Hopefully, you already know that TIRF is halfway through its mid-year appeal for donations. As a non-profit organization, the Foundation relies almost entirely on donations to fund its operations. We realize that you likely have many, many options for giving and that, should you choose to support TIRF, you want to feel confident that your hard-earned money is going to a worthy cause. To assure you that it does, we want to share some stories from current donors explaining why they have chosen to give their money to TIRF.
Dr. Ching-Ni Hsieh – Senior Research Project Manager, Educational Testing Service
TIRF truly cares about making a positive impact. When I donate to TIRF, I feel grateful, particularly as I myself received a Doctoral Dissertation Grant from the Foundation. By donating to TIRF, I know I am supporting a cause with a proven track record in making a difference in language education and research worldwide.
Dr. Jaehan Park – Past DDG Recipient
After experiencing how TIRF can change a researcher’s life (mine), I decided to start giving back to the Foundation. I hope I will be able to continue to give to TIRF for my entire life. I was a junior researcher with serious doubts about my research, but TIRF’s Doctoral Dissertation Grant made a significant impact on my life. It granted me the much-needed recognition that my research was worthy to continue and finish. In fact, TIRF did much more than provide financial support. What was completely unexpected was that there was a large group of senior TESOL researchers who welcomed me into their community under the name of TIRF. It was a transformative experience for me, and I decided that I should start giving to TIRF. Potential donors, please know that your gift to TIRF offers much more than financial assistance for junior researchers. It will fuel the TESOL research community’s noble work of supporting and mentoring junior researchers who are carrying out meaningful work through research.
Dr. Muhammad Abdel Latif – Lecturer of ELT/TESOL, Cairo University
The first time I heard about TIRF was at the beginning of 2008 when the Foundation started accepting applications for the first round of the Sheikh Nahayan Doctoral Fellowships. I was lucky to be one of the three applicants receiving this Fellowship in the competition. Since that time and through my continuous communication with its members and current Chair, Professor Kathi Bailey, I found TIRF to be a very supportive organization to English language researchers and research at all levels. That is why I decided to support TIRF. As their website shows, TIRF has sponsored TESOL researchers from all the world’s continents (except Antarctica).
Additionally, TIRF has unique publication projects, provides free English language education resources, offers professional services, and organizes international dissemination events. I believe that supporting TIRF activities and initiatives means not only promoting high-quality TESOL research projects and events, but also helping to connect distinguished language education researchers and supporting the good TESOL research and teaching culture and practices worldwide.
Dr. Polina Vinogradova – TESOL Program Director, American University
I give to TIRF because I find it very important to support cutting-edge research in English language education, especially research done by rising scholars from different parts of the world – research that actually makes a difference not only in the advancement of the field of TESOL, but in the lives of English language learners and their teachers. As a recipient of a Doctoral Dissertation Grant from TIRF, I am also happy (and very grateful) to be able to give back to the organization whose funding made a significant difference for me and my work.
Dr. Juan Carlos Gallego – Professor of TESOL and Spanish, Cal State Fullerton & Ms. Beth Borkowski – Resource Teacher, Saddleback Valley Unified School District
We donate to TIRF because of the excellent mentoring we received from our professors, among them, Dr. Russ Campbell, one of TIRF’s first Trustees. He and so many others we encountered in our academic lives gave their time and talents generously to us and to the myriad students with whom they crossed paths. Our contribution is a way to give back and to help students and young professionals reach their potential and keep contributing to our important and relevant field of study and work.
Dr. Peter De Costa – Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics, Michigan State University
As a language educator, I am one of many individual donors whose interests are aligned with TIRF’s enduring commitment to investigating issues in language learning and teaching. While my modest donations are certainly not in the same league as some of the corporate sponsors that also support TIRF’s mission, I continue to donate to the Foundation because its work is a sound investment in the future of language education. A prime example is the Foundation’s Doctoral Dissertation Grants, which have helped nurture the next generation of language researchers and whose work has had key pedagogical, research, and policy implications. Your funds will be wisely and prudently invested, administered, and distributed by TIRF’s highly capable Board of Trustees, whose members have steered the Foundation over the past 20 years.
Mansoor Ali Al-Surmi – English Lecturer and Program Coordinator, Qatar University
Anyone familiar with TIRF, whether as a student or a professional in language education, would certainly know why people donate to TIRF. TIRF’s mission of informing our classrooms’ practices and language policies based on empirical research is vital in contributing to the advances in our field. The momentous impact TIRF has left through the projects it supports, the publications it issues, the grants it awards, the services it offers, and the resources it makes available leave no doubt that this non-profit organization should continue its legacy, and this is why I feel the urge to donate!
Personally, as a former PhD student and as a professional in the field, I benefited from TIRF and I feel giving back to TIRF will benefit others. I was one of the recipients of the Sheikh Nahayan Doctoral Fellowship, which was managed and awarded by TIRF. When I received the award, of course, I was so happy, but what really struck me is how such awards make a big difference in helping doctoral students and researchers reach their dreams, and how life changing they are! I have carried that feeling with me since that time, and by giving back, I hope I can make a difference in someone’s professional life.
As a professional now, I also make use of the many resources available through TIRF and I can sense how empowering these available resources are to those who do not have access to such information otherwise. There are many professionals all over the world who may not enjoy the privilege of having a library with access to the major research databases, and who would like to advance their research agenda and/or professional knowledge. Here is where TIRF comes in, and I feel by supporting TIRF, I am supporting my fellow colleagues in the field. If you are reading this, I encourage you to donate, whatever the amount is. Believe me, by doing so, you are making a real difference!
Rebecca Kersnar – Teaching and Learning Specialist, California State University of Monterey Bay
I’ve been donating to TIRF for years because I believe in the Foundation’s mission: to support original research and excellent practices in the teaching and learning of English that will ultimately aid the success of English language learners worldwide. It feels good to give to an organization that promotes innovation in our field, and, in particular, in my own classroom. Contributing to TIRF is also my way of paying it forward to honor those who have guided my education and career as an MA TESOL student and professional.
Jenny Rose Jiménez – 7th & 8th Grade Spanish Teacher, Diablo View Middle School, Clayton, CA
As a public school language teacher, I often feel that language education is overlooked. We may not have control over the resources we receive or our class sizes, but we do have control over our teaching methodology. I started out teaching as I had been taught, but implementing current research has helped me become a more efficient and effective language teacher. I donate monthly to TIRF (via an automatic recurring donation mechanism via PayPal on TIRF’s website) because I want to continually evolve as a teacher and to help others investigate topics that will help me achieve my goal.
As you can see, these TIRF supporters all have powerful, personal reasons for their ongoing donations to the Foundation. We are grateful for both their financial support and for them taking the time to share these thoughts with our newsletter readers. We hope you will find their words motivating and will be encouraged to make a donation to TIRF today!