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Extensive Reading Foundation Language Learner Literature Awards

The LLL Awards are given by the Extensive Reading Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that supports and promotes extensive reading in language education.  Each year these awards are conferred on books that are selected for their outstanding overall quality and likely enduring appeal. The winning book in each of five categories is chosen by an international jury, taking into account the internet votes and comments of students and teachers around the world.

The 2014 Award winners were announced at the CLESOL conference, Wellington, New Zealand, in July. The Awards will be presented to the winners by Catherine Walter at the IATEFL Conference in Manchester, UK, 11-14 April 2015.

Winners 2014

Young Learners

Skater Boy
By Maria Cleary
Illustrated by Lorenzo Sabbatini
Publisher: Helbling Languages (Helbling Young Readers)
ISBN: 978-3-85272-526-0

Judges’ comment
The book has a familiar story arc, but it invests it with energy and humor. Builds on adult disapproval of some activities that kids enjoy, even though the kids have good motives. Diction level is good, and sentence structures are nicely, but manageably, various. The illustrations are engagingly off-beat.
Reader’s comment
It is a great story, simply told and with a good message. My class loved it.

Adolescents & Adult: Beginner

The Tomorrow Mirror
By Nicola Prentis
Illustrated by Christian Bienefeld
Publisher: Pearson Education Ltd (Penguin Active Reading)
ISBN: 978-1-44793-805-7

Judges’ comment
In this original fantasy/horror story set in modern UK, a young boy finds out that the mysterious mirror in his home reflects what will happen the next day. The story grabs the readers right from the beginning, and keeps their interest all throughout the book, culminating with a surprise ending. The illustrations are a creative representation of the storyline.
Reader’s comment
I like this book because the story is original and we are touched by Jason's life. This story takes us into the character's head. I love it!

Adolescents & Adult: Elementary

Anne of Green Gables
By Lucy Maud Montgomery
Retold by Michael Lacey Freeman
Illustrated by Gaia Bordicchia
Publisher: ELI (Teen Readers)
ISBN: 978-88-536-1576-3

Judges’ comment
This excellent book simply, but engagingly, retells the story of Anne and her relationships with Marilla, Matthew, and the community and environment around her. The cute illustrations are aimed at younger readers, but older readers will equally enjoy the story.
Reader’s comment
Anne's feelings often go up and down. She makes many mistakes or does surprising things, so the story develops one thing after another. It is interesting for me. I can see Anne's kindness and childlike character. I also can see the process of building good relationships between Anne and many other people. This story makes my mind warm. This is a good story.

Adolescents & Adults: Intermediate

Bob Marley
By Vicky Shipton
Photo research by Pupak Navabpour
Publisher: Scholastic (ELT Readers)
ISBN: 978-1-908-35198-2

Judges’ comment
This biography reads like a story bringing this 1970s iconic figure to life for all students who may not know reggae music. Students also learn about the history of Jamaica, Rastafari, and other famous Jamaicans. The images include a lot of personal family photos that really add to the book.
Reader’s comment
This book is very well illustrated and describes Bob Marley's biography using easy vocabulary. In addition, this book gives us some information about the history of Jamaica. It is essential knowledge to understand about the background of the society and culture, especially when you don't know about other's history. Also, the self-study activities were very helpful to clarify what I've understood of this book.

Adolescents & Adults: Upper Intermediate & Advanced

A Dangerous Sky
By Michael Austen
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (Cambridge English Readers)
ISBN: 978-1-107-69405-7

Judges’ comment
Francesca, a young Swiss woman comes to England to pursue her dream of learning to fly a plane. Problems with her flying instructor cause her to lose her confidence and question his real motives. The language feels very natural and ‘ungraded’, and the story touches on many interesting modern themes.
Reader’s comment
I thought this book was extremely well written, with lots of attention to detail. We can empathize with the main character in the first chapter, ‘Now that the moment had arrived, she suddenly wondered if it was what she really wanted.’ While the content might make readers feel rather uncomfortable, I think that the sexual harassment and stalking the main character experiences are important subjects, and I commend Cambridge for publishing this book. I also like that the main character has doubts about whether she has really experienced sexual harassment, as I think this same question must go through the minds of many victims. There were so many other well-depicted scenes, such as the description of her first take off and solo flight. I do believe this is one of the most well-written graded readers I have come across at this level.

Call for papers: Special Issue of Reading in a Foreign Language (October 2015)

Connections between Second Language Reading and Writing

Guest editors: Betsy Gilliland and Jeongyeon (Jay) Park, Department of Second Language Studies, University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Sumission Deadline: February 1, 2015

Common knowledge holds that reading leads to improved writing, but we know relatively little about how it works or why some reading more directly influences some forms of writing. Since the 1990s, interest in linking the two second language literacy skills has increased with the help of meaningful perspectives put forward by L2 researchers (e.g., Belcher & Hirvela, 2001; Carson & Leki, 1993). Nevertheless, while there is extensive research on second language reading, and nearly as much research on second language writing, far less has been studied about the ways the two skills are related. More research is required to add depth to the synergistic relationship between the two (Hirvela, 2004).
This special issue of Reading in a Foreign Language endeavors to deepen the knowledge base of the linkages between L2 reading and writing for the benefit of both L2 reading AND L2 writing research and pedagogy. We are interested in papers that report on research studies of second language learners and speakers at all age and language levels. Studies of reading-writing connections in languages other than English are of particular interest.

Some questions papers might address:
How can teachers effectively integrate reading and writing instruction in L2 language classes?
How do expert L2 writers explain their experiences with reading? In what ways do they see their L1 and L2 reading experiences as being influential on their L2 writing?
What types of reading texts are most appropriate in composition classes? Do students perceive benefits of reading genres unrelated to the text types they are learning to write?
In what ways does intensive or extensive reading in an L2 classroom influence students’ L2 writing ability?
In what ways are L1 reading and writing proficiency reflected in learners’ L2 reading and writing proficiency? Are stronger L1 readers better L2 writers?
What (if any) relationships exist between L2 reading proficiency and L2 writers’ uses of source texts in writing? Are stronger L2 readers less likely to plagiarize or otherwise commit errors related to textual borrowing?
What features distinguish various reading-to-write processes in second language learning, such as summarizing, analyzing, or synthesizing?
Can writing-to-learn positively impact L2 learners’ reading proficiency? Their motivation/attitude about reading?
How can L2 teachers effectively integrate multiple literacies and new literacies into classroom instruction?
How do digital literacies change the way second language reading and writing are learned?

Belcher, D. D., & Hirvela, A. (Eds.). (2001). Linking literacies: Perspectives on L2 reading-writing connections. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
Carson, J., & Leki, I. (1993). Reading in the composition classroom: Second language perspectives. Heinle and Heinle.
Hirvela, A. (2004). Connecting reading & writing in second language writing instruction. University of Michigan Press.

Language Learning and Technology

We would like to invite you to check out RFL's sister journal, Language Learning & Technology, which seeks to disseminate research to foreign and second language educators in the US and around the world on issues related to technology and language education. LLT is currently published three times per year (January, May, September). LLT is available free of charge to all readers and subscribers. Both RFL and LLT are sponsored by the NFLRC at the University of Hawai‘i.

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