In 2020, I was invited to join the expert panel for the A.S. Hornby Trust Dictionary Research Awards (ASHDRA). It’s the first time I’ve taken on a formal voluntary role in ELT and it’s proved to be one of the most interesting and satifying things I’ve been involved in.
The Hornby Trust is an educational trust that supports English Language Teaching around the world via various scholarships, projects and workshops. It was recognized in 2021 with an ELTon Outstanding Achievement Award for its work. The trust was established by A.S. Hornby who was the originator of the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, so it’s not surprising that one strand of its work has a focus on dictionaries in ELT.
The ASHDRA awards fund research projects within the area of dictionaries (and other lexicographic resources) in the context of ELT. The research projects range across topics including exploring how learners use dictionaries, dictionary training for students and teachers, and the creation of new lexicographic resources focused on specific ELT contexts. As with many Hornby projects, we aim to fund projects that might not find support elsewhere and especially those working in under-resourced contexts. You can read more about the awards here.
The ASHDRA Panel
I’ve had the pleasure of working together with my fellow panel members – Michael Rundell, Sue Maingay, Hilary Nesi and Richard Smith – to manage the awards. We meet regularly to put together and then publicize the call for proposals, to review and discuss the proposals that are submitted, and then to choose which projects to support. I’ve also been involved with helping awardees to present their research at the Euralex conference and to prepare research reports for publication on the Hornby website. I’ve written a bit more about my recent work here.