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November 19, 2010

Made-in-Japan book awarded English-Speaking Union prize

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Marcos Benevides, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Adam Gray, Alastair Graham-Marr


As reported previously on this site, Whodunit: Fiction in Action has been named a joint winner of the 2010 HRH the Duke of Edinburgh English-Speaking Union Book Award. On November 9th, authors Adam Gray and Marcos Benevides , along with ABAX representatives Hugh and Alastair Graham-Marr attended the awards ceremony at the Theatre in Buckingham Palace where they were presented with certificates and trophy by HRH, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Whodunit, a 12-unit task-based reading text consisting of two six-chapter stories, is the first book out of Asia to take this prize. The book was conceived by the authors when they were working together at Kansai Gaidai University and published by local publishing house, ABAX. Kate McCulloch, Education Programmes Coordinator at the English-Speaking Union, says “I’ve spoken to our archivist and she assures me (Whodunit) is the first Asia-published winner.”

The ESU award is one of the most prestigious awards in the ELT industry. It has been awarded each year since 1971 to the ELT book that the judges feel has contributed most to the understanding of the English language. Past winners have included the Oxford Student’s Dictionary and The Practice of English Language Teaching by Jeremy Harmer.

The ESU judges said of Whodunit that it was a “novel and imaginative approach to learning, a breath of fresh air in terms of approach… The learning techniques are both ingenious and consistent with the genre of crime mysteries… Overall, the judges considered this entry to be the most imaginative and a refreshingly contemporary approach to delivering a sound learning experience through text.”

Whodunit is not just available in the traditional print and bound version. As well as being the first book to come out of Asia ELT to win this award, Whodunit also established a first of sorts when on January 21st, 2010 it was released under a creative commons license as the world’s first free-to-share, commercial ELT text.

Reported by: Russell Willis

See Also:
• ABAX website
• ELTNEWS.com Facebook Photos
• The English-Speaking Union
• Buy Fiction in Action: Whodunit at ELTBOOKS.com

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