Special Issue - Reimagining Language Education through Critical Language Awareness


Reimagining Language Education through Critical Language Awareness

Guest editors:

Qianqian Zhang-Wu (Northeastern University, USA)
Zhongfeng Tian (The University of Texas at San Antonio, USA)

Call for Abstracts

Journal of Multilingual Theories and Practices (JMTP) invites abstract submissions for its 2024 special issue “Reimagining Language Education through Critical Language Awareness.” Critical language awareness (CLA) is a concept originally proposed in the U.K. around 1990s to draw attention to issues around power in language and literacy teaching and learning (e.g., Clark et al., 1990; Fairclough, 1989). With the changing landscape in language education that calls for critical perspectives in language teaching and research and in response to the recent social justice movements across the world, CLA is regaining momentum as both a stance and a pedagogy. As a stance, CLA calls for emancipatory change in society by “empower[ing] learners by providing them with a critical analytical framework to help them reflect on their own language experiences and practices, the language practices of others in the institutions of which they are a part and in the wider society within which they live” (Clark & Ivanič, 1997, p. 217). As a pedagogy, CLA raises students’ awareness about power relations in their languaging practices in and beyond the classroom (Shapiro, 2022), cultivates learner agency in meaning-making (Leeman, 2014), and advocates for linguistic justice (Baker-Bell, 2020).

In response to Vinogradova and Shin’s (2020) call to rethink language education to reflect the “local realities and demands” (p. 284) of racially, culturally, socially and linguistically minoritized communities, we seek contributions which reimagine language education from its broadest definition, which may include but not limited to TESOL, bi/multilingual education, world language education, and English language arts, to unpack the intersectionality of language, power, ideology and society. Specifically, we welcome previously unpublished work addressing one or multiple of the following topics:

  • CLA in K-20 language education classrooms (e.g., translingual, antiracist and decolonial approaches in language education, justice-oriented multilingual assessment, teacher/learner perceptions and identities)
  • CLA in online-instructed and digital language education (e.g., asynchronous and synchronous online language courses, digital literacy tools and practices)
  • CLA in language teacher education and professional development
  • CLA in language education related socially minoritized domains (e.g., LGBTQ+ community, learning with disabilities, immigrant and refugee education, adult, rural and other non-traditional education settings)

Contributors across the world from all academic ranks, statuses, and community settings whose research examines CLA in language education broadly defined are encouraged. We welcome conceptual and empirical studies that adopt a variety of methodologies. Interested authors should send a 300-word abstract to the guest editors. The deadline for abstract submission is February 17, 2023. Please send abstracts and inquiries to SI co-editors Qianqian Zhang-Wu ([email protected]) and Zhongfeng Tian ([email protected]).