The Extensive Reading Foundation has established the John A. 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.
Marc Helgesen has furthered John Milne’s creed by conceiving of the Annual Language Learner Literature Award which is now going into its 20th year. The Awards are designed to encourage better, more enjoyable language learner literature in keeping with Milne’s intentions. In addition to the Awards, Marc has served as the 2nd Chair of the Extensive Reading Foundation, conducted workshops on Extensive Reading in multiple countries and has offered a wide range of his own teaching materials for other teachers to use in their own classrooms.
This year the ERF was faced with a special challenge. Circumstances did not allow Marc to attend the World Congress in Bali, so we asked Patrick Conaway to bestow the award in person at Marc’s home. Then, unfortunately, Patrick contracted COVID so the presentation was performed with Marc in Sendai, Patrick at home and the audience in Bali!