Critical Language Awareness for L2 Classrooms and Curricula:
                                                                                  A Selected Bibliography

                                                       Shawna Shapiro (
                                                       Rebecca Lorimer Leonard (

This selected bibliography has been created for researchers and practitioners working in second/foreign language programs and classrooms who wish to learn more about Critical Language Awareness (CLA) Pedagogy. This bibliography may be of particular interest to scholars preparing proposals for the special issue of the Journal of Second Language Writing to be published in 2023, which we are co-editing.

The publications in Section I provide general introductions to CLA theory and pedagogy, and are accompanied by short annotations. The remaining sections focus on CLA and Composition/Writing, CLA and Critical Reading/Literacy, and CLA and Teacher Education. Where possible, links to online versions of articles have been included. Please note that this is a representative sampling, rather than a comprehensive list. More information about CLA and CLA Pedagogy can be found at 

                                                                   Click HERE  to download this bibliography as a pdf. 

 Section I: Introductions to CLA, from language/literacy specialists

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, 100776. Complimentary access granted February 2022 at the JSLW homepage.
This article frames CLA pedagogies as part of social justice education. It offers a short historical overview and considers overlap and distinction among CLA, Critical Reflection, and Translingualism. The authors examine excerpts of students’ reflective writing through a CLA lens.

Crookes, G. V. (2021). Critical language pedagogy: an introduction to principles and values. ELT Journal, 75(3), 247-255. Available here.
This article positions CLA pedagogy as an iteration of critical language pedagogy, and frames both as connected to democratic values of equality, freedom, and solidarity.

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.  Available here ( 
This article offers a rationale and overview of how CLA is being used in Spanish language programs–in particular, programs that include heritage learners. Describes the principles and features of a CLA-oriented language curriculum.

Shapiro S. (November 2021). Promoting critical language awareness in the L2 writing classroom.  (Google slides)
This presentation for Northern New England TESOL focuses on the relevance of CLA Pedagogy to ESOL writing instruction at the secondary and postsecondary level. A version of this presentation designed for undergraduate students themselves can be found here.

Taylor, S. K., Despagne, C., & Faez, F. (2018). Critical Language Awareness. In The TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching (pp. 1–14). John Wiley & Sons.  Available here.
This article provides a historical and theoretical overview of CLA as a scholarly movement, as well as a range of pedagogical applications. The authors emphasize ties to English as an International Language (EIL) scholarship and instruction.

Section II: CLA and Writing/Composition

Gere, A. et al. (2021). Communal justicing: Writing assessment, disciplinary infrastructure, and the case for Critical Language Awareness. College Composition and Communication, 72(3), 384-412. 
* If you would like to access this article and/or read Shapiro’s (forthcoming) response, which includes a heuristic (“starter syllabus”) of CLA-oriented questions, please email

Hankerson, S. D. (2016). “You must learn”: A Critical Language Awareness approach to writing instruction for African American Language-speaking students in composition courses. Doctoral dissertation from Michigan State University. Available here.

Sánchez, D. M., & Paulson, E. J. (2008). Critical Language Awareness and learners in college transitional English.  Teaching English in the Two Year College, 36(2), 164-176. Available here.

Weaver, M. M. (2020). Critical Language Awareness Pedagogy in First-year Composition: A design-based research study. Doctoral dissertation from Old Dominion University. Available here. 

Section III: CLA and Critical Literacy/Reading

Dar, Z. K., Shams, M. R., & Rahimi, A. (2010). Teaching reading with a critical attitude: Using critical discourse analysis (CDA) to raise EFL university students’ critical language awareness (CLA). International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory, 3(2). Available here.

Janks, H. (1999). Critical language awareness journals and student identities. Language Awareness, 8(2), 111-122. Available here.

Moore, J., & Schleppegrell, M. (2020). A focus on disciplinary language: Bringing critical perspectives to reading and writing in science. Theory into Practice, 59(1), 99-108. Available here.

Wallace, C. (1999). Critical language awareness: Key principles for a course in critical reading. Language Awareness, 8(2), 98-110. Available here.

Section IV: CLA and Teacher Education

Ali, S. (2011). Critical language awareness in pedagogic context. English Language Teaching, 4(4), 28-35.   Available here.

Alim, H. S. (2010). Critical Language Awareness. In N. H. Hornberger and S. L. McKay (Eds.). Sociolinguistics and language education (pp. 205–231). Multilingual Matters.  Available here

Chang, S., Torres-Guzmán, M. E., & Waring, H. Z. (2020). Experiencing critical language awareness as a collective struggle: methodological innovations in language awareness workshops. The Language Learning Journal, 48(3), 356-369. Available here.

Godley, A. J., & Minnici, A. (2008). Critical language pedagogy in an urban high school English class. Urban education, 43(3), 319-346. Available here.

Lindahl, K., Hansen-Thomas, H., Baecher, L., & Stewart, M. A. (2020). Study abroad for critical multilingual language awareness development in ESL and bilingual teacher candidates. TESL E-Journal 23(4). Available here

Metz, M. (2018). Challenges of confronting dominant language ideologies in the high school English classroom. Research in the Teaching of English, 52(4), 455-477.Available here

Quan, T. (2021). Critical approaches to Spanish language teacher education: Challenging raciolinguistic ideologies and fostering Critical Language Awareness. Hispania, 104(3), 447-459. Abstract here