Prestigious awards for ACAL researchers

Congratulations to Australian Catholic University early career researchers Dr Danielle Colenbrander and Dr Signy Wegener who have won prestigious awards for their work in the field of literacy.

Dr Colenbrander and Dr Wegener, both researchers at ACU’s new Australian Centre for the Advancement of Literacy (ACAL), received their awards at the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading (SSSR) conference in Port Douglas.

Dr Colenbrander’s innovative research comparing the effectiveness of three instructional models to teach children how to read irregular words earned her the SSSR 2023 Early Career Outstanding Paper Award.

“This study was the first to systematically compare three different methods of irregular word reading instruction, and I’m very happy that this work has been recognised by the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading,” Dr Colenbrander, who also paid tribute to her co-authors, said.

Dr Wegener, who was awarded the SSSR Rebecca L. Sandak Young Investigator Award for a body of work including research exploring how children learn to read and spell words, said she was delighted and humbled to have her work recognised by the peak international body for reading researchers.

“I love being a reading researcher and, with my recent appointment as a lecturer at ACU, I’m looking forward to having further opportunities to generate new knowledge about how children learn to read and spell, and to translating that knowledge into effective teaching practices,” she said.

ACAL Director Professor Rauno Parrila congratulated Dr Colenbrander and Dr Wegener on their achievements.

“These award winners exemplify the dynamic and high-quality researchers and teacher educators we have attracted to the Australian Centre for the Advancement of Literacy,” he said.

“We are building an exciting team of early career and established researchers who are united in the common aim of improving literacy outcomes among all Australians.”

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