Alatis Prize


TIRF’s mission statement says that the Foundation will “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.” Given the particular interest Jim Alatis had in language policy and planning, and remembering Jim’s many contributions to the Foundation since its inception, in 2015 our Board of Trustees established the TIRF James E. Alatis Prize for Research on Language Policy and Planning in Educational Contexts.

A prize of $500 will be awarded for an article or chapter published in English and dealing with some aspect of language policy or planning in educational contexts. Submissions may be articles published in scholarly peer-reviewed journals or peer-reviewed chapters in edited books.

2018 Alatis Prize Competition Now Closed, Recipient Announced

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Sara Kangas, Assistant Professor at Lehigh University, has been named as this year’s recipient of TIRF’s Alatis Prize. Her article is entitled, “’That’s Where the Rubber Meets the Road’: The Intersection of Special Education and Bilingual Education” (Teachers College Records, Volume 119, Issue 7). Click here to read the full press release.

For the 2018 prize, we invited nominations of outstanding articles or chapters that were published during calendar years of 2016 or 2017. TIRF only considered publications nominated by someone other than the author(s) of the published work. Individuals could only nominate one article/chapter per competition year. An author could have only one article/chapter under review per competition year. TIRF Trustees were ineligible to be nominated for the Alatis Prize. Papers that had appeared in TIRF publications, for example, chapters in the TIRF-Routledge Global Research on Teaching and Learning English series, could not be nominated.

Submissions were reviewed based upon the quality of the work and its potential impact on the field of language policy and planning in educational contexts. The research could be country- and language-specific or country- and language-general. Reviewers considered the degree of sophistication and/or innovation of the methodology used as well as the paper’s implications for policy formation and/or change. Each study had to assessed for the salience of the research question(s) asked, the appropriateness and rigor of the research methods used, and the significance of the paper’s contribution to knowledge within the field of language policy or planning in educational contexts. Studies using any appropriate analyses – quantitative, statistical procedures for data gathering and data analyses, qualitative/descriptive research approaches, or mixed approaches – were considered.

Specific nomination procedures were given below. Nominations had to be submitted before August 31, 2017 electronically through TIRF’s website at

Important Dates

  • May 1, 2017: Call for nominations is released
  • August 31, 2017: Nomination deadline
  • December 1, 2017: Awardee notified
  • TBD: Awardee will be recognized during 2018 TESOL Convention

 Nomination Procedures

  • Nominators must include a cover page as a PDF document that provides:
    • Nominator’s name, title, affiliation, and email address
    • Name(s) and title(s) of the author(s), affiliation(s), and email address(es)
    • A one- to two-paragraph statement regarding why the article/chapter deserves to receive the Alatis Prize (maximum 200 words)
    • Complete APA citation of the article/chapter
  • Submit a PDF of the complete published article/chapter
  • All files uploaded to TIRF’s website must be submitted as PDFs.
  • Nominations will be submitted electronically via TIRF’s website . If possible, only one file should be uploaded. No more than two files may be uploaded per nomination – one cover page and one article or chapter.
    • When uploading a file, be sure to select “TIRF James E. Alatis Prize” from the “Submission Type” drop-down menu.
  • Acknowledgement of the receipt of a nomination will be sent to the email address of the nominator within five businesses days after the file is uploaded.
  • Late submissions will not be accepted.
  • In the case of co-authored papers, the $500 prize will be sent to the lead author with the expectation of the monies being shared with the co-author(s).
  • The deadline for nominations is 11:59pm Pacific Time on August 31, 2017.
  • Write to with any questions.

Past Recipients

Supporting the Alatis Prize

We are seeking financial support to sponsor the Alatis Prize for many generations to come. If your life has been impacted by Jim’s career, we would like to encourage you to donate to the Alatis Prize fund in honor of Jim.

To help sponsor the Alatis Prize, please visit our Donor page: