Chartered Institute
of Linguists

David Crystal Award

Special Award for outstanding contribution to the field of languages

Professor David Crystal HonFCIL, a vice-president of CIOL (pictured on the right), is known throughout the world as a linguist, academic, author and broadcaster on languages. He donated an award to CIOL which is given annually in his name.

The winner of the award is an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of languages throughout their life and career. They may not be a linguist themselves, but languages will have been a constant within their work and life and they will have used their knowledge to help or inspire others.

Please note winners are selected by the CIOL Awards Committee, and there is no public nomination process for this for this award.

Previous winners

2021-22 winner: Rt Rev Bishop Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds

Bishop Nick Baines was chosen for the award as he is an outstanding champion for the importance of languages and cultures and for his willingness to speak out for languages at national level both in the media and in the House of Lords. A graduate in French and German with excellent Russian, Nick worked at GCHQ before becoming a priest.

2020 winner: Bridget Kendall MBE

Bridget Kendall MBE was chosen for the award for the contribution she has made to international understanding as a direct result of the application of language skills, particularly during her work as BBC Moscow correspondent during the period leading up to and following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In addition, she is actively engaged in events to promote language learning  and the opportunities afforded.

CIOL CEO John Worne interviewed Bridget – you can view the video here.

2019 winner: Renée Van Hoof-Haferkamp, receiving the award from HRH Prince Michael of Kent, CIOL Royal Patron

As founder of the Interpreting Service of the European Commission in the early 1950s, from the ECSC leading to the present day European Union, Renée Van Hoof-Haferkamp has had a huge impact on the profession of conference interpreting and the reputation of the profession. Read more here (page 14).

Previous David Crystal Award winners

Special Award for fostering the study of languages

Several years ago, IoL Educational Trust was receiving a continually strong set of nominations year after year. In recognition of this, it was decided that an additional trophy should be presented and this was kindly donated by Professor David Crystal, a Vice-President of the Institute. In 2016 the trophy was relaunched to recognise a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of languages throughout their life and career.

Current holder and past winners

2021-22: Rev Nick Baines
2020: Bridget Kendall MBE
2019: Renée Van Hoof-Haferkamp
2018: Frank Gardner OBE
2017: Susie Dent
2016: Dr Lid King
2015: (not awarded)
2014: Shpresa Programme/Luljeti Nuzi
2013: Rosie Goldsmith, Journalist & Chair, European Literature Night
2012: Svetlana Carsten
2011: Prof Dr Erik Hertog
2010: Paul Hughes