Wednesday 12 December 2018

(12 December 2018, Beijing) The British Council is delighted to announce the overall winner of the English is GREAT Teacher Award 2018, Ms. Hong Mei from Hangzhou, Zhejiang. She will receive a four-week study trip to the UK courtesy of International House London.

The Teacher Award campaign, which was officially launched in April this year and has lasted for seven months, is the first major project of the “English is GREAT” campaign organised by the British Council in China this year. The Award welcomed applications from all non-native English teachers of Chinese nationalityfrom all over the country. Short videos illustrating their teaching methods of spoken English in the classroom were submitted, and then an authoritative expert panel organised by the British Council chooses the best one of the month. The overall winner of the year is chosen from seven monthly-award winners.


Hong Mei was the winner for October around, and won the final award by her teaching method ‘Literature Circle”. It is a highly engaging classroom activity in which students share information as well as opinions after they read the same reading material by being assigned different roles.Through this activity, students are encouraged to talk and their participation, their initiative and enthusiasm in the classroom are enhanced.

Hong Mei said:“I'd like to express my gratitude for this program as it not only encourages individual teachers like me to explore more possibilities for the solutions in the classroom, but also creates a huge platform for us to inspire and to learn from each other, no matter how different our students’ levels are. A more attentive, creative, and effective classroom is what we are all making great effort for.”

The contest, which has attracted altogether hundreds of teachers from 22 provinces across the country, established a teaching method sharing platform, provided the teachers with new ideas in expanding teaching methods while celebrating and honoring those outstanding and innovative teachers who dedicate themselves to English teaching career in China. The contest has been sponsored by UYoung and International House London; and is also supported my media partners China Daily and 21st Century English Education Media.

The “English is GREAT” activity is a new UK initiative for 2018 in China being driven by the British Council and the wider English Language Teaching (ELT) sector. Announced in China in January 2018 in the presence of UK Prime Minister Theresa May while on her official visit to China, English is GREAT shone a spotlight on the English language as a key enabler for China to interact with the wider world, boosting spoken English proficiency to develop a confident and globally ready workforce empowered by a strong command of English. Angelababy, a Chinese actress, and Jessie J, a British singer, are ambassadors for the campaign respectively.

Carma Elliot, Director of the British Council in China attended the Award ceremony and delivered a speech:“The English language delivers a positive impact for millions of people throughout the world, creating opportunities for people across all walks of life. As we continue to look towards improving inter-cultural communication and reducing barriers internationally the ‘English is GREAT’ Teacher Award campaign has primarily focused on promoting proficiency in spoken English to enhance learners’ communicative competencies. But, we recognise that the English language in its entirety continues to provide a wonderful platform for innovation, communication and cultural exchange world-wide.”

Margit Szesztay, President of the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL), one of the expert panelists said:“I was very impressed by all the finalists. It was heart-warming to see that the communicative, student-centred approach is being adapted to suit Chinese classrooms by these master practitioners. They can all stand as role models that other Chinese teachers can watch, reflect on, and adapt in their own contexts. So congratulations and well done to all of them!”

Charlotte Thompson, Director of Training, International House London said:“It was a pleasure to watch students of different ages and levels of ability enjoying speaking English and participating with enthusiasm and confidence. Ms. Hong shows excellent classroom management throughout, and interacts with the students naturally, making English the language of communication in the classroom.”

You can view all entry videos here.

Notes to Editor

About the ‘English is GREAT’ campaign

The English is GREAT campaign is a new initiative from the UK in China for 2018 being driven by the British Council and wider English Language Teaching Sector. 

Announced in China on the 31 January 2018 in the presence of UK Prime Minister Theresa May, while on her official visit to China, English is GREAT will shine a spotlight on the English language as a key enabler for China to interact with the wider world, building a confident and globally ready workforce, empowered by a strong spoken English proficiency.

‘English is GREAT’ is a multi-channel and multi-event campaign that will engage with millions of people across China this year. The English is GREAT Teacher Award is the first activity of the campaign.

Everyone can follow the English is GREAT campaign through the British Council, UK Government and our campaign partner’s social media accounts.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 65 million people directly and 731 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body.

We operate as the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy in Beijing and Cultural and Education Section of the British Consulate-General in Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chongqing. Our Exams work and English Centres across China operate as Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprises.