Alatis Prize


TIRF’s mission statement says that the Foundation will “influence the formation and implementation of appropriate language education policies, recognizing the importance of indigenous languages and cultures worldwide, and of English as an international language.” Given the particular interest Jim Alatis had in language policy and planning, and remembering Jim’s many contributions to the Foundation since its inception, in 2015 our Board of Trustees established the TIRF James E. Alatis Prize for Research on Language Policy and Planning in Educational Contexts.

A prize of $500 will be awarded for an article or chapter published in English and dealing with some aspect of language policy or planning in educational contexts. Submissions may be articles published in scholarly peer-reviewed journals or peer-reviewed chapters in edited books.

2017 Alatis Prize Awardee Announced

We are pleased to announce that the 2017 Alatis Prize was awarded to Dr. Katherine Mortimer, Assistant Professor, University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), for her article entitled, “Producing Change and Stability: A Scalar Analysis of Paraguayan Bilingual Education Policy Implementation” (Linguistics and Education, Volume 34). You can read the full announcement by clicking here.

Further information about the 2017 Alatis Prize competition is located below. We expect to open the next Alatis Prize competition in late spring or early summertime 2017. Announcements of the 2018 Alatis Prize competition will be included here, as well as in our newsletter (click here to signup).

2017 Prize

For the 2017 prize, we invite nominations of outstanding articles or chapters that were published during calendar years of 2015 or 2016. TIRF will only consider publications nominated by someone other than the author(s) of the published work. Nomination procedures are given below.

Submissions will be reviewed based upon the quality of the work and its potential impact on the field of language policy and planning in educational contexts. The research may be country- and language-specific or country- and language-general. Reviewers will consider the degree of sophistication and/or innovation of the methodology used as well as the paper’s implications for policy formation and/or change. Each study will be assessed for the salience of the research question(s) asked, the appropriateness and rigor of the research methods used, and the significance of the paper’s contribution to knowledge within the field of language policy or planning in educational contexts. Studies using any appropriate analyses – quantitative, statistical procedures for data gathering and data analyses, qualitative/descriptive research approaches, or mixed approaches – will be considered.

Nominations should be submitted not later than September 30, 2016 electronically through TIRF’s website at

To download this information (the 2017 TIRF Alatis Prize call for nominations) as a PDF, please click here.

Important Dates

  • June 1, 2016: Call for nominations is released
  • September 30, 2016: Nomination deadline
  • October 1, 2016 – December 1, 2016: Adjudication
  • December 22, 2016: Awardee notified
  • TBD: Awardee will be recognized during 2017 TESOL Convention

Nomination Procedures

  • Nominators must include a cover page as a PDF document that provides:
    • Nominator’s name, title, affiliation, contact information
    • Name(s) and title(s) of the author(s), affiliation(s), and contact information
    • A one- to two-paragraph statement regarding why the article/chapter deserves to receive the Alatis Prize (maximum 200 words)
    • Complete APA citation of the article/chapter
  • Submit a PDF of the complete published article/chapter
  • All files uploaded to TIRF’s website must be submitted as PDFs.
  • Nominations will be submitted electronically via TIRF’s website . If possible, only one file should be uploaded. No more than two files may be uploaded per nomination – one cover page and one article or chapter.
    • When uploading a file, be sure to select “TIRF James E. Alatis Prize” from the “Submission Type” drop-down menu.
  • Acknowledgement of the receipt of a nomination will be sent to the email address of the nominator within five businesses days after the file is uploaded.
  • Late submissions will not be accepted.
  • In the case of co-authored papers, the $500 prize will be sent to the lead author with the expectation of the monies being shared with the co-author(s).
  • The deadline for nominations is 11:59pm Pacific Time on September 30, 2016.
  • Write to with any questions.

Past Recipients

During TIRF’s talk at the 2016 TESOL Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, we announced our first ever Alatis Prize recipient. Click here for further details.

Supporting the Alatis Prize

We are seeking financial support to sponsor the Alatis Prize for many generations to come. If your life has been impacted by Jim’s career, we would like to encourage you to donate to the Alatis Prize fund in honor of Jim.

To help sponsor the Alatis Prize, please visit our Donor page: