Monday 23 April 2018

The British Council is delighted to launch the English is GREAT Teacher Award 2018, which will recognise and celebrate the achievements of China’s most inspiring Chinese national non-native teachers of English. 

The English is GREAT Teacher Award is the first major initiative of the year-long English is GREAT campaign, which was announced during UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s official visit to China in January 2018. This Award will not only honour the most engaging Chinese teachers of English, but will also serve as a means for all teachers to share best practice in encouraging greater speaking proficiency among their students and to understand new and innovative teaching approaches.

The English is GREAT Teacher Award has been sponsored by UYoung and International House London; and is also supported my media partners China Daily and 21st Century English Education Media.

From April until the end of November 2018, a monthly award winner will be selected and will receive a cash prize of RMB 3,000, an award certificate and an invitation to attend the final award ceremony in December 2018 whereby the monthly winners will enter a grand finale to determine the 2018 English is GREAT Teacher Award winner. The overall winner will receive a four-week study trip to the UK courtesy of International House London. 

The Award welcomes applications from all non-native English teachers of Chinese nationality who are over 22 years of age, whether from state or privately funded schools, English training centres and organisations. A short video must be submitted as part of the online application. Applications close on the 24th of each month, at which point applications for the following month will open. The results will be announced on the first working Monday of each month. 

More information about the Award and the application process is available at 

Announcing the launch, Carma Elliot CMG OBE, Country Director China at the British Council, said: 

“I am delighted that the English is GREAT campaign starts with this Teacher Award, recognising outstanding individuals who, every day and in many different ways, share their passion for the English language with more than 300 million English language students in China. Speaking a foreign language proficiently is a wonderful skill - teaching a language proficiently when it’s not your native language a truly great achievement which deserves this kind of acknowledgement. ”

To mark the launch of the English is GREAT Teacher Award, Zheng Jianwei, a visually-impaired English language tutor, winner of the British Council’s Study UK Alumni Awards in 2016, and the ambassador of the English is GREAT Teacher Award said: 

“I’m delighted to support the launch of the English is GREAT Teacher Award campaign. By learning English I changed my fate and realised my dreams of studying in the UK. Now, as an English teacher, I can help others unlock the wonderful and exciting world of English. English really has changed my life, and I encourage all teachers to get involved in the competition.”    

Margit Szesztay, President of the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL), said: 

“In nearly a decade of delivering English teacher training courses in China, I have always placed a strong emphasis on speaking skills. So I'm delighted by the launch of the English is GREAT campaign, which focuses on boosting speaking proficiency. The Teacher Award will further highlight the importance of teaching students oral communication. This is a very exciting initiative and I hope many teachers get involved in the English is GREAT Teacher Award.” 

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.