Here it is, the end of August, and Ryan is urging me to draft my Chair’s Report for this month’s issue of TIRF Today. I was completely lacking in ideas until I read another email from Ryan, reminding me about the theme of the 2019 TESOL Convention, which will be held in Atlanta, Georgia from March 15-18.

The theme of the convention will be “TESOL: The Local-Global Nexus.”

As I was thinking about this theme, I wondered if I really knew what the word nexus means, so I looked it up on, which offered the following definitions: “a means of connection; tie; link; a connected series or group; the core or center, as of a matter or situation.” Apparently, the Latin origin of this word referred to a binding, joining, or fastening.

What an apt word to associate with TIRF! As you can see from this month’s lead story, our 2018 Doctoral Dissertation Grants competition has resulted in a diverse field of grant recipients, all of whom have now joined TIRF’s international community. The TIRF community is itself a nexus of teachers, researchers, program administrators, materials writers, test developers, and teacher educators who are concerned with improving teaching and learning through research focused on the Foundation’s priority issues.

I want to extend my personal congratulations to this year’s grant recipients and thank the 33 scholars who served as proposal reviewers. I also want to acknowledge the effort and hopes of those applicants whose proposals were not selected. There were many projects we would have liked to fund but could not, due to the Foundation’s limited financial resources.

If you read my Chair’s Report on a regular basis, you can predict how this one will end, as I repeat this theme almost monthly:  Please can you help?? There are so many deserving young researchers whose work we would like to support!

Our Board of Trustees will be meeting in Washington, DC in a few weeks. (For those of you who don’t know, the Trustees all cover their own expenses for travel and lodging. We only provide them with breakfast and lunch for one day.) Prominent on our meeting agenda is the perennial issue of increasing TIRF’s financial resources, so that the Foundation can continue to function as a nexus among the disparate stakeholders in the varied professions of language education.

Won’t you please help?? You can make a donation online to TIRF by clicking here, or you can send a check written to “TIRF” and mailed to: TIRF, 177 Webster St., #220, Monterey, CA  93940. As always, thank you for your continued support of TIRF’s mission.

Best wishes,