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27 MARCH 2015

Cambridge wins top prize at the ESU awards.

Cambridge wins top prize at the ESU awards.

The HRH The Duke of Edinburgh English Language Book Awards ceremony, run by the English Speaking Union took place in February with one of our Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers series winning the top award. Philip Kerr’s Translation and Own-language Activities was this year’s winner in the Best Entry for Teachers category.  This follows on from the success of Graham Stanley’s Language Learning with Technology last year, and Jim Scrivener’s Classroom Management Techniques the year before, for the same award.

Unconvinced by the current orthodoxy that students’ own language (‘L1’) should be avoided in the classroom, Philip’s book demonstrates the potential advantages of judicious use of L1 in language learning, lessening many teachers’ sense of guilt at using the language they share with their students.

Philip was already aware that L1 use was a source of shame to many teachers. In workshops and seminars around the world, he would regularly begin by asking his audience of teachers how many of them used their students’ own language in their classes, and only a few very tentative hands would be raised. Having spent his presentation showing the benefits of planned and deliberate use of L1, at the end of the class he would ask the same question, and this time more than 80 per cent of his audience would raise their hands.

Philip wasn’t Cambridge’s only winner at the awards. Motivating Learners, Motivating Teachers, a recent addition to the Cambridge Language Teaching Library by Zoltán Dörnyei and Magdalena Kubanyiova, also picked up a Highly Commended award in the same category.

Zoltán, Magdalena, and Philip all attended the awards at Dartmouth House in London. Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, presented the awards, deputising for her father, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, who instituted the awards that bear his name forty years earlier.

The ESU awards aren’t the only good news the Press has recently received on the awards front: Cambridge titles have been shortlisted in four different categories in the British Council’s prestigious ELTons, more than any other ELT publisher. Unlock has been shortlisted in the Excellent in Course Innovation category, and the Cambridge Discovery Education Interactive Readers Apps for Innovation in Learner Resources. Philip Kerr’s Translation and Own-language Activities is up for another trophy in the Innovation in Teacher Resources category, while our collaboration with tech start-up Playlingo on free online game Lingopolis has been shortlisted for Digital Innovation.


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