TESOL International Research Foundation
Call for Research Proposals 2004-05
The TESOL International Research Foundation (TIRF) invites proposals for Doctoral
Dissertation Grants and Priority Research Grants in the field of applied linguistics and/or English language education. The deadline for receipt of complete proposals is May 31, 2004 (11:59 p.m., Pacific Daylight Time—on the west coast of Canada/USA). Please consult the
foundation’s website for more information (http://www.tirfonline.org).
*All Priority Research Grant (PRG) proposals must be directly related to the stated
topic. PRG proposals addressing other research priorities will not be considered.
*For Doctoral Dissertation Grant (DDG) proposals only, applicants may choose the
current (2004-05) priority or one of the past priorities topics (2002-03, 2003-04) listed on
the TIRF website (http://www.tirfonline.org).
2004-05 Research Priority: “The demonstrable effects of the use of computer-based
technology on students’ learning of English as a second or foreign language”
Although the existence of modern technological resources and computer-mediated
instruction has greatly increased in many parts of the world, there is insufficient research
on how technology contributes to second language acquisition and especially how it
compares with effective language instruction without technology. This question is
important because of the high infrastructure costs associated with acquiring and
maintaining technology, the teacher-training required to use technology most effectively,
the quick obsolescence of these digital tools, and the limited research that demonstrates
that such investments are truly superior to other modes of instruction. While we are open
to research that investigates non-linguistic outcomes (e.g., socio-affective, content-
learning, or cultural outcomes) associated with technology in addition to language
learning outcomes, our primary interest is second language learning processes and
We therefore seek proposals for research on one or more of the following inter-related themes:
? Differences in access to, and effective use of, technology for English language instruction in
English-dominant versus non-English-dominant countries; also, research on how access and
use of instructional technology can be improved in resource-poor settings, and the results of
this increased access and possibly students’ increased exposure to English through
? The effects of informed instruction involving computer technology on students' language
learning processes as well as their English proficiency. [Note: By informed instruction, we
mean pedagogically sound instruction.] For example, what demonstrable opportunities are
provided by language learning technology and utilized by English language learners for input,
interaction, output, and scaffolded learning? How do those opportunities translate into
language acquisition outcomes?
? Differences, if any, between the effects of informed instruction with technology versus
informed instruction without such technology on students’ achievement in English as a
second or foreign language and possibly their content learning as well, where English is a
language of instruction.
? Effective models of teacher education about the use of new technologies for English-
language instructional purposes.
? The cost-effectiveness of institutional investments in language learning technology as
compared with non-technological investments in language instruction, in terms of students'
ultimate levels of English attainment.
TIRF Grant Features
? Grants will be in the range of US$5,000-$25,000 each, with $25,000 the maximum award. ? Doctoral Dissertation Grants of up to US$5000 per proposal are available.
? For Priority Research Grants, preference will be given to proposals that most closely
address the priority issues targeted by TIRF and which involve partnerships between
researchers in institutions in more than one country, ideally involving at least one partner in a
? Magistral (M.A.) and doctoral students are NOT eligible to apply for PRGs. Only doctoral
students who have advanced to candidacy can apply for a DDG.
? Research involving multiple sites and multiple research methods (e.g., qualitative and
quantitative approaches) is encouraged. If English proficiency testing is planned (for either
students or teachers), we strongly recommend the use of appropriate international,
standardized English language tests whose results can be easily interpreted by researchers in
other contexts; if other tests are to be used or developed, please include the rationale for the
selection of these particular instruments.
TIRF was founded in 1999 as an international, non-profit organization whose aim is to generate new knowledge and to collect and organize existing knowledge about the teaching and
learning of English for the purposes of informing educational policy; improving classroom
practices; and, ultimately, expanding educational, occupational, and social opportunities for
individuals in a global society. TIRF is governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of scholars,
authors, and corporate sector volunteers and is supported by charitable donations. TIRF is
committed to developing and implementing an innovative, proactive applied research program,
the ultimate purpose of which is to help ensure that English as a second or foreign language is
taught, learned, and tested in a manner that is demonstrably effective, expedient, and economical.
TIRF is committed to strengthening links between theory, practice, and policy, and to fostering
partnerships among researchers around the world. Please consult the TIRF website for more