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The James E. Alatis 

Founder’s Award


Named for the late Dr. James E. Alatis, a founding member of the JNCL-NCLIS, as well as a number of other professional language associations, the James E. Alatis Founder’s Award is bestowed on an occasional basis during Language Advocacy Day to honor exceptional and life-long contributions to the advancement of language and international education, research and development and practice.

The Inspiration

Dr. James "Jim" Alatis was a founding member of TESOL and its first executive director. He also enjoyed a distinguished career at Georgetown University, Washington, DC, for over four decades, where he was Dean Emeritus at the School of Languages and Linguistics; Distinguished Professor of linguistics and Modern Greek; senior advisor to the dean of the Georgetown College for International Language Programs and Research; and director of the university’s master’s in TESOL program. Over the course of his career, Dr. Alatis also published numerous articles and books, served as an editor to prestigious journals in the field, and presented at conferences all over the world. He earned numerous awards as well.


Dr. James E. Alatis

Selection Criteria

Nominations will be considered based on the following areas:

  • Lifetime achievement in the area of language education, research and development, training, business or related area in the promotion of the Language Enterprise.

The Award includes...

The sponsored award will include:

  1. An award plaque, with an inscription of the awardee’s name and his or her affiliation, will be awarded in person (preferably at the annual Language Links Reception, held Thursday evening during Language Advocacy Day);

  2. Complimentary registration to Language Advocacy Day and the Thursday evening reception Language Links;

  3. A spotlight profile on the JNCL-NCLIS website with photo linking to the member organization’s website.

past recipients

  • 2022 - Dennis Looney, Association of Departments of Foreign Languages, Modern Language Association

  • 2021 – Phyllis Dragonas, Massachusetts Foreign Language Association 

  • 2020 – Christine Schulze, Concordia Language Villages

  • 2019 – Martha G. Abbott, ACTFL 

  • 2014 – Representative David Price (D-NC)

jeaaward submission
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