Dr. Chris Chang-Bacon

We are pleased to announce the recipient of the 2022 TIRF James E. Alatis Prize for Research on Language Planning and Policy in Educational Contexts. Dr. Chris Chang-Bacon, Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia School of Education, has been named as this year’s recipient of TIRF’s Alatis Prize. His article is entitled “Generation Interrupted: Rethinking ‘Students with Interrupted Formal Education’ (SIFE) in the Wake of a Pandemic” (Educational Researcher, Vol. 50, Issue 3, pp. 187-196).

Individuals interested in reading the Alatis Prize-winning article may do so by clicking here. The article can be read online and/or downloaded at any time. We appreciate the open-access policy maintained by colleagues at Sage Journals, the publisher of Educational Researcher.

Dr. Chang-Bacon received his PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from Boston College and an MEd from Boston University. Prior to his graduate studies, Chang-Bacon worked as an ESL teacher in Massachusetts and South Korea, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco.

Dr. Chang-Bacon’s research focuses on equity in multilingual and multicultural contexts. He studies how teachers interpret educational policy, particularly in ESL, dual-language, and bilingual education contexts. His work also examines the impact of critical literacy and anti-oppressive pedagogies in teacher education. His research has been applied in professional development for a variety of grade levels, including his prior work with the Boston Public Schools’ “Excellence for All” initiative. His scholarship has received awards from the American Educational Research Association (AERA) including Language and Social Processes, Bilingual Education Research, and Paulo Freire SIGs.

Upon being notified about receiving TIRF’s Alatis Prize, Dr. Chang-Bacon shared the following comment: “This award is an incredible honor. I count many of the past awardees as some of the most influential scholars in impacting my own work, so receiving this recognition alongside them and in recognition of the legacy of Dr. Alatis is deeply humbling.”

Dr. Chang-Bacon commented further by saying, “This has been such an extremely difficult year for teachers and students alike as we continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope my article sheds light on some ways we might engage these challenges as well as reaffirming the incredible work that teachers and their students have done in this time of ‘interrupted formal education.’” Dr. Chang-Bacon continued noting that “I’ve always believed that scholarship on language policy and multilingualism has powerful implications, not only for the field of language learning, but for the broader field of education at large, as well as for simply learning more about how we can better exist in community. As writers and scholars like Arundhati Roy and Gloria Ladson-Billings have helped us to recognize recently—this pandemic can be a ‘portal’ (Roy, 2020) or an opportunity for a ‘hard re-set’ (Ladson-Billings, 2021) toward reimagining better ways of being with one another. But this opportunity only exists if we seize it, and refuse the ‘back to normal’ ethos that has been so pervasive in educational discourse this year. I hope my article can contribute in a small way to this reimagining, and I extend my deepest thanks to all who made this award possible.”

Please join the TIRF community in congratulating Dr. Chang-Bacon on this tremendous accomplishment!

About TIRF and the TIRF Alatis Prize

The TIRF Alatis Prize was established in 2014 to honor James E. Alatis, a TIRF founder and long-serving Trustee of the Foundation. TIRF Trustees decided to recognize an outstanding article or chapter in the field of language planning and policy in educational contexts in Dr. Alatis’ name, because he committed a great deal of his career working in the field of language education policy.

For the 2022 Prize, nominations of articles published in 2020 or 2021 were solicited. The Foundation’s team of reviewers, who are scholars in the field of language planning and policy, adjudicated the nominations. TIRF Trustees Jodi Crandall, Donna Christian, Joe Lo Bianco, Dick Tucker, Joan Shin, and Polina Vinogradova helped to shape many of the competition’s details. The result of this process was the choice of Dr. Chang-Bacon’s outstanding article.

TIRF would usually present the award during its session at the International TESOL Convention. However, as doing so may not be possible in 2022, we are planning a different type of award presentation. We will share details via our newsletter later about what we have in mind later for virtually recognizing Dr. Chang-Bacon’s accomplishment.

TIRF is committed to developing knowledge about English language learning and teaching in various settings through a coherent program of research, dissemination, and networking. The offering of the Alatis Prize is consistent with the following aspect of the Foundation’s mission: to influence the formation and implementation of appropriate language education policies, recognizing the importance of indigenous languages and cultures worldwide, and of English as an international language. Members of TIRF’s Board of Trustees, who serve on a voluntary basis, is drawn from academia, publishing, business, and government. To date, TIRF has awarded monies to fund 205 research projects involving 232 researchers from nearly 30 countries.

To learn more about TIRF, click here, or write to Ryan Damerow, Chief Operating Officer at TIRF, at info@tirfonline.org.