UKLA announces the winners of the UKLA/ Wiley Research in Literacy Education Award 2023

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 2023.

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 Exeter 23rd-25th June 2023 and invited to present a seminar at the conference.

The Awards Committee congratulates the shortlisted authors for this year’s Wiley Prizes. Both prizes have been awarded to papers reporting on studies that bring to the foreground longstanding challenges of inclusivity and equity in literacy and reading. The Committee also recognises more broadly the inadequate representation of authors of colour and non-Western epistemologies in these journals. We encourage members and stakeholders of UKLA to build together towards a more inclusive and plural development and representation of our field. 

The Literacy winning article is:

Using young adult fiction to interrogate raciolinguistic ideologies in schools – Ian Cushing and Anthony Carter . Published in Vol 56(2) pp106-119, found here

The Awards Committee were very impressed with this paper, which reports on research that engages young people in the UK and their reading of fictional texts in relation to understandings and perceptions of raciolinguistic ideologies in schools. It recognises the capacity for young people to contribute to contentious and complex topics. The genuine nature of participation and agency of both teachers and learners in this research was evident. The careful positioning of the researchers was also appreciated and further strengthened the methodological basis. The work is accessible and applicable both to literacy researchers as well as school-teachers and leaders. Methodologically strong, and highly pertinent in terms of socio-political conditions today, we highly recommend the authors for their clear and powerful work in this area.

The Journal for Research in Reading winning article is:

Dialect, density, language abilities and emergent literacy skills of prekindergarten children who speak African American English Erika Baldwin, John Heilmann, Denise Finneran, Chi C. Cho, & Maura Moyle. Published in Vol 45(4) pp.567-586, found here

The Awards Committee thought this was a very strong paper. It reports on research that examines the relationship between nonmainstream dialect, specifically African American English, and reading standards. This is a highly relevant study contributing to a much-needed area in our field. The strength of the article lay both in terms of the data generation and claims, but also was due to the transparency therein of its limitations and contingencies. The work is positioned clearly within a psychological paradigm but is still accessible to readers outside of this discourse. The committee highly recommend this research, that highlights both the challenge as well as the critical need of closer attention to equity and inclusion in relation to reading pedagogies and standards.

The shortlist was chosen by panels convened by Literacy editors Dianne R. Collier and Natalia Kucirkova and JRR editors Jo Taylor and Nenagh Kemp. The winners were chosen by the Wiley Award Panel: Mia Perry and Fiona Maine (Co Chairs), Richard Charlesworth, Danielle Dennis, Navan Govender, Jonathan Solity, Wayne Tennent

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. The shortlisted authors and titles were:


A reflective account of using child-led interviews as a means to promote discussions about reading  – Webber et al.

What happens when adolescents meet complex texts? Describing moments of scaffolding textual encounters – Reynolds and Fisher

 Addressing’ language deficit: valuing children’s variational repertories – Hyatt

Developing multimodal communicative competence: adolescent English learners’ multimodal composition in an after-school programme – Kang

South Korea, adolescents, after-school, writing/composition

Journal of Research in Reading:

Yeung. Writing motivation in Chinese children with developmental dyslexia. 45(2)

Troyer. The gold standard for whom? Schools’ experiences participating in a randomised control trial 45(3)

Smit, Lesley, Baker-Beach, Stewart. Investigating meaningful impact in adolescent writing achievement within a high-stakes testing context 45(3)

Vardy, Al Otaiba, Breadmore, Kung, Petursdottir, Zaru. Teacher–researcher partnership in the translation and implementing of PALS (Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies): An international perspective 45(3)

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