This year marks the 21st consecutive year TIRF has offered its Doctoral Dissertation Grants (DDGs) to doctoral candidates around the world. With the support of our partners – Cambridge University Press & Assessment, the British Council, and Educational Testing Service, Inc. – along with many individual donors – TIRF has recently completed the process of awarding a total of US $40,000. The funds were distributed among 13 grantees, who are from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, China, Iran, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and the USA.

Including this year’s grantees, TIRF has now awarded just under US $500,000 via its DDG program to 183 individuals from nearly 30 countries. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the donors who have supported our grant-making efforts to help deserving junior scholars. In particular, we want to acknowledge those individuals who have contributed to TIRF’s Russell N. Campbell fund, which is awarded to the highest-rated DDG applicant each year.

We are very pleased to announce the 2022 class of TIRF DDG recipients. Below you will find brief bio statements for each of this year’s grantees, as well as information about their research and the particular TIRF Research Topic(s) each study addresses. Please use the links provided to learn more about our grantees and their outstanding doctoral work!

2022 DDG Awardees

Name & Bio: Eldin Milak is a doctoral candidate at Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea. His dissertation develops the concept of ‘trans-scription’ to explore the practices and policies surrounding script usage in the semiotic landscapes of Seoul, South Korea. By isolating script as a semiotic resource with linguistic potential, he seeks to challenge the widespread isomorphic account which, in conflating script and language, obscures the many independent functions scripts assume in the production of spaces, communities, and identities.
TIRF Research Topic Investigated: Language Planning and Policy
Project Title: Trans-scription, Localization, Neoliberalization: Script Practices and Policies in the Semiotic Landscapes of South Korea
Name & Bio: Elise Brittain is a Ph.D. candidate of Culture, Literacy, and Language at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She has over a decade of teaching experience in U.S. intensive English programs, an international elementary school in Uzbekistan, and universities in Uzbekistan. Her dissertation focuses on the connections among policy, language teacher identity, and ideology in EFL teacher education in Uzbekistan.
TIRF Research Topic Investigated: Language Planning and Policy
Project Title: Language Teacher Identity, Policy, and Ideology in Uzbekistan: Teacher Training as Nexus of Practice
Name & Bio: Emma Chen is a doctoral candidate at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. She is an immigrant mother to two young children who are multilingual speakers of Mandarin Chinese, English, and French. Her research is theoretically grounded in transnationalism, translanguaging, and parent knowledge. Engaging in narrative inquiry methodology, her doctoral study focuses on transnational parent knowledge in heritage language education in home and community settings, and strives to bring multilingual families’ language practices to the center of language teaching and learning. 
TIRF Research Topic Investigated: Plurilingualism in Business, Industry, the Professions, and Educational Contexts
Project Title: A Narrative Inquiry into Immigrant Parent Knowledge in Heritage Language Education
Name & Bio: Eunhae Cho is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Applied Linguistics at Pennsylvania State University. Through Vygotskian narrative case studies, her dissertation research aims to study how the combination of familial values, rural/urban differences, and the meaning of English shape provincial students’ perceptions of transitions and opportunities for college education.
TIRF Research Topic Investigated: Plurilingualism in Business, Industry, the Professions, and Educational Contexts
Project Title: From the Provinces to the Capital: Geographic and Sociocultural Transitions for Korean Learners of English
Name & Bio: Lanting Wang is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Education at the University of Queensland, Australia. Her research focuses on language policy, the sociology of language, and language economics. Her Ph.D. project uses a qualitative approach to investigate the economic value of Chinese as a heritage language in the immigrant society of Australia.
TIRF Research Topics Investigated: (1) Language Planning and Policy; (2) Plurilingualism in Business, Industry, the Professions, and Educational Contexts
Project Title: The Economics of Chinese as a Heritage Language in Australia: A Qualitative Case Study
Name & Bio: Maria Kostromitina is a Ph.D. candidate in Applied Linguistics at Northern Arizona University. Maria’s research lies at the intersection of second language pragmatics and prosody. Her dissertation examines the effectiveness of a web-based platform created to help English learners develop their interaction skills and the role of individual differences, such as working memory and auditory processing ability, in instructional success.
TIRF Research Topic Investigated: Digital Technology in Language Education   
Project Title: The Effect of Web-based Pragma-Prosodic Instruction and Aptitude on Learner Pragmatic Development
Name & Bio: Martha G. Sandstead is a Ph.D. candidate in Education at Oregon State University. Using qualitative methodologies and discourse analysis, her research focuses on teacher language ideologies, co-teaching practices for plurilingual students, and voice in plurilingual student writing.
TIRF Research Topic Investigated: Teaching English to Young Learners
Project Title: Creating the Conditions for Voice for Multilingual Students in Elementary Classrooms
Name & Bio: Masaki Eguchi is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Linguistics at the University of Oregon. His doctoral research focuses on developing and validating an automatic tool to analyze authorial stances in academic English writing. His research also looks at how authorial stances relate to the assessment of essay qualities in a large-scale English proficiency test.
TIRF Research Topics Investigated: (1) Language Assessment; (2) English as a Medium of Instruction; (3) Content-Based Instruction
Project Title: Automatic Assessment of Stance-Taking in English Academic Writing: A Systemic Functional Perspective
Name & Bio: Megan Heise (TIRF’s 2022 Russell N. Campbell Awardee) is a Ph.D. candidate in Composition and Applied Linguistics at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation investigates whether and how resettled refugee teen English language learners experience benefits, challenges, and impacts of a transmodal zine workshop, with the ultimate goal of centering learners’ wants, needs, and strengths in pedagogy, policy, and practice.
TIRF Research Topic Investigated: Migrants and Refugees: Teaching and Assessing English
Project Title: Transmodal Zine-Making with Resettled Refugee Youth
Name & Bio: Michael Koslowski is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Toronto with a specialty in languages and literacies education. His work focuses on the fruitful combination of immersion and plurilingual approaches to language learning, breaking down a mono vs. multi divide. His dissertation explores these topics through the diverse perspectives of post-secondary English language teachers in Canada and Japan.
TIRF Research Topics Investigated: (1) Language Planning and Policy; (2) Plurilingualism in Business, Industry, the Professions, and Educational Contexts
Project Title: Deconstructing the Binary: Exploring the Benefits and Challenges of Immersion and Plurilingual Pedagogy in Japanese and Canadian Universities
Name & Bio: Reza Neiriznaghadehi is a Ph.D. student in Applied Linguistics and Technology Program at Iowa State University. His research focuses on the use of technology in language assessment and learning. His dissertation investigates the development of an automated speaking test that automatically elicits and evaluates oral communication based on the current understanding of this ability in the field of language assessment.
TIRF Research Topic Investigated: Language Assessment
Project Title: Automated Scoring of Oral Communication with a Focus on Interactional Competence in Oral Communication Tasks with a Spoken Dialogue System
Name & Bio: Woongsik Choi is a Ph.D. candidate and graduate instructor in the Literacy and Language Education program at Purdue University. He received his M.Ed. in English language education from Pusan National University. Prior to Purdue, he was a high school English teacher in South Korea. His current research interests include translanguaging pedagogy, multilingualism, and teacher preparation in K-12 TESOL and bilingual education.
TIRF Research Topic Investigated: Migrants and Refugees: Teaching and Assessing English
Project Title: A Case Study of Translanguaging Classroom Practices and Secondary Multilingual Learners in Indiana
Name & Bio: Yuchan (Blanche) Gao is a doctoral candidate in the Learning, Literacies, & Technologies Ph.D. program in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. Her transdisciplinary work lies at the intersection of second language acquisition and pedagogies, learning technologies (with a digital games focus), and instructional design.
TIRF Research Topics Investigated: (1) Content-Based Instruction; (2) Digital Technology in Language Education  
Project Title: Game-Mediated Second Language Learning in a Secondary Content Class: Exploring Opportunities for Languaging through Social Interaction

We also wish to note that the 2022 TIRF DDG Honorable Mention distinction has been awarded to three individuals this year. Although this distinction does not involve a monetary award, we would like to recognize the outstanding work of these doctoral candidates:

  • Curtis Green-Eneix (Michigan State University): Intersectional Identities and Ideologies in Becoming a Language Teacher in a “Classless Society”
  • Hanna Hong (University of Washington): General Education Classroom Teachers’ Understanding and Instruction for Multilingual Learners: A Meso-Level Perspective
  • Raed Alzahrani (University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa): Investigating the Effect of Materials Motivational Design on Saudi University Students’ Motivation and L2 Writing Performance: An Experimental Mixed-Method Design Using Keller’s ARCS Model

Please join us in congratulating this year’s DDG awardees and honorable mentionees!