JSLW 2023 special issue CFP

                                        “Critical Language Awareness: A Lens for Looking Backward, Outward, and Forward in L2 Writing”                                                                      Co-edited by Rebecca Lorimer Leonard and Shawna Shapiro 
          For a downloadable PDF of this Call, please CLICK HERE

Journal of Second Language Writing is soliciting submissions for a special issue entitled “Critical Language Awareness: A Lens for Looking Backward, Outward, and Forward in L2 Writing.” Critical Language Awareness (CLA) is a pedagogical approach that was first articulated in the late 1980s by scholars and practitioners in the United Kingdom who were committed to promoting a pluralist stance toward language difference alongside a pragmatic and empowering orientation to language/literacy instruction (Clark et al., 1990; Fairclough, 2014; Shapiro, forthcoming). This approach has been taken up across the globe (e.g., Achugar, 2015; Crookes, 2021; Janks, 2010; Taylor et al., 2018) by language/literacy teachers working in a variety of institutional contexts (e.g., Britton & Lorimer Leonard, 2020; Holguín Mendoza, 2018; Sanchez & Paulson, 2008; Schleppegrell, & Moore, 2018).              

A special issue on CLA in JSLW provides an opportunity to consider questions such as:

  • What are the benefits and challenges of taking up CLA as a central framework for the teaching of L2 writing?
  • How does this framework play out in curriculum design, classroom instruction, assessment, and other aspects of pedagogy?
  • How does CLA intersect with or diverge from other asset-oriented frameworks (e.g., translingual orientations, plurilingual pedagogies, and linguistic justice)?
  • How can CLA inform our research, administration, and/or advocacy work?
  • How might CLA help L2 writing specialists connect to and converse with scholars in other disciplines and contexts?

By exploring these questions, the special issue editors hope to elicit insights into CLA’s potential for the field of L2 writing. Because the frame of “CLA” can encompass a variety of asset-oriented approaches to language—including Critical English for Academic Purposes (Benesch, 2009; Helmer, 2013), translingualism (e.g., Horner & Tetrault, 2017; Schreiber & Watson, 2018), teaching for linguistic justice (Baker-Bell, 2020; Johnson et al., 2020; Schreiber et al., forthcoming), and plurilingual pedagogies (Shuck & Losey, forthcoming)—it has the potential to extend L2 writing’s critical focus on the needs and assets of linguistically diverse writers in capacious and flexible ways. For more information about CLA, see our selected bibliography at  https://jslwbib.clacollective.org/

The Editors welcome proposals for a diverse array of studies and reflections that explore the questions above and others related to CLA as an approach to L2 writing. We are particularly interested in contributions from practitioners in contexts that are underrepresented in current scholarship, such as primary or secondary-level classrooms, schooling contexts from the global south, world/heritage language programs, and settings outside formal education, such as community-based programs.

Please send a 500-word abstract that describes unpublished empirical, analytical, and/or reflective work that explores the questions above. If abstracts are accepted, we will invite authors to submit full-length articles for possible inclusion in this issue. Complete manuscripts will be sent out to peer reviewers prior to acceptance in the special issue.

Expected timeline:

-Abstracts (500 words max) should be submitted by March 1, 2022 via email to the guest editors. 
-Authors invited to submit full-length articles will be notified by April 1, 2022.
-Complete manuscripts should be submitted by September 1, 2022.

Please send abstracts and inquiries to the special issue guest editors, Rebecca Lorimer Leonard (rlorimer@english.umass.edu) and Shawna Shapiro (sshapiro@middlebury.edu)

For complete guidelines for manuscript preparation, please consult “Guide for Authors” available on the JSLW website at http://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-second-language-writing/

For more information about CLA, see our selected bibliography at https://jslwbib.clacollective.org/


Achugar, M. (2015). Critical Language Awareness approaches in the Americas: Theoretical principles, pedagogical practices and distribution of intellectual labor.” Linguistics and Education, 32, 1–4.

Baker-Bell, A. (2020). Linguistic justice: Black language, literacy, identity, and pedagogy. Routledge.

Britton, E. R., & Leonard, R. L. (2020). The social justice potential of critical reflection and critical language awareness pedagogies for L2 writers. Journal of Second Language Writing, 50, 1-12.

Clark, R., Fairclough, N., Ivanič, R., & Martin‐Jones, M. (1990). Critical language awareness part I: A critical review of three current approaches to language awareness. Language and Education, 4(4), 249-260. 

Crookes, G. V. (2021) Critical language pedagogy: An introduction to principles and values. ELT Journal, 75(3), 247-255.

Fairclough, N. (2014, orig 1992). (Ed.). Critical language awareness. Routledge. 

Helmer, K. A. (2013). Critical English for academic purposes: Building on learner, teacher, and program strengths. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 12(4), 273-287.

Holguín Mendoza, C. (2018). Critical language awareness (CLA) for Spanish heritage language programs: Implementing a complete curriculum. International Multilingual Research Journal, 12(2), 65-79. 

Horner, B., & Tetreault, L. (Eds.). (2017). Crossing divides: Exploring translingual writing pedagogies and programs. University Press of Colorado.

Janks, H. (2010). Literacy and power. Routledge. 

Johnson, J., Lee, E., Schreiber, B., & Fahim, N. (Eds.). (2020). Promoting social justice for multilingual writers on college campuses. [special issue of Composition Forum https://compositionforum.com/issue/44/ ] 

Ruecker, T., Shapiro, S., Johnson, E. N., & Tardy, C. M. (2014). Exploring the linguistic and institutional contexts of writing instruction in TESOL. TESOL Quarterly, 48(2), 401-412. 

Schleppegrell, M., & Moore, J. (2018). Linguistic tools for supporting emergent critical language awareness in the elementary school. In R. Harman (Ed.). Bilingual learners and social equity (pp. 23-43). Springer.

Schreiber, B., Lee, E., Johnson, J., & Fahim, N. (Eds.) (forthcoming). Linguistic justice on campus: Theory, pedagogy, and advocacy for multilingual writers. Multilingual Matters.

Shapiro, S. (forthcoming in February 2022). Cultivating Critical Language Awareness in the writing classroom. Routledge.

Shuck G. & Losey, K. (Eds.). (forthcoming in December 2021). Plurilingual pedagogies for multilingual writing classrooms: engaging the rich communicative repertoires of U.S. Students. Routledge.