The Learner International Award for Excellence

The Learner Journal Collection offers an annual award for newly published research or thinking that has been recognized to be outstanding by members of The Learner Research Network.

Award Winners for Volume 27

Mass Culture, Language Variation, and Critical Literacy: Design, Development, and Evaluation of a Teaching Intervention

Recent studies indicate that language teaching can utilize mass culture texts to help students detect implicit cultural values and social meanings. The present study assesses a teaching intervention involving the critical interpretation of TV texts as a form of mass culture. The design, implementation and evaluation of teaching material aims to raise the students’ critical literacy by revealing hidden and normalized language ideologies in the representation of language varieties in such texts. Enhancing the students’ critical literacy is among the main goals of the multiliteracies model, on which the whole intervention procedure is based. The study was conducted in a Greek public primary school class of the 6th grade for approximately three months. The findings of the teaching intervention reveal the difficulties involved in the denaturalization of the dominant language ideologies through a brief program of critical literacy, especially when conducted in a school environment that either implicitly or explicitly reinforces language homogeneity.


Dr. Anna Fterniati is a Professor in the Department of Education Sciences and Social Work, of the University of Patras in Greece. She has participated in various research projects and has published papers and books in the field of language education and specifically in the field e of literacy pedagogy and written discourse instruction, as well as in the field of multiliteracies. She also has experience and publications in curriculum design, development and assessment. She has served as a member of the board of designers of the National Curriculum for Language Arts in the Greek primary School and was a member of the board of editors of the teacher manuals and student textbooks for Language Arts for elementary education. She has also long experience in initial and continuing in-service teacher training.

Argiris Archakis is Professor of Discourse Analysis and Sociolinguistics in the Department of Philology at the University of Patras in Greece, where he has been working since 1997. He has carried out research and published extensively on the analysis of various discourse genres, such as migrant narratives, youth conversational narratives, and media discourse. He is the principal investigator of the research project TRACE (“Tracing Racism in Ant-Rasist Discourse: A critical approach to European public speech on the migrant and refugee crisis” HFRI-FM17-42, 2019-2022, https://trace2019.wixsite.com/trace-project). He has co-authored The Narrative Construction of Identities in Critical Education (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) and recently authored the book From National to Post-National Discourse: Migrants’ Identities and Critical Education (Patakis 2020, in Greek).

Vasia Tsami is teaching Sociolinguistics in the Department of Early Childhood Education of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece. She also works as a postdoctoral researcher for the project “TRACE: Tracing Racism to Anti-RaCist DiscoursE: A critical approach to European public speech on the migrant and refugee crisis.” (TRACE/HFRI-FM17-42, H.F.R.I. 2019-2022) of the University of Patras. Her main research interests include the analysis of (liquid) racism against minority populations (migrants/refugees, dialect speakers), the analysis of humorous discourse, the analysis of TV and advertising discourse, as well as educational applications in the framework of critical literacy.

Past Award Winners

Volume 26

“Language Is Freedom”: A Multimodal Literacy Intervention Empowering the Muslim Minority in Greece

Thalia Dragonas, Chara Dafermou, Maria Zografaki, Irini Asimakopoulou, Anastasia Dimitriou, Olga Katsiani, and Victoria Lagopoulou, The International Journal of Learning: Annual Review, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp.1–15


Volume 25

Professional Learning: A Continuum Reimagined

Fiona J. Peterson, Cathy Lockhart, Kerin Elsum, Bronwyn Clarke, and Catherine Raffaele, The International Journal of Learning: Annual Review, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp.39–55


Volume 24

A Revision of Activity Theory to Foster Communicative Twenty-first-century Skills

Soraya García-Sánchez and Nicholas C. Burbules, The International Journal of Assessment and Evaluation, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp.13–28


Volume 23

Renewing Assessment Practices: Literacy Teaching and Learning in Digital Environments

Cloonan, Anne, Kirsten Hutchison, and Louise Paatsch, The International Journal of Assessment and Evaluation, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp.13–28


Volume 22

The Power of Pedagogy: When All Else Fails

Deslea Konza and Susan Main, The International Journal of Learning: Annual Review, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp.9–29


Volume 21

Virtual Supervision of Teacher Candidates: A Case Study

Barbara Schwartz-Bechet, The International Journal of Learning: Annual Review, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp.1–12


Volume 20

Digital Texts, iPads, and Families: An Examination of Families' Shared Reading Behaviours

Katrina McNab and Ruth Fielding-Barnsley, The International Journal of Learning: Annual Review, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp.53–62


Volume 19

Teacher Understandings of Orientation and Transition Programs from Action Research in Five Schools

Tess Boyle and Susan Grieshaber, The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp.15–27


Volume 18

Shared Decision-Making in School Governance: A Case Study of Two Soweto Secondary Schools

Patrick Mafora, The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp.97–108


Volume 17

Improving the Practice of Giving Feedback on ESL Learners‘ Written Compositions

Bernard Ouma Mikume and Samuel Ouma Oyoo, The International Journal of Learning, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp.337–354


Volume 16

Futuristic Schools: “Little Red Dot” Strategies in a Globalised Economy

Siew Kheng Catherine Chua, The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 8, pp.393–404


Volume 15

“What are Nice Guys Like them doing in a Place Like that?”: Education Journeys from Australian Indigenous Students in Custody

Vicki Adele Pascoe and Kylie Radel, The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp.301–310