We are delighted to announce that in the most recent awards of Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in the United Kingdom, a fellowship was conferred on TIRF’s British Council Advisor to the Board, Mr. John Knagg, Senior Advisor of English and Exams for the British Council. The fellowship was awarded to Mr. Knagg, in recognition of his “pioneering engagement work between the British Council and the social science academic community”.

Mr. Knagg has been representing the British Council on TIRF’s Board of Trustees for nearly five years. Over this period of time, he has made significant contributions to the Foundation’s work, including liaising between the British Council and TIRF’s Board members. Through his work with these two organizations, he has helped to award TIRF-British Council Doctoral Dissertation Grants to deserving junior scholars completing their doctorates.

In a message posted on the website of the British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL), an association of which Mr. Knagg is a member, Dawn Knight, Secretary of BAAL, wrote, “Many BAAL members will know of John’s positive influence on the policies and practices of the British Council globally in socially relevant areas, through schemes for supporting academic research on English Language Teaching (ELT). His work, and his dissemination of applied linguistics work to audiences around the world, has led to a step change in the level of engagement of the BC and its practitioner community with researchers and social scientists.”

When asked to comment on his receiving this award, Mr. Knagg said, “It is a great honour to have been nominated by BAAL for this fellowship and I am delighted to have been elected as a Fellow of the Academy. I was surprised to have been nominated for an accolade that I had thought was the exclusive reserve of academics, and I hope that my nomination and election act as an inspiration for colleagues in my organisation and in similar positions outside the strictly academic world. I view it as an indicator that the British Council is seen by the UK academic sector involved in ELT, education, applied linguistics, and social sciences more generally as a valuable partner in disseminating its work, facilitating connections worldwide, and highlighting the insights implications and applications of research to the variety of real social issues facing us.”

Mr. Knagg continued, “I also view this award as recognition of the field of English language teaching globally and of its millions of practitioners worldwide. I received news of my election after attending the TESOL Convention in Seattle, Washington. It seemed to me that the most prominent theme throughout the conference was the potential for English teachers to make a change for the betterment of society and to think of themselves in wider terms than only as instructors in a technical discipline.

Organisations such as TIRF and ELT Teacher Associations have an important role to play in ensuring that the quality of English language education around the world contributes to the creation of a new generation of global citizens with real intercultural understanding.”

“It is entirely fitting that our colleague, John Knagg, should receive this important honor,” TIRF President Kathi Bailey said. She added, “In our TIRF Board meetings, he consistently reminds Trustees of the need to ascertain the impact of TIRF-supported research on language teachers and language learners around the world. On behalf of the entire Board, I want to congratulate John on receiving this important award and thank him for his commitment to both the Foundation and the international language education community.”

Please join us in congratulating our TIRF colleague, John Knagg!