and supportive environment for students to practice their skills, gets students ready for real-life encounters and helps their students to become citizens of the world.
Access to high-quality resources puts knowledge into the hands of educators. This year’s ELTons finalists aim to stir up interesting and challenging ideas and support teachers at any stage of their careers. Finalists aim to help teachers to both reflect on and improve their own teaching practice, and to create rewarding learning experiences for students.
Finalists of the ELTons’ Innovation in Teacher Resources Award 2020 share their tips and open-access resources for teachers and learners below.
Introduce critical thinking concepts in your ELT classroom
Ask students at the beginning of the lesson when they introduce the topic to say one thing that they know to be true about the topic, one thing that they think they know to be true about the topic and one thing that people say it’s true, but they know to be false about the topic.
Make your teaching inclusive: dyslexia from an intercultural perspective
Dyslexic difficulties include problems translating written words into sounds, and their focus “skips” around the page. Reducing the amount of text, keeping it sans serif, increasing font spacing by .5 or 1, and presenting information infographically, can largely bypass these issues. But remember, dyslexia is global. Students from non-alphabetic languages may not believe dyslexia exists, some cultures reject dyslexia as “shameful”, and many learners find English orthographically difficult anyway. Inclusive teaching with visuals and minimal text is ideal.
Find the right materials for your learners’ goals
With so many classes suddenly moving online, it has been challenging for teachers to find the resources they need to help them plan lessons and create courses. Finding specific materials for targeted learning objectives to meet the goals, interests and proficiency levels of learners is key.
The GSE Teacher Toolkit offers level-appropriate grammar, vocabulary with audio files and downloadable resources to scaffold lessons and give learners opportunities for practice.
Find the story behind the image: an activity for the creative language classroom
Hacking Creativity - Techniques, Exercises and Activities for the Creative Language Classroom | PeacheyPublications Ltd (UK)
This is a simple activity that can get students talking and thinking creatively while developing their empathy. It works well in the remote classroom too.
Just find an interesting image on a free image site like https://pixabay.com/ or https://unsplash.com/ and share it with your students. Then ask students to imagine they are the photographer and get them to tell the story of the photograph and why they took it, where they were, what they were thinking, etc.
Download the lesson plan for this activity from 'Hacking Creativity - Techniques, Exercises and Activities for the Creative Language Classroom'
Use ELT picturebook-based lessons
PEPELT - Picturebooks in European Primary English Language Teaching | Tatia Gruenbaum (The Netherlands)
Share one of the free PEPELT Mini Picturebook e-lessons with your students. These are structured around the three stages of an ELT picturebook-based lesson: pre-listening, listening to the story and post-listening. First, ask students to look at the cover to predict, research information and check key words. Then listen and watch the picturebook creator reading aloud to develop observation, listening and comprehension skills. Finally, add their voice to make personal, cross-curricular, and intercultural connections.
PEPELT e-lessons are for children to complete with teachers/parents/carers home-schooling or by teachers of key workers’ children in a classroom. Support children through each step as necessary. Invite students to share their work. Adapt the lessons to the suit the needs of your learners.
Bring the environment into your remote classroom
Bring the environment into your remote classroom with a Show & Tell activity. Ask students to share a drawing, a photo, a link to a video or website, or an object from their homes and ask them to explain their choice, its link to the environment and what it means to them. Share your own example first as a model for the task.
Introduce the topics of Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery in your classroom with knowledge, purpose, creativity and sensitivity
The NO Project in partnership with The Rights Lab offers free teaching resources on human trafficking and modern slavery. All lessons are based on true narratives and approached with dignity, sensitivity and respect. Around the world, teachers of upper secondary, young adult and adult learners are using the material for online teaching and in-class lessons. Designed for B1+ and higher, the lessons include real-life stories, authentic videos, audio recordings and autonomous learning resources for follow-up project-based work. The gentle step-by-step Teacher’s Guide will support you throughout your lesson, so both you and your students will learn together!