Past winners - Action Research


The winner of the 2017 award was Keren Stead Bomfim, the University of Sydney, for her research project entitled 'How can teaching phonological awareness impact on students’ listening (& note-taking) skills? '

 Action Research Award winner Keren Stead Bomfim

Keren Stead Bomfim, The University of Sydney, Joanna Raskin, Cambridge Assessment English and English Australia Chair Marc Weedon-Newstead


The 2017 Highly-commended award was presented to Melissa Oldroyd & An Sneyers, Monash College, for their research project entitled 'Using Active Listening Skills to improve listening comprehension in expository discussion.'

 Highly Commended Award winners Melissa Oldroyd and An Sneyers, Monash University English Language Centre

An Sneyers and Melissa Oldroyd, Monash University English Language Cente, Joanna Raskin, Cambridge Assessment English and English Australia Chair Marc Weedon-Newstead



The 2016 Award was presented to Sascha Mitchell from QUT College, Queensland for her paper 'Applying learning-oriented assessment principles to a corpus-based and other online tools approach to vocabulary study.'

The judges felt that Sascha’s research report demonstrated a clear research rationale and clearly connected research questions. Her data collection was diverse and well thought-out and was presented in an excellent manner. They also felt that Sascha demonstrated a high level of critical and insightful reflection on the impact of her research on student outcomes.

Award winner Sascha Mitchell receives her Award from Cambridge English Language Assessment Chief Executive Saul Nasse (L) and English Australia Chair Marc Weedon-Newstead (R)


Highly commended

Vishvani Campbell & Catherine Thorpe, Monash University English Language Centre, VIC, on 'Using technology to develop learning-oriented assessment and autonomy in students.'

Vishvani and Catherine’s research focused on students making a video collaboratively. The judges felt their research had a sound rationale and extremely thorough findings, with a refined presentation of their outcomes, showing a clear understanding of action research.

Vishvani and Catherine accepting their highly commended awards from Cambridge English Language Assessment Chief Executive Saul Nasse (L) and English Australia Chair Marc Weedon-Newstead



The 2015 Award was presented to Elizabeth Furst and Sally Crane from the University of Tasmania, for their paper on Development of research skills and research capability amongst EAP students

Of the seven reports submitted towards the Award for Action Research, the judges were unanimous in their decision to select Elizabeth Furst and Sally Crane as the winners for 2015.

The judges felt that Elizabeth and Sally’s paper on “Development of research skills and research capability amongst EAP students” was comprehensive, thorough and well-grounded in literature. In the process of their research Sally and Elizabeth have developed resources that would benefit their students and their organization. The research has encouraged them to work with staff from other departments and drawn other teachers into learning more and participating in their research project.


(L-R) Fiona Barker (Cambridge English Language Assessment), winners Sally Crane and Elizabeth Furst and Marc Weedon-Newstead (English Australia Chair)

Highly commended

Bianka Malecka and James Heath, UNSW Institute of Languages, NSW, on “Exploring the effects of e-portfolios on students’ writing skills” 

The judges highly commended Bianka Malecka and James Heath for their paper “Exploring the effects of e-portfolios on students’ writing skills”.  The judges agreed that this was a thoroughly researched project and through working on their action research Bianka and James have improved student outcomes and student engagement at their centre. Students involved in the project are now more engaged in writing and editing not only their own work but also learning from their peers. Bianka and James’ work on this project has led them to investigate this topic further.


 (L-R) Fiona Barker (Cambridge English Language Assessment), James Heath and Bianka Malecka and Marc Weedon-Newstead (English Australia Chair)


The 2014 Award was presented to Caroline Keogh and John Smith from Griffith Engilsh Language Institute for their project incorporating student reading habits into a classroom-supported extensive reading program.

The judges commented on the usefulness of the project along with its logical structure and clear reporting. 

2014 Action Research Award

(L-R) Marc Weedon-Newstead (English Australia Chair), Dr Gad Lim (Cambridge English), Caroline Keogh, John Smith, Professor Anne Burns (UNSW).


Highly commended

Jade Sleeman and Kerry Ryan from La Trobe Melbourne were highly commended for the 2014 Award for their project exploring the use of Facebook to develop critical reading skills.

2014 Action Research Award runners up

Jade Sleeman and Kerry Ryan with Marc Weedon-Newstead, Gad Lim and Anne Burns.


Jessica Cobley and Becky Steven from UWA Centre for English Language Teaching were the recipients of the 2013 Award for their project 'Using 2.0 technologies to enhance speaking fluency'.

The judges thought this was a clearly articulated process through the action research cycle. They commented on the comprehensive, insightful reflections on an area with broad relevance at the individual, classroom, institutional and sectoral levels. 

Jessica Cobley (left) and Becky Steven (right) receive their award from Hanan Khalifa from Cambridge English Language Assessment


After three years of being involved in a difficult judging process, Cambridge English provided funding for recognition for a second project.

Highly commended:

Tim Dodd and Selena Kusaka from La Trobe University, Melbourne, demonstrated a methodical and well-planned development of their research, with clear opportunities for application across the broader ELICOS sector. To quote Tim and Selena, it was a 'simple, effective and inexpensive' solution to a common challenge.

 Runners-up Selena Kusaka (centre) and Tim Dodd with Hanan Khalifa from Cambridge English 



The 2012 Award was presented to Damien Herlihy and Zeke Pottage from Swinburne College in Melbourne for their project on using the Web 2.0 tool VoiceThread for formative assessment of their students' pronunciation. Damien and Zeke set up a range of tasks on VoiceThread that the students could engage in or respond to using the technology to record their voices, and the pair later provided feedback on these. Damien and Zeke are both enthusiastic users of technology for teaching and both hope to further develop their knowledge and skills in this area.


2012 Action Research in ELICOS Award winners

Damien Herilhy (C) and Zeke Pottage (R) with Dr Hanan Khalifa from Cambridge English Language Assessment



Brendan Brown was the winner of the 2011 Award. Brendan explored how to raise awareness of aspects of pronunciation with his students at Milner International College of English in Perth, and examined ways of helping them work on their individual pronunciation challenges. Brendan also developed resources for use by teachers at the college. Brendan came to the program with ten year's teaching experience and is hoping to continue to develop his interest in teaching pronunciation.



The winner of the inaugural award was Laura McCrossan, a teacher at Milner International College, Perth for her project investigating how giving high-level students more responsibility for their learning impacts on their motivation. Laura has been teaching for around five years in Japan and Australia and teaches on different programs at Milner. She has a keen interest in all aspects of motivation.