Although TIRF plans scheduled during the TESOL Convention were cancelled in late March and early April due to COVID-19, the Foundation found alternative methods to continue with its business. Like so many organizations around the world, TIRF safely practiced distancing measures and relied on technology to host its Board meeting, congratulate a Trustee for continuing his service on TIRF’s Board, welcome a new Trustee, and share comments from the TIRF 2020 Alatis Prize awardee.

TIRF’s March 2020 Board Meeting Online

The Foundation’s Trustees utilized Zoom to conduct their annual spring Board meeting on March 31st. What would typically be an all-day meeting was compressed, given the online format. Nearly every Trustee was able to attend the meeting, with Board members joining from locations that spanned from California (farthest west) to Hong Kong (farthest east). We were pleased to welcome Dr. Joyce Kling, our newest Trustee, to her first Board meeting and look forward to celebrating with her in person in September.

TIRF’s Trustees and Staff Meet Online

The various committee and chair reports that are shared by TIRF’s leaders were provided and discussed in advance of the meeting, allowing Board members to focus primarily on the Foundation’s programs and professional service offerings to the public. These activities help to generate revenue for the Foundation, and with so many changes taking place in the world, conversations about the health of TIRF’s programs and potential opportunities were essential.

The pandemic our world is facing has so far resulted in one major impact for TIRF – the postponement of the 2020 Masters Research Program, which was announced last month in TIRF’s newsletter. Other TIRF initiatives (such as our Doctoral Dissertation Grants (DDG) program, the Alatis Prize competition, publishing activities, resource sharing, and others) are continuing as planned. Additional professional services are being developed, which, if successful, will help TIRF navigate the uncertainty of the times throughout 2020 and into 2021. We hope to announce further details about those activities later this year.

Nick Saville Reelected to Three-Year Term as TIRF Trustee

TIRF Board member Dr. Nick Saville, Director of Research and Validation for Cambridge English Language Assessment (a department of the University of Cambridge), has been reelected to continue his service to the Foundation. For more than a decade, Nick has worked alongside his TIRF colleagues while serving on the Foundation’s Research Advisory Committee. His contributions to our endeavors have helped TIRF ensure the viability of the TIRF-Cambridge DDGs over this period of time. In addition, Nick has demonstrated an irreplaceable presence on the Board, helping to forge important partnerships for the Foundation.

Nick Saville

We look forward to benefitting from Nick’s continued service on the TIRF Board. Please join us in congratulating him on (and thanking him for!) his reelection.

TIRF 2020 Alatis Prize Awardee Comments on Receiving Award

Late last year, we announced that Dr. Nicholas Limerick was the recipient of the 2020 TIRF James E. Alatis Prize for Research on Language Planning and Policy in Educational Contexts. Dr. Limerick, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, received the Prize, based on his article, “Kichwa or Quichua? Competing alphabets, political histories, and complicated reading in indigenous languages” (Comparative Education Review, Vol. 62, Issue 1, pp. 103-124).

Dr. Limerick recorded a video greeting, in which he commented on what receiving the TIRF Alatis Prize means to him. Please click here to watch the video on TIRF’s YouTube channel or play the video below.