UKLA announces the winners of the UKLA/ Wiley Research in Literacy Education Award 2022

This award recognises exemplary papers from UKLA journals published by Wiley.


UKLA is pleased to announce the JRR and Literacy winners of the prestigious UKLA/ Wiley Research in Literacy Education Award 2022.

The Award is given annually for papers judged to be exemplary in terms of the criteria applied. 

The winning lead authors will be honoured at the UKLA International Conference in Birmingham from 1 to 3 July 2022 and invited to present a seminar at the conference.

The Literacy winner is for the following paper: Jungyoung Park and Zhihui Fang Voice in adolescents’ informational writing. Volume 55 Number 3, 2021, pp.172-180

Chair Dr.Wayne Tennent writes: This paper investigates the presence of the writer’s voice when engaging in informational writing. Specifically, it focuses on how a writer’s judgement of the information presented is conveyed through their writing. These judgements reveal the writer’s epistemic stance. The paper presents an analysis of science report writing on the theme of crocodilia, completed by ninety-three seventh-grade (12-13-year olds) and ninth-grade (14-15-year olds) students from the same school. The epistemic stance of these adolescent writers is analysed through their use of ‘hedges’ (where the writer exerts a level of caution over what they write) and ‘boosters’ (where they write assertively and with certainty). The analysis revealed that regardless of age, students used significantly more ‘boosters’ than ‘hedges’. It also revealed that the use of both ‘boosters’ and ‘hedges’ relied on everyday language, rather than academic registers. The journal committee felt that this was an original study as informational writing can be easily overlooked in research. The committee also felt that this study was easily replicable and could lead to some interesting further work going forward, particularly in terms of helping adolescent writers to make explicit their epistemic stance through the conscious use of ‘hedges’ and ‘boosters’.  

JRR winner 2022 is for the following paper: Amy C. Crosson, Margaret G. McKeown, Puiwa Lei, Hui Zhao, Xinyue Li, Kelly Patrick, Kathleen Brown, Yaqi Shenelma. Morphological analysis skill and academic vocabulary knowledge are malleable through intervention and may contribute to reading comprehension for multilingual adolescents. Volume 44, Issue 1, 2021, pp 154–174.

Chair Dr. Wayne Tennent writes: This paper investigates the effects of a morphology intervention. It involved 140 multilingual seventh and eighth grade students (12-14-year olds) from one middle school. Half of these students were taught a series of lessons which aimed to promote academic vocabulary learning, morphological analysis and reading comprehension. The other half formed a comparison group. While the authors were cautious with their findings there was evidence to suggest that multilingual learners improved their vocabulary throughout engagement with Latin root words, and that morphological analysis had an indirect effect on reading comprehension. The panel enjoyed the focus on the teaching of root words which was structured in an interesting way, and provided a good example of theory informing practice. The panel also felt that by promoting the teaching of morphemes, this study serves as a reminder that there are many aspects to reading beyond phonology and phonics. 

The shortlist was chosen by panels convened by Literacy editors Dianne R. Collier and Natalia Kucirkova and JRR editors Jo Taylor and Nenagh Kemp.

Panel: Wayne Tennent (Chair), Frances Bodger, Richard Charlesworth, Navan Govender, Chris Lockwood, Fiona Maine and Mia Perry and Jonathan Solity, 

The panel would like to congratulate all of those authors who were nominated for the award, and Wiley for their continued generosity in supporting this award.

More information about the award can be found here and you can read the winning open-access articles below:

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