Learning and Work Institute selected as finalist for prestigious British Council award for Innovation in English Language Teaching


26 07 2021

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Out of 180 entries from across 50 countries, Learning and Work Institute’s Volunteers, English Language Learners and Conversation Clubs guidance has been selected as a finalist for the prestigious ELTons awards for Innovation in English Language Teaching, in the local innovation category.  

We are thrilled to have been chosen by a panel of experts alongside other projects which demonstrate excellence in innovation and functionality to meet the needs of English language learners and teachers around the world. 

Alex Stevenson, Head of Essential and Life Skills
L&W is delighted to be a finalist for this award, which recognises the valuable and complementary role that volunteer-led, informal language learning plays alongside formal, accredited English for Speakers of Other Languages provision, helping ensure that new migrants have access to flexible opportunities to develop their English language skills in different ways.

The Volunteers, English Language Learners and Conversation Clubs (VELLCC) guidance and resources support anyone, anywhere, to organise an effective English language conversation club, face-to-face or online.  Commissioned by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, and developed in partnership with Learning Unlimitedthe resources aim to boost the availability and quality of social opportunities to practise English, by supporting civil society organisations and volunteers wishing to offer informal English language learning to new migrants and settled communities.  

“These are brilliant resources!” – Regional Strategic Migration Partnership

“I’ve just watched the conversation club webinar … It was very interesting and gave me some good ideas. We are hoping to start a conversation club around health and well-being with […] our local Roma community.” – Conversation club organiser

“I am so glad the resources have been converted for online use, it’s exactly what we all need!” – Conversation club organiser

We would like to thank all of the conversation club participants, volunteers and organisations who participated in the project to inform the development of the resources. 

We were previously shortlisted in 2019 for our work on ESOL in prisons, Improving Language, Improving Lives where we designed a project to support prisoners with ESOL needs, and practitioners working in the secure estate.

The award winners will be announced at the ELTons Innovations Award ceremony on 4 October.