As we approach the end of 2022, we have a lot to reflect on, remember, and recall. First of all, I must thank Kathi Bailey for her years of dedication and leadership as TIRF President. Her living legacy has inspired me to take the torch carrying TIRF forward.
Due to the global pandemic and sociopolitical and socioeconomic uncertainties, TIRF has experienced both anticipated and unanticipated financial difficulties. I am grateful to our supporters for their generous donations, which are currently being matched by our outstanding Board members. Please consider donating to TIRF by year’s end to help offset some of the financial challenges we have faced this year.
But relying on donations is not enough to secure our work for generations to come.
We must think of ways to sustain TIRF as we move into 2023. Raising awareness of TIRF’s brand and our mission is critical. Our Board has already started initiatives in this regard and we are strategizing how to answer a fundamental question: Who are we and what do we do to benefit the field of English Language Education through research?
Personally, I have tried to approach potential donors many times, but the TIRF stories I shared sometimes did not resonate with others until I added a personal touch. I want to encourage all of you to help us by communicating your personal stories with others and add how TIRF can help to overcome everyday challenges we face as a field. Be bold and share your ideas with anyone who may listen, whether you are a DDG recipient, a TIRF friend, or a TIRF Trustee.
We successfully completed a second review for the Center of Language Education at SUSTech, one of the primary science and technology universities in southern China, by adopting a hybrid model that involved both online and on-site services. I want to thank those who got directly involved and generously volunteered their time and effort in executing the work.
But we need more outreach and more introductions.
We need to spread the word and reach out to different parts of the world to help language centers in need. Through TIRF reviews or other services we provide, such as TIRF Talks, TIRF mentoring programs, and workshops, we working to meet our mission of improving the landscape of language education worldwide.
As we all know, TIRF’s signature activity is its Doctoral Dissertation Grants (DDG) program, which has benefited more than 180 recipients over the last couple of decades. I am calling on those of you who are grant recipients to return to TIRF and share information about your professional activities. TIRF wishes to rely on you as ambassadors of our mission. Your suggestions and actions will make TIRFers around the world feel proud, just as I am proud of you all. Yesterday’s graduates are today’s cornerstones. I sincerely hope that you will come step forward and show us what you can do with TIRF, and for TIRF and thereby for our field and everyone we aim to serve.
In 2023, TIRF will make extra efforts to network with our partners around the globe. We have already forged a partnership with TESOL International Association to co-present during the Presidential Plenary concerning the future of research in English language education at the 2023 TESOL Convention in Portland, Oregon. We have worked with the British Council, Cambridge Assessment English, ETS, and others to identify the needs for research and to work on collaborative projects in the field to reflect current trends and future directions. In 2023, we need to further develop our strategic partnerships with industries, organizations, associations, governments, and institutions.
It is true that gifts come and go. What really matters are the people who light up our TIRF lives all year long. At this holiday season, I want to express my deep appreciation to all of you who read this message. It is you TIRFers who believe in us and who will not only celebrate with us, but also act with us, towards the future.
May your life be filled with warmth and good cheer this holiday season and throughout the New Year. I wish you nothing but the best that the season has to offer.
Jun Liu, Ph.D.
Rector, City University of Macau