Dr. Kate Seltzer

We are pleased to announce the recipient of the 2021 TIRF James E. Alatis Prize for Research on Language Planning and Policy in Educational Contexts. Dr. Kate Seltzer, Assistant Professor of Bilingual and ESL Education at Rowan University, has been named as this year’s recipient of TIRF’s Alatis Prize. Her article is entitled “Reconceptualizing ‘Home’ and ‘School’ Language: Taking a Critical Translingual Approach in the ‘English’ Classroom” (TESOL Quarterly, Vol. 53, Issue 4, pp. 986-1007).

Individuals interested in reading the Alatis Prize-winning article may do so by clicking here. The article can be read online or downloaded for about the next two months at no charge. Many thanks to our colleagues at TESOL International Association and TESOL Quarterly for making the article available in this way.

Dr. Kate Seltzer received her PhD in Urban Education from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Dr. Seltzer’s overarching research goal is to work with schools and teachers to build on students’ rich language practices and, at the same time, to disrupt their own ideologies about language minoritized students and their language and literacy practices. A former high school English Language Arts teacher in New York City, Dr. Seltzer currently teaches pre- and in-service teachers of bilingual students. She is co-author of the book, The Translanguaging Classroom: Leveraging Student Bilingualism for Learning, as well as several book chapters and articles in journals such as English Education, Research in the Teaching of English, TESOL Quarterly, and Language, Identity and Education. Dr. Seltzer’s work has been awarded the Alan C. Purves Award and the Janet Emit award from National Council of Teachers of English.

Upon being notified about receiving TIRF’s Alatis Prize, Dr. Seltzer shared the following comment: “I am so honored to receive this award! Seeing the other scholars who have won this award and learning more about Jim Alatis’ legacy in our field is humbling and I am thrilled that I am able to count myself among them. It is very meaningful to me that this work, which took place in one English Language Arts classroom in New York City, is being recognized for its potential to shape language planning and policy. I believe that dissolving ideological dichotomies like ‘home’ and ‘school’ language, which students in the class brilliantly turn on their heads, is integral to recognizing educational contexts as spaces of flexibility, creativity, and meaning-making that take as their starting point the language and literacy practices and knowledge that these students already have, but which are so often under-valued and ignored. I hope the words of the students featured in this article can push us, as language researchers and educators, to imagine new ways of organizing and thinking about language in schools.”

Please join the TIRF community in congratulating Dr. Seltzer on this tremendous accomplishment!

About TIRF and the Alatis Prize:

The 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 2021 award, nominations of articles published in 2019 or 2020 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, and Joan Shin helped to shape many of the competition’s details. The result of this process was the choice of Dr. Seltzer’s outstanding article.

TIRF would usually present the award during its session at the International TESOL Convention. However, as doing so won’t be possible in 2021, 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. Seltzer’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. TIRF’s Board of Trustees, which serves on a voluntary basis, is drawn from academia, publishing, business, and government. To date, TIRF has awarded monies to fund 189 research projects involving 216 researchers from nearly 30 countries.