Special Issue "Institutional Discourse and the Covid-19 Pandemic: Challenges and Opportunities"

A special issue of Languages (ISSN 2226-471X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 May 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Anne Bannink
Guest Editor
Amsterdam Center of Language and Communication (ACLC), University of Amsterdam, Spuistraat 134, 1012VB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Interests: (institutional) discourse studies, teacher education, second/foreign language learning, pragmatics, anthropology of education, media communication, doctor-patient interaction and intercultural communication
Dr. Jet Van Dam
Guest Editor
Amsterdam Center of Language and Communication (ACLC), University of Amsterdam, Spuistraat 134, 1012VB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Interests: ecologies of L(2) learning, institutional discourse, dynamic models of discourse processing, ethnography of education, teacher education, ethnomethodology, footing and participation frameworks

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

The Covid-19 pandemic that has held the world in its grip since the spring of 2020 has introduced major shifts in the ways we communicate with others – in informal everyday encounters as well as in formal institutional or workplace settings. Lockdowns have required people – sometimes whole families in far from ideal circumstances – to work from home for prolonged periods of time. From the moment face-to-face communication with non-household members became impossible, the search for digital alternatives and technical innovations to facilitate remote communication took on a new urgency. Since new tools had to be introduced at very short notice, there was little time to pause and reflect on the practical, social and cultural impact of these technical innovations on the lived experiences of people interacting in institutional environments.

This issue aims to investigate the findings of experts and users with respect to the different forms of remote or technologically-mediated communication that were adopted on the spot. There are important questions that need to be addressed. Has the pandemic-induced tech revolution opened new vistas with respect to the way specific tasks in schools, offices, hospitals, and other workplace ecologies can be performed? Or has it mainly been a source of concern, anxiety or frustration because it turned out to be very difficult to effectively compensate in online settings for the lack of shared space and body language feedback in engaging participants? And perhaps more importantly, since both positive and negative effects may apply simultaneously:  what types of tasks/people in what situations typically do – or do not – respond well to online communication formats?

This Special Issue seeks to draw together research from a variety of theoretical angles and methodological approaches to the study of institutional discourse data. These range from, but are not limited to, conversation analysis, interactional sociolinguistics, pragmatics, (critical) discourse analysis, ethnography of communication and linguistic anthropology. We welcome original data-based research articles, methodological articles, and perspective articles from researchers investigating the effects of the Covid-19 epidemic on language use and communication in a wide range of institutional settings in the field of e.g. education, medicine, politics, traditional/social media, and business.

We request that, prior to submitting a manuscript, interested authors initially submit a proposed title and an abstract of 400-600 words summarizing their intended contribution. Please send it to the guest editors ([email protected]; [email protected]) or to /Languages/ editorial office ([email protected]). Abstracts will be reviewed by the guest editors for the purposes of ensuring proper fit within the scope of the special issue. Full manuscripts will undergo double-blind peer-review.

The tentative completion schedule is as follows:

  • Abstract submission deadline: 1 October 2020
  • Notification of abstract acceptance: 1 November 2020;
  • Full manuscript deadline: 1 May 2021

Dr. Anne Bannink
Dr. Jet Van Dam
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Languages is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • institutional discourse
  • technology
  • computer-mediated communication
  • multi-person discourse
  • context
  • interaction

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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