Professor John Edwards – Recipient of the Robert Gardner Award

At ICLASP13: 2012 Professor John Edwards received the Robert Gardner Award.  Below is John’s acceptance of this award. For those who do not know, this biennial award recognises the pioneer work and outstanding contribution of Robert C. Gardner, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Western Ontario and Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association. Robert Gardner’s work on the social psychology of second language acquisition and communication is seminal in establishing the field of language and social psychology.

The award is intended for individuals who have a record of sustained, outstanding, and currently active research on topics related to second/foreign language acquisition, or on related issues such as ethnic relations, intergroup communication and acculturation, ethnic stereotypes and bilingualism. Competition is open to researchers working in any of these fields. Successful candidates should have obtained their doctorate and achieved a very superior level of accomplishment in their research endeavours for their career level. Awardees are invited to participate in an Awards Plenary Session at the following International Conference on Language and Social Psychology. Awardees are also given a small monetary prize to offset the price of attending the conference and the conference fee is waived for the following ICLASP conference.

Nominating letters must include evidence of candidate’s longstanding scholarly contribution in the area of second/foreign language acquisition or on related issues such as ethnic relations, intergroup communication and acculturation, ethnic stereotypes and bilingualism.

Previous Award Recipients:

  • 2000 – Kim A. Noels, University of Alberta, Edmonton
  • 2002 – Richard Clément, University of Ottawa
  • 2004 – Peter MacIntyre, Cape Breton University
  • 2008 – Richard Bourhis, University of Quebec, Montreal
  • 2010 – Itesh Sachdev, University of London

John’s Acceptance letter

I was delighted to be given the Robert Gardner award for 2012 – for both obvious and not-so-obvious reasons.  Of course it is always gratifying to have one’s work recognised by one’s closest colleagues, to have a tangible endorsement of many years of scholarly activity.  Less obviously, receiving the award evoked a great many pleasant memories and thoughts.  While I was an undergraduate at the University of Western Ontario, I never knew – nor had a course from – Bob Gardner.  As a postgrad at McGill, however, I soon became aware of the London-Montréal axis, an emerging network of language scholars that involved Bob, Wally Lambert, Don Taylor, John Macnamara, Fred Genesee, Josiane Hamers, and – as a visitor in 1970 or 1971 – Howard Giles.  Folded a bit later into this exciting academic mix were Richard Bourhis, Richard Clément and others.  The network crossed the Atlantic, and has since expanded much further, of course.   I don’t think it is inaccurate to see it as a growing family, one in which Bob Gardner was a member of the first generation – and one in which the award given to me in his name reflects my own membership in a very satisfying way.

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