Prof. Richard R Day, Executive Director of the Extensive Reading Foundation, announced that David R. Hill, of the University of Edinburgh, is the recipient of the first John A. Milne Innovation Award in the service of the Extensive Reading approach to language learning.
David R. Hill, Honorary Fellow of the University of Edinburgh, has been the director of the Edinburgh Project in Extensive Reading (EPER) since 1981. He had previously taught English in secondary schools in Uganda, the UK and Malaysia before joining the Institute for Applied Language Studies at Edinburgh University. EPER was the first attempt to set some order to the growing number of “Graded Readers”, grouping them into appropriate reading levels, evaluating their quality, placing them into sets suitable for various language proficiency levels and providing teacher support materials for them.
The Award is named 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.
The award will be presented to Professor Hill at the ERF Awards Ceremony during the IATEFL Conference in Brighton in April of 2011.