TIRF has undergone a new leadership transition this month. We have recently celebrated the legacy of Kathi Bailey, TIRF’s outgoing President, and welcomed me, the TIRF’s incoming President, along with Suzanne Panferov Reese, TIRF’s incoming Vice President.
Over the last 13 years, Kathi has led TIRF through tides of change. She has brought TIRF to a new height by renewing our energy to lead the field with cutting-edge research insights and publications, continuing to empower young researchers through our DDG (Doctoral Dissertation Grants) program, and reflecting on our mission and vision in order to strategize more services to our field. Some examples of the progress she made in collaboration with TIRF’s Board members over the years follow here.
Including this year’s newest DDG recipients, we have awarded 183 grants to young researchers from nearly 30 countries. There are other “TIRF Alumni” who have resulted from our past grant programs: Priority Research Grant recipients, Masters Research Grant awardees, and the Sheikh Nahayan Fellows You can find information about all TIRF’s grantees on our website here; however, the 2022 DDG awardees are yet to be added to our Alumni Map.
We have published nine books in the Routledge series to date and the tenth one will be released next year. The series is also listed on Routledge’s website. Moreover, TIRF has commissioned eight papers to date, some of which have been translated into other languages such as Arabic, Chinese, and Spanish. Information about TIRF’s publications can be found on its website here.
Another significant contribution the Foundation has provided is the TIRF reference lists collection, which addresses more than 240 topics of interest in our field. As noted on our website, we’re actively seeking sponsors for each of the lists. Several organizations have already joined us, for example, the British Council, Ellii (formerly ESL Library), Multilingual Matters, National Geographic Learning, TESOL International Association, and World Learning. Like-minded organizations are invited to join us in this endeavor – click here to learn more.
TIRF also provides various types of services in the field of language education. These include (1) Program Evaluation for Global Language Centers – review services for language education centers; (2) Teacher Education Program Review – targeted at teacher education programs; and (3) TIRF Talks – professional speaker services. The Foundation also serves as a consultant on a range of projects, in which it leverages its Trustees and network to help organizations in a multitude of ways.
Kathi has also focused on the diversity of TIRF Board. At present, the Board has representatives from the following countries: Australia, Brazil, China, Denmark, Egypt, Greece, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
As the new President, I feel tremendously honored that the Board has entrusted me, but I also feel pressure as well as responsibility to lead TIRF towards its future.
My goal for the next five years is to enhance the image of TIRF globally; support TIRF awards, events, and activities with financial stability; and make TIRF a recognizable and sustainable foundation in the field.
One way TIRF seeks to achieve its mission is to enhance English language education worldwide through cutting-edge research and innovation of teaching methodology prompted by modern technology. To stay truthful to its mission and vision, I would like to lead TIRF with the following objectives.
First and foremost, TIRF will reach out to global associations, companies, and agencies in the world, in order to partner with them on collaborative services, shared initiatives, and joint projects to advance the field. We are committed to co-creating research agendae and to contributing to the advancement of research-supported practices in language teaching and learning.
Secondly, TIRF will continue producing, promoting, and publishing vital research via books, the “TIRF Insights” series, and white papers. We will also update and provide comprehensive reference lists to facilitate research in our field.
Thirdly, we will continue developing and expanding our services. Our efforts to offer program reviews, TIRF Talks, TIRF speakers, and mentoring programs to support English language programs, inspire English language teachers, and nurture teachers doing research are all areas of emphasis we will focus on in the years to come
Fourthly, we will continue our flagship DDG program to provide resources to support young researchers doing their dissertations. If financially viable, we will seek to re-establish the Masters Research Grant program.
To obtain the above objectives and more, TIRF will need financial stability. Doing so is essential and critical for TIRF as we work toward achieving our mission. I want to thank all the Board members (past and present), donors, and friends in helping us to reach this goal. We welcome your suggestions and appreciate your contributions.
I am humbled and excited to lead TIRF’s Board of Trustees as its President. Creating and developing TIRF’s programs and services to empower global citizens with English communicative competence in the world has long been our common goal. I want to thank you for your continued support during this time of transition at TIRF.
Jun Liu, TIRF President