|Innovation Awards 2004|
Shortlist for 2004
Macmillan Education Dictionaries Team
Winner of the Duke of Edinburgh ESU English Language Book Award 2002, the Macmillan English Dictionary is packed with innovative features to cater to the needs of English learners. Macmillan continues to make the dictionary accessible to as many people as possible, through a wide range of media - book, CD-ROM, network CD-ROM and online. The Macmillan Dictionaries website, webzine and e-lesson service provides regularly-updated supporting resources.
"A really impressive piece of work"
"I also liked the ranking of words according to frequency so the learner has some simple information when they look up a word as to whether this is a really useful or plain odd one"
"I found the dictionary very user-friendly with very clear page
layout, navigation, and use of language"
Macmillan Education, unique Online learning environment
The Macmillan English Campus is an online English language practice
environment. It contains a database of over 1,000 interactive exercises
and activities, tests, news articles and games as well as software tools
which allow institutions to build their own online practice courses
using the material in the database. Institutions can define their own
syllabuses and structure courses so that the online practice blends
successfully with classroom activity. All users also have access to
a range of online reference materials. They can personalise their study
areas by building lists of vocabulary and favourite exercises. The English
Campus is offered as a customised service to large institutions.
"really well integrated, flexible and easy to use"
"a genuinely innovative product"
Most teachers have at some point been involved in designing tasks for classroom use, even if just to tweak existing tasks for use in a particular context. Some books deal with task design, but are not usually based on research into how specialists go about it.
The research project involved sixteen individuals designing
a task, eight experts, and eight comparative novices. They thought aloud
as they designed, and the processes of both experts and novices were
analysed. The resulting book, Designing Language Teaching Tasks, published
by Palgrave Macmillan, makes this research available to all who want
to master task design skills. (taken from EL Gazette, ‘Leaders
in Innovation’ article)
"A genuinely interesting work, covering areas I have not read about before
"Will stimulate a good amount of general reflection"
The book provides a new way into learning grammar, and a starting point for learners to build 1000s of phrases and language chunks. Each word is given a double-page spread that starts with a presentation of key grammar structures, common collocations and idiomatic phrases. This is followed by a full page of activities for learners to practise the language.
This is an electronic publication available on CD-Rom and online. It features recordings of spontaneous speech for either self-access or classroom use. It aims to improve listening by making learners comfortable with the fastest stretches of speech. Extracts from the original recordings are used as models for pronunciation. Streaming Speech is suitable for non-native teacher trainees, people preparing to study at tertiary level in an English speaking country or studying for high level aural/oral exams. The Hong Kong Civil Service has been using the on-line version since July 2003. (taken from EL Gazette, ‘Leaders in Innovation’ article)
"serious consideration of how task based learning works is an
“The ‘Secret’ English [Out There!] Recipe: Take a large slice of common sense, consult the ‘rules’ and apply directly, work in some Communicative Method followed by an appropriate amount of Task whilst dusting with some carefully selected real people and places. Pour the entire mixture into a thoroughly thought out timeframe and season with some Psycholinguistics and a nip of NLP. Relax and enjoy”
“English [Out There!] is a specially designed short course (although some people like to stay quite a while!). It actually works in various ways and draws on a few different ideas and methodologies. We know we are just at the beginning, and are looking forward to understanding it better and improving it”
“I think that this school is innovative, because for learning English you just speak English with the people!” – Maria-Anna, 26, Italy. Course length: 1 week
“I like that the lesson is interactive” – Jana, 16, Germany. Course length: 12 hours
“The way we learn English in this school is unique and very exciting!” – Akane, Japan. Course length: 6 hours
“It is an original method to learn English, it is more interesting” – Marie-Carmen, 16, France. Course length: 2 weeks
“New experience, new form of studying” – Paulina, 27, Czech Rep. Course length: 3 weeks
“Something special, new, interesting” – Rachel, 33, Switzerland. Course length: 9 weeks
"I like the idea of a course specifically designed to take advantage of being in the country of the language you are learning, and sending people out to speak to real native speakers"
"I thought that this was an interesting format - strongly practical"
"Thousands of enlightenments... rolls up its sleeves and gets
down to business..."
"...the essential facts are instantly available... better written,
more concise and intelligent"
"The entries are succinct, the range formidable and the illustrations
on the technological heights"
"Excellent cross referencing, making information easily accessible"
"Editorial standards are impressive...the thumbnail defintions
of complex ideas shine most brightly..."
"Nice, rationally organised source of all sorts of information... copyright free so teachers can use it without fear of legal comeback"
"useful and easy to understand and a practical resource"
Sample a lesson
It’s great ! It’s just what we need and it’s all about art and design!"
"It means I don’t have to cross London to get to class!"
"I like studying with computers because I can do it when I have time"
"I can always go back and look at everything and do more practice"
The pronunciation practice is really good for me because I can listen to myself and the example, it really helps and I can do this at home
"CMC has all sorts of advantages for language and writing practice and students enjoy the new dynamic"
"Some students are much more confident when they’re studying online"
"lively and well-designed online student resources"
These materials were developed in a project conducted by the Fachhochschule Konstanz University of Applied Science and financed by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science and Research, Stuttgart, Germany.
"Ten years ago we produced a very innovative course - Effective Presentations (OUP1994). It has been a real pleasure to revisit this area and work with two like-minded and professional colleagues - Peter and Patrik. The result has beeen another, even more innovative product which breaks new ground both methodologically and in terms of online multimedia learning"
"practical and effective with a good degree of innovation"
The findings have demonstrated that speakers of other languages offer employers many more skills than mere linguistic competence. Many EFL learners study English in order to enhance their employability. EFL courses could provide a bridge between education and work by equipping students, not only with language skills, but also a strong self-awareness of the employability skills which can be developed alongside or automatically as a consequence of language learning. The first five years of the study have resulted in almost one hundred recommendations, aimed at helping students to take maximum benefit from their independent language learning and make that vital link between English language study and employment. The sixth year of the study, which is currently in progress, focuses on the relevance of these employability skills in other cultures.
Quote from Leeds Metropolitan University
"Dawn's longitudinal research has been of crucial importance to
curriculum development in the University. It has transformed the approach
to independent learning in the department and has been transferred to
other disciplines right across the University."
Shahnaz Farooq, Director Examinations British Council Islamabad wins this year's Enterprises Innovations Award for her customer-friendly 'drop-box' service for registering exam candidates. Even though British Council centres in Pakistan closed, the Pakistan exams' team was able to exceed candidate targets through their innovative partnership with Standard Chartered Bank. Shahnaz will be picking up her award in London on 4 March.
"I was impressed by can-do attitude that was demonstrated by the
Pakistan entry. They faced a dilemma: how to continue not just with
business as usual, but with better business as usual. Curiosity, observation,
experimentation and collaboration then played a part. Looking at the
world around them for inspiration, they found and developed a parallel
methodology and adapted it to their needs. Classic innovation"
Imre Szabo, Hungary
Purpose: To share and extend teachers' experiences of using the internet in English language teaching; provide tools to help teachers exchange information and ideas; exploit the potential of a team of teachers from 3 countries, set up in the summer of 2002, following the British Council-organised Hornby Trust workshop in Hungary.
Results: A successful 5-day workshop in March 2003 for Hungarian, Romanian
and Croatian trainers, to develop syllabus and training materials for
July workshop. A successful 10-day 'ICT in ELT Workshop' for 24 primary
school teachers from Hungary, Romania, and Croatia held in Tiszafured,
Hungary in July 2003. A portfolio of materials and activities created.
A small but effective network of trained teachers established.
Project team leader: Lyudmila Kuznetsova, Russia
Team members: Barbora Budikova, Czech Republic; Halyna Kaluzhna, Ukraine; Laryssa Dovbenko, Lithuania; Maaya Yaroslavska, Lithuania; Tunde Bajzat, Hungary; Olga Lukina, Russia; Vitali Ashkinazi, Russia; Ieva Margyte, Lithuania; Irina Nuzha, Russia; Natalia Koliadina, Russia; Svitlana Markelova, Ukraine; Julie Malykh, Russia.
Purpose: To run a workshop of ELT professionals from 5 countries to develop materials and to work with the teachers in trialling these with their students. The materials to meet the demands of local curricula, and to be revised and disseminated among members of the ESP community following the trial stage.
Results: Successful workshop held and all the students
said they had learned new skills and had been well supported. Special
subjects covered were law, natural sciences and engineering, social
research, political science and world affairs. 80% of students said
they would like to do something similar again if they had the chance.
They said they would like to work with peers from even more countries.
Most teachers involved have re-established contact to run a similar
project with new groups of students. Dissemination of results via existing
ESP web journal, and dissemination of materials electronically.
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