Amanda Wyland and Ryan Damerow

As we go to press with this issue of TIRF Today, we are also happily finalizing the details of the first TESOL-TIRF co-hosted event, a Research Symposium. It will be held in Monterey June 2 and 3. The theme of the gathering is “Building an Inclusive, Sustainable Research Community in TESOL.”

Both experienced and novice researchers, as well as ELT practitioners and administrators, will be attending. We are pleased to note that international participants are coming from Armenia, China, Japan, Kazakhstan, and Norway, as well as from various parts of the United States.

According to TESOL’s website, participants will (1) “examine the ​integrated relationship in selecting a topic, developing the research questions, and identifying the proper methodology for [conducting a research-based] study” and (2) “find ways to connect their research with both English language policy and practice.” We are also planning opportunities for participants to network with other researchers and practitioners to discuss current and planned research.

There will be three panel presentations, each of which will be followed by break-out discussion sessions.  Participants will be encourage to discover how they could use both TIRF’s Research Priorities and TESOL’s Research Agenda in their own studies.  To date, participants have indicated particular methodological interests in action research, teacher research, qualitative data analysis, discourse analysis, statistical analyses, case study research, experimental research, and observation.

The first panel consists of TESOL’s Immediate Past President, Dudley Reynolds, talking about TESOL’s Research Agenda. I will then share ideas with the audience about TIRF’s research priorities. The panel will be moderated by TESOL’s Executive Director, Chris Powers, and Jun Liu (TESOL Past President and the Vice President of TIRF) will be the discussant.

The Saturday morning panel will be about formulating research questions. It will be moderated by Judy Sharkey (University of New Hampshire). The panelists are Maricel Santos (San Francisco State University), Thor Sawin (Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey), and Ester De Jong (University of Florida and current TESOL President).

Finally, the Saturday afternoon panel will focus on two key questions: (1) To what extent can my research ​affect policy? and (2) To what extent can my research ​affect practice? This panel will be moderated by TESOL Past President and TIRF Board member, Jodi Crandall.  The panelists are Terrence Wiley (Center for Applied Linguistics), Eugene Garcia (Arizona State University), and George Bunch (University of California at Santa Cruz).

In looking forward to this weekend, I want to acknowledge the hard work of the Symposium’s Steering Committee, and Sarah Sahr (TESOL’s Director of Professional Learning and Research). Ryan Damerow (TIRF’s Chief Operating Officer) and Amanda Wyland (our intern for this event) have also been working to make sure that the Research Symposium is a wonderful experience for all involved.

We anticipate sharing photos and a report on the event in next month’s newsletter. Stay tuned for a complete recap of this exciting symposium!

Best wishes,