Editor’s Note: Dr. Kathi Bailey served as the President of TIRF and the Chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees for 13 years. In this “Trustee Update,” TIRF Chief Operating Officer Ryan Damerow talks with Kathi about her current TIRF duties and other professional activities.
Ryan: You were the President of TIRF from 2009 to 2022. Now that you’ve stepped down from that role, you still volunteer with the Foundation. Please tell our readers about your recent TIRF activities.
Kathi: Well, along with Deena Boraie, MaryAnn Christison, and David Nunan, I’ve been a member of the working group focused on the new TIRF-British Council Research Mentoring Awards programs. That process has been really rewarding! It’s so exciting to read about the awardees. And now I’m working on updating TIRF’s reference lists that were last revised in 2022. My goal us to have them all updated by the end of 2023, so I try to work on them for an hour every morning.
Ryan: I know that you were working on the next installment in the TIRF-Routledge “Global Research” series, as well. What can you tell our supporters about the volume?
Kathi: Yes, along with my co-editor, David Nunan, I worked on that volume. The book, entitled Research on English Language Teaching and Learning in the Middle East and North Africa, should be available in December and we are very happy with the results. The contributions are chapters about English language education in Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey, and the UAE. This is the 10th volume in the TIRF-Routledge series.
Ryan: You also retired from your professorial role at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey a few months ago. What are you doing to keep busy?
Kathi: With my colleague, Caleb Powers, I just finished the data collection for a study about leaders in U.S. foreign language education. It involved interviewing 60 leaders from various languages. We are working on the data analysis now. It’s been inspiring, talking with these committed teacher leaders about their work in our profession.
Ryan: I understand you also recently took on the guest editorship of a special issue of Second Language Teacher Education. What will that be about?
Kathi: Yes! I’ll be working on this project with Hayo Reinders, whose idea it was. We plan to publish an issue of research on teacher leadership, with a focus on what language teacher educators need to know and how they can help teachers develop their leadership skills and knowledge. I’m very excited about this topic and about reading the incoming abstracts.
Ryan: Why is this topic important?
Kathi: There is ample evidence that language teachers – like other teachers – take on leadership roles at some point in their careers, whether those roles are informal or “positional,” which means having leadership responsibilities based on their official positions within their organizations. And, sadly, it is typical that such teachers have not been prepared for taking on leadership. Hayo and I want to encourage research on language teacher leadership and share some of that research with the readers of SLTE.
Ryan: How can TIRF supporters get involved in this publication?
Kathi: The call for papers is posted on the journal’s website. Abstracts for consideration are due December 15th. Hayo and I hope there will be substantial international interest in the project.
Ryan: I’ve known you for nearly two decades, Kathi. It’s not at all a surprise that you’re continuing to give to our field and our global community. Keep up the great work!
Kathi: Thank you, Ryan. I enjoy my work and collaborating with my colleagues. Our field has given me so much, and I will continue to do my part during my retirement years to try to give back!