The Milne Innovation Awards

The Extensive Reading Foundation has established The Milne Innovation Award in honour of John Milne. As creator of the Heinemann Guided Readers series in the 1970s, Milne believed that the traditional grading of vocabulary and structure was not enough to make a book suitable for language learners. He therefore took a different approach, basing his series on good, clear writing, relevant content, careful explanation and control of information, and intuitive word and structure control. These innovations have been crucial in the development of language learner literature.

Details of the Award

  • Awards are made annually. Up to two awards may be made in any one year. However, if no worthy candidate is identified in any given year, no award will be made.
  • The Award shall be entitled “The Milne Award for Significant Achievements in the Field of Extensive Reading in the Year xxxx”.
  • Nominations for individuals or organisations are made to the Advisory Panel.
  • Nominations for the Award may be received from any of the following:

The Advisory Panel, any Board member of then ERF, any representative of a publisher or other institution (eg. a University) with a professional interest in Extensive Reading, any individual with a legitimate professional interest in Extensive Reading.. (eg a teacher)

  • Nominations for the Awards should be accompanied by a brief rationale for the nomination (not exceeding 500 words). Where appropriate, nominations will be accompanied by 5 copies of relevant documents. ( eg. for a research project, the report or article which describes it; for a book, copies of the book, )
  • Nominations for the Awards are to be sent by 1 April of the year in question. They will then be sent to the Advisory Panel for vetting. The Panel will then inform the Board of its recommendations.
  • The final decision of the Advisory Panel is binding and non-negotiable.
  • The announcement of winners of the awards would normally be 1 October.
  • The Awards will be in the form of a certificate with a citation describing the specific contribution made by the awardee. There will be no monetary award. The Awards will be publicised on the ERF website and at professional international conferences.

Please Note

For the purposes of the Award, ‘Innovation’ is defined as ‘anything which did not exist before, and which makes a significant contribution to the teaching and development of Extensive Reading.’

Proposers will themselves need to make a judgment as to the innovatory qualities of whatever they propose. Normally however, the award would not be made to a single title of a Reader, as this is already covered by the Readers’ Award Scheme.

Some possible categories of innovation might include the following, though the list is not comprehensive and other relevant categories could be considered.

  1. A new product. (eg. a new concept series of readers.)
  2. A new publishing concept. (eg. e-books)
  3. A piece of ground-breaking research into Extensive Reading.
  4. A new book or other publication promoting Extensive Reading in a novel way. (eg. a teachers’ resource book.)
  5. A scheme for promoting Extensive Reading and making it more widely available to teachers and learners.

Award Recipients

  • 2010 – David R. Hill, Honorary Fellow of the University of Edinburgh, and Director of the Edinburgh Project in Extensive Reading (EPER) since 1981.
  • 2011 – Robert O’Neill, Author of pioneering texts such as Kernel Lessons, with its continuing story, “The Man Who Escaped”.
  • 2013 – Richard R. Day, Professor, University of Hawaii at Manoa, for his seminal work, Extensive Reading in the Second Language Classroom (with Julian Bamford) and his leadership of the Extensive Reading Foundation as its first Chair.
  • 2017 – Thomas N. Robb, Professor Emeritus, Kyoto Sangyo University, Kyoto
    Japan, for his work creating the on-line MReader ER book quiz center accessed by over 50,000 students a year and who take for over 1,000,000 quizzes cumulatively on the system, and for his leadership in founding and serving as Chair of the Extensive Reading Foundation.
  • 2023 – Marc Helgesen, Professor, Miyagi Gakuin University, for his creation of the Language Learner Literature Awards, now going into its 20th year, his contribution of classroom materials for Extensive Reading and his leadership of the Extensive Reading Foundation as its second Chair.

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