Dr. Nicholas Limerick

We are pleased to announce the recipient of the 2020 TIRF James E. Alatis Prize for Research on Language Planning and Policy in Educational Contexts. Dr. Nicholas Limerick, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, has been named as this year’s recipient of TIRF’s Alatis Prize. His article is entitled, “Kichwa or Quichua? Competing alphabets, political histories, and complicated reading in indigenous languages” (Comparative Education Review, Vol. 62, Issue 1, pp. 103-124).

Dr. Nicholas Limerick is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. His main areas of interest include the intersections of cultural politics and the state; language revitalization; multilingualism in theory, policy, and practice; and urban inequality and schooling in Indigenous Latin America. He focuses on Ecuador, where he has researched and lived for much of the past 10 years. He is currently finishing two books: an academic one based on ethnographic research with those involved in Ecuador’s intercultural bilingual school system, and a Kichwa heritage language textbook co-written with teachers of an intercultural bilingual school in Quito. He holds a PhD in anthropology and in educational linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Upon being notified about receiving TIRF’s Alatis Prize, Dr. Limerick shared the following comment: “I am so grateful to receive the James E. Alatis Prize. I’m impressed and humbled by the previous articles that have received the award, and I’m thankful for all of the rich research about, and support for, Indigenous language education that currently exists. It’s heartening to see TIRF’s encouragement of a wide range of language education research and practice throughout the world, and I’m honored for my work to be within the realm of its scholarship. I’m also deeply appreciative of all who have contributed to the article over the years in research participation, financial support, or feedback.”

The Alatis Prize was established in 2014 to honor James E. Alatis, a TIRF founder and long-standing 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 2020 award, nominations of articles published in 2018 or 2019 were solicited. The Foundation’s team of reviewers, who are scholars in the field of language planning and policy, adjudicated the nominations. TIRF Trustees Donna Christian, Jodi Crandall, Joe Lo Bianco, and Dick Tucker helped to shape many of the competition’s details. The result of this process was the choice of Dr. Limerick’s outstanding article.

Dr. Limerick will be honored with an award and a check for US $500 at TIRF’s presentation during the 2020 TESOL Convention in Denver, Colorado, USA. The session will be hosted on Thursday, April 2nd from 9:30am to 11:00am in Room 208 of the convention center where the conference is being held.

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, whose members serve on a voluntary basis, is drawn from academia, publishing, business, and government. To date, TIRF has awarded monies to fund 176 research projects involving 203 researchers from nearly 30 countries.