Claire Tomalin presented the £1,000 British Council Award to Michael Swan and Catherine Walter at the Society of Authors’ awards party at the Army and Navy Club, Pall Mall, on Thursday 14th June 2012. Michael Carrier, Head of English Language Innovation at the British Council, spoke of the new award:
“The award has been introduced in order to celebrate the work of The Society of Authors’ members who are involved in educational publishing for the English Language Teaching market. Learning English is vital for hundreds of millions of people in the world – it is estimated that around 1.5 billion people are trying to learn English at school and at work. English opens new doors to literacy and global opportunities, giving access to education, access to employment, to social mobility and creating new opportunities for a better life.
Several studies have shown that if you improve your English language proficiency, you can increase your annual income by 25-40% - and this is true both in the developed and the developing world. Learning English leads on to developing a love of reading in English and we hope that English proficiency will lead millions of new readers engaging with English language fiction and non-fiction.
A substantial number of Society of Authors' members are engaged in educational writing and many write English Language Teaching publications, and we wanted to celebrate their contribution to this worldwide development.”
The first British Council Award was judged by Ingrid Freebairn, Judy Garton-Sprenger and Alan Maley, who described the Oxford English Grammar Course – Advanced as:
‘An impressive distillation of a lifetime of reflection and inquiry into a key area of language teaching. The seriousness of grammar is lightened by a delightfully wicked, wry humour.’
The runner-up for the 2012 award was Johanna Stirling for
Teaching Spelling to English Language Learners (Johanna Stirling/Lulu)
The judges felt the book ‘identified an important and neglected area in EFL … the material was clearly and persuasively expressed… and independently published, reflecting the commitment of the author to her subject’.
‘This little gem of a book deserves its own special place on every English teacher’s bookshelf’
For further information see www.societyofauthors.org