Award Winners

The 2014 joint winners of the David Riley Award were ELT Jam and Newscorp for their website for students, NEWSMART, and Vicki Hollett for her website Simple English Videos.

Vicki Hollett and Verena Hofmann at the 27th IATEFL BESIG Annual Conference in Bonn.


List of entries with descriptions for the David Riley Award 2014

These are in no particular order:


1. Business Dice. These are dice with a difference because instead of numbers, they have business icons on every side. They are produced by the ICC Sprachinstitut who work in partnership with a local charity for the disabled. They retail at €12 a box and you can buy them from the website They can be used with classes or 1-2-1, at all levels of proficiency, as a warmer, for an entire lesson or at the end of class, to practise vocabulary or fluency. They come in a little box and there’s also a booklet giving ideas for games and activities with the dice.


2. Widgets. Published by Pearson Longman, this is a task-based book for pre-intermediate or above. Students imagine they are employees in a company called Widgets and in each chapter they work together to perform practical tasks. It has several very nice features including an online teachers’ resource centre, lesson plans for courses of varying lengths and downloadable forms to tie in with the units.


3. New Ways in Teaching Business English, edited by BESIG members Clarice Chan and Evan Frendo, is a TESOL publication and can be bought from the site. It is a collection of more than 80 ready-to-use activities for the BE classroom. The contributors come from various teaching contexts – in-company, tertiary etc. and it is all research-informed. It incorporates key trends and recent developments and is a valuable source of ideas from some of the top practitioners in our field.


4. Saundz is an American English pronunciation software programme developed by Thinknologies. There are 162 lessons, covering each of the 40 basic American English phonemes, and it uses animation to demonstrate how the sounds are made. The listening mode allows students to hear native speakers pronouncing sounds and words and the recording mode lets students practise and compare their pronunciation to that of the native speakers. This application retails at €19,99 and can be bought from the website


5. We received 4 titles from DELTA who won the David Riley Award last year: Working virtually, Managing change, Using social media, and Absolute banking English. The first three all have a learning diary for the student, tips for effective language learning and how to improve performance at work and personal action plans. For those of you who teach banking, Absolute banking English is unique in that it is written from the banker’s perspective. It also reflects the changing language of banking English and the shift in bankers’ priorities over the last decade.


6. Perform in English board game. Developed by Allison Antalek, it is aimed at A2 to B1. Players travel around the board collecting points and once they have achieved their goal, they head for the boss’s office for a performance review. The Basic Set costs €75 and covers: Emails, Telephoning, Meetings, Intercultural competencies and Small talk. Extension packs can be bought separately from €12,99 from the website


7. Collins, who won this award in 2012, submitted their book “Small talk” hot-off-the-press. It is the only ELT book to deal exclusively with this subject and it covers everything from creating a good first impression to maintaining good relationships, from quizzes to phrases. For those who like to see the big picture, there is a contents map at the beginning of the book and at the end of each chapter there is a page called “next steps”, giving ideas of what you can do next. There are useful cultural tips and real-life audio can be found on the website to accompany each unit.



8. Macmillan submitted the latest in-company intermediate 3.0 by Mark Powell. New features include an interactive online workbook and fast-track mapping for shorter courses or 1-2-1. Progress can be tracked through an integrated automatic gradebook. There are new videos and, like all of Mark’s materials, the business scenarios are realistic, the language is real and the tasks work. It is a wonderful example of blended learning.


9. Last, but certainly not least, are the self-published 10-minute business e-books for teachers. They are the brainchild of Phil Wade who saw this niche in the market and decided to fill it. As the title suggests, they are meant to be read in 10 minutes. They are free and can be accessed through smashwords or the ibooks site. Some of the titles currently available include: Intro to BE teaching, intro to sustainable BE teaching, intro to dogme BE, telephoning, lunchtime lessons, teacher development and teaching with your ipad.


And the joint winners were: Newsmart and Vicki Hollett’s Business English videos website. Both scored very highly across the board in terms of attractiveness, user-friendliness, content and, most importantly for this award, innovation. Both  are free of charge. Newsmart uses articles and videos from the Wall Street Journal to help Business English learners develop their vocabulary, grammar and reading skills. The site uses the gamification idea to encourage students to learn English, earning points as they go. Regular emails inform about the weekly top stories and the list of those who ranked highest for that week. The Simple English Videos website has a wide selection of videos to explain items of English grammar and vocabulary. Interactive transcripts are available as well as a dictionary and a translation tool. The videos transport viewers outside of the classroom into real-life settings where the language is used in context.


Congratulations to the winners!

Past David Riley Award Winners

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  • 2013 Award Winner

  • 2012 Award Winner

  • 2011 Award Winner

  • 2010 Award Winner

  • 2008 Award Winner