Local Innovation 2020 finalists - tips and resources

Access top English language teaching tips and open-access resources from the ELTons Awards 2020 finalists for Local Innovation

The ELTons’ Local Innovation Award is about overcoming challenges. It is given for resourcefulness where resources are limited, extra efforts where circumstances are trying and overcoming challenges to meet specific local needs.

Standout submissions in the Local Innovation category this year include STEAM project-based English learning for young learners in Brazil, bilingual readers improving the English proficiency in India, learning through enquiry in Mexico, English medium instruction (EMI) in Sri Lanka, and bridging inequality in Nigeria.

Finalists of the ELTons’ Local Innovation Award 2020 share their tips and open-access resources for teachers and learners below.


Use role play to improve children’s comprehension and grammar

I am not naughty – I really really mean it! | Basirat Razaq-Shuaib with The Winford Centre for Children and Women (Nigeria) 

Teaching reading and comprehension can be difficult if English is not the first language, if a country has many other languages and if children have underlying attention difficulties such as ADHD. You can use role play to help develop comprehension skills.

Choose a children’s book. Pick some scenes from the book, ask children to read aloud and play the characters in those scenes. When they are done, discuss how the children feel about the main character and their scenes to reinforce understanding. Use open-ended questions to reinforce comprehension.

Use the 'I am not naughty – I really really mean it!' book for this activity. Book a free online reading session and find more tips for supporting children with ADHD with their English language learning.


Efficient use of bilingual text can work wonders!

Reading Genius - Bilingual Stories | Infant Jesus Matric Hr Sec School, Kalpakkam (India) 

Children grasp much better when they can relate to the lessons taught. Since English is a second language for many children, context plays a major role for them to understand and learn English. To ensure that the lessons are received well by children, use content from your nativity, and incorporate English by using bilingual texts. If both these work in unison, children imbibe the content well by making comparisons to the content in their native language.

The Reading Genius bilingual books containing stories in English, with their Tamil translations can be adapted as course material in classrooms with Tamil students.

Access the Reading Genius bilingual books online


Incorporate everyday resources into your teaching

The Garden Project – Brazilian Edition | Angelica Manca, Hoopla Education Pte. Ltd. With Macmillan Do Brasil Editora, Comercializadora, and Importadora E Distribudora (Singapore / Brazil) 

This teaching tip starts in the kitchen by asking students to find a variety of seeds, an abundant natural resource available to them at home. Students’ inquiry is driven by the Garden Project’s green question “How are seeds different?”, prompting seeds to be sorted by color, size and texture, thus extending their vocabulary. The lesson is framed by an art activity, by gluing patterns of seeds onto the sunflower template, a free downloadable resource below. 

Teachers can use seeds to expand on vocabulary, accounting for cultural differences and engaging students with a hands-on activity (the sunflower template)

Download the seeds and sunflower template or from the Macmillan Education website


Flip your classroom

Sciencepedia | Shehani Gamage, M. Kodithuwakku, Dr. N. Wickramasinghe with National E-Learning Center (Sri Lanka) 

The Flipped Classroom and the BDA (Before, During and After) learning strategies are based on students acquiring a certain level of knowledge about the school subject matters prior to discussion in the classroom, through hands-on, practical and extracurricular activities. Learning beforehand students can gain the most out of learning in the classroom, geared towards developing higher skills such as analysis, inquiry and creativity outside the classroom.

The Sciencepedia comic books' aim is to inculcate the habit in students in Sri Lanka to acquire practical understanding and real-life experience of science and the English language.

Read Sciencepedia’s tips on how to use the flipped classroom and BDA approaches with your students 


Facilitate guided learning through enquiry

Starfish | Pearson Educación de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. (Mexico) 

Use the open-access e-story 'Which is your favorite place in town?' from Starfish for this activity.

Have students draw their flag and say three ways of taking care of their neighbourhood. Help them make a box for recycling. Before reading the story, present a situation similar so children relate it to their own experiences. Have students share their ideas and draw them.

Show the title and illustrations; students predict what the story is about. Ask questions related to the text; students infer them. Give students the printed text. Have them find specific information as quickly as possible; summarize the text. Put the text on constructions paper and cut out the sentences; students put the text in order.

Download the 'Which is your favorite place in town?' E-story 


Watch a video of the finalists' top tips below

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