Friday 26 June 2015


The 2015 British Council Award for English Language Writing has been given to Philip Kerr for TRANSLATION AND OWN-LANGUAGE ACTIVITIES (Cambridge University Press). The prize of £2,000 was presented by Sarah Waters at the Society of Authors’ Authors’ Awards, on 25 June.

The judges this year were Marion Cooper, Hitomi Masuhara and Hilary Parnall. They also commended runner-up Patsy M. Lightbown for FOCUS ON CONTENT-BASED LANGUAGE TEACHING (Oxford University Press). 

Anna Searle, Director of English Language at the British Council, said: "The British Council English Language Teaching Award was introduced to celebrate authors who turn their talents to educational writing - specifically writing which benefits more widespread and better quality teaching and learning of English worldwide. Philip Kerr is a worthy winner of this year’s award and I am certain that his fantastic writing will help even more teachers to access, and most importantly provide their students with, quality, forward-thinking English language teaching.

"With one in seven of the world's population estimated to be learning English, it truly is a global language and one whose demand continues to grow. It is important that writing like this continues to tackle real and current issues faced by English language teachers across the globe and provide learners with the valuable language skills to access opportunities in education and employment worldwide."


Philip Kerr TRANSLATION AND OWN-LANGUAGE ACTIVITIES (Cambridge University Press)

Philip Kerr is a lecturer, teacher trainer and educational materials writer for English language learners and the author of six books. He received HRH The Duke of Edinburgh English Language Book Award (English Speaking Union) Best Entry for Teachers in 2014. Born in London, he has lived and worked in a number of countries in Europe and North Africa and is now based in Vienna. One of his current interests is the way that digital technology is impacting on both education and educational publishing.

What the judges said:

An excellent handbook for practising teachers who have long struggled with the ‘rights and wrongs’ of using the mother tongue in the classroom. Marion Cooper

A new approach to using translation in language teaching, providing a balance between theory and practice. Hilary Parnall


(Oxford University Press)

Patsy M. Lightbown is Professor Emeritus at Concordia University, Montreal, USA, and currently lives in Canada. She is the author and co-author of seven books, co-editor of the Oxford Key Concepts for the Language Classroom and has contributed material to many others.

Highly engaging, the book stimulates the reader to find out more—an essential resource for professional development courses. Marion Cooper

Notes to Editor


The British Council Award for ELT Writing has been awarded annually since 2012 and recognises an outstanding contribution to English Language Teaching Writing.

For further information please contact Paula Johnson on / 020 7373 6642.


About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

We work in more than 100 countries and our 8,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publicly-funded grant provides 20 per cent of our turnover which last year was £864 million. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, such as English classes and taking UK examinations, and also through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally. 

For more information, please visit: You can also keep in touch with the British Council through