Meet the 2020 Pearson English Global Teacher Award winners


Every year we celebrate the great work of English teachers around the world. Our aim is to recognize those of you who strive to improve the lives of your learners and demonstrate a love of teaching. For us, it’s both fascinating and inspiring to hear about your challenges and successes – as well as your objectives and ideas for the future. 

This year, we asked you to share videos telling us about an experience you’ve been able to share with other teachers that has made a difference. We also wanted to know about how your English teaching has enabled you to make a difference to your students’ lives. 

We announced the winners from five different regions in our award ceremony on 30th January – and over 3,500 of you watched and joined in on our Facebook Live stream!

For those that missed it, here are some of the highlights from this years Pearson English Global Teacher award: 

Discover more below about what made this year’s Teacher Award winners stand out. 

Africa & Middle East 

Winner: Rasheedat Sadiq, Nigeria

Teacher award winners Rasheedat

“Rasheedat makes a convincing argument in favour of the reduction of teacher talking time- a problem that continues to plague ELT classrooms around the world. Just because you aren’t talking, doesn’t mean you aren’t working!,” says Mike Mayor

Other members of the judging panel commented on the practicality of Rasheedat’s ideas. “I like the way she describes herself as a facilitator and that she has gone against the traditions she faced of the teacher doing all of the talking in the class,” says Jeanne Perrett. 

A special commendation goes to the runner-up for Africa & the Middle East, Omar Titki from Morocco. 


Asia & Oceania

Winner: Winnie Xiaowen Chen, China

Teacher Award winners Winnie

“Friendly, energetic, personable. I like that she thinks about how to change our English teaching ways and uses are, science, and music. I imagine her students really enjoy her lessons,” says Jeanne Perrett. 

Our other judges were impressed with Winnie’s overall presentation: “Having the courage to buck the trend of more traditional approaches to language teaching in China, understanding of child psychology and genuine deep learning- and an appreciation that learning another language can also give you insights into your own language and culture,” says Mike Mayor. 

A special commendation goes to the runner-up for Asia & Oceania, Diem Hoang from Vietnam. 



South America

Winner: Margarita Leon, Ecuador

Teacher award winners Margarita

“I liked her recognition that it’s not about one teacher being strong, but about the teaching faculty being a formidable team. She’s really honed in on one of the most important factors in raising quality in education. She’s also engaging her community,” says Clare Walsh

Other judges commented on how Margarita was selected to be a peer trainer and has been able to both give and learn a lot from this experience. “She also offers free public courses in a communicative way to a wide variety of English learners in her community,” says Mike Solly

A special commendation goes to the runner-up for South America, Cleide Oliveria from Brazil. 


North & Central America

Winner: Samuel Odamah, USA 

Teacher award winners Samuel

“Samuel talks inspiringly about motivating students and teachers through storytelling and bringing in his own experiences to the classroom,’” says Mike Solly. 

Other judges said that Samuel has identified a very creative and effective way to engage the whole student, through telling their stories and thinking about who they are, and it’s an approach that any teacher can put into practice. He spoke inspiringly about motivating students and teachers- and brought his own experiences into the classroom. 

A special commendation goes to the runner-up for North & Central America, Yeisie Shayegan from Panama. 


Europe & Central Asia

Winner: Medisa Aljukić, Bosnia & Herzegovina 

Teacher award winners Medisa

“Medisa demonstrates how a single person’s enthusiasm and initiative can have an impact on learner outcomes. I was particularly impressed by the inclusion of parents in the English Club as a way to further motivate students whilst offering the parents an opportunity to continue learning,” says Mike Mayor. 

Other judges said of Medisa: “The idea of a cooking club in English is genius. She also seems to have tackled the problem using a wide range of tools and is committed to promoting learning in her wider community and a sense of global citizenship- all very valuable,” says Clare Walsh. 

A special commendation goes to the runner-up for Europe & Central Asia, Hannah Zieb from Poland. 



Congratulations to all of our Teacher Award winners! Each of you will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to attend either IATEFL or TESOL 2020.

A big thank you

Finally, we’d like to end with a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to make a video application – and to those of you who supported and encouraged your colleagues to apply. It takes energy, creativity, determination and a love of learning to be a great teacher. We at Pearson English want to continue to support you and highlight your great work through 2020 and beyond!

If you would like to learn more about Pearson English at IATEFL, visit our dedicated event page. 

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