Special Issue "Language Practices in English Classrooms – from Primary School to Higher Education"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pia Sundqvist
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Teacher Education and School Research, University of Oslo, PO Box 1099 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Interests: informal language learning; extramural English; gaming and L2 learning; assessment of L2 oral proficiency; English language teaching; multilingualism
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Erica Sandlund
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Language, Literature, and Intercultural Studies, Karlstad University, SE-65188 Karlstad, Sweden
Interests: institutional interaction; conversation analysis; language testing; English language teaching; assessment of L2 oral proficiency; multilingualism; professional meetings
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Marie Källkvist
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University, Box 201, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden
2. Department of Languages, Linnæus University, SE-35195 Växjö, Sweden
Interests: english language education; multilingualism; second language acquisition; language policy and planning; higher education pedagogy
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Henrik Gyllstad
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University, Box 201, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden
Interests: multilingualism; language testing and assessment; second language acquisition; vocabulary; phraseology; formulaic language; lexical processing

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

English is taught in classrooms across the globe to learners of all ages, from very young learners in primary school to older learners who have reached retirement and occupy their time in the so-called third age by studying English (see, e.g., Cox, 2017; Ellis, 2013; Gabryś-Barker, 2018; Mackey & Sachs, 2012; Murray, 2011; Nikolov & Mihaljević Djigunović, 2006). Further, depending on the (national) context as well as researchers’ preferred theoretical approaches to teaching and learning, English is sometimes described as a foreign language (EFL), a second language (ESL), or an additional language (EAL) in the literature. In this Special Issue, we aim to collect papers on the topic of Language Practices in English Classrooms. That is, language practices is the common core of all contributions. We welcome both empirical and conceptual papers and are open to different theoretical frameworks and methodologies, as long as the focus is on language practices in the English classroom (regardless of preferred ‘label’ for English). We are interested in studies that examine language practices in English classrooms with learners of different ages and in different contexts. Further, we welcome studies that investigate practices in classrooms at all levels of education that may be linguistically homogenous, but also language practices in classrooms that are more linguistically diverse (multilingual English classrooms). Moreover, we welcome papers that study teachers’ (or learners’) beliefs (e.g., Borg, 2006; 2010) or ideologies (e.g., Blommaert & Verschueren, 1998) that underpin practices, as long as beliefs and ideologies are discussed in relation to English classroom practices. Methodological approaches can include qualitative studies (for example, linguistic ethnographies, conversation analysis, interviews, or video-based language research), quantitative studies (for example, analyzing language practices with the help of quantifiable measures, including classroom-based testing and assessment practices, and intervention studies), and mixed-methods studies (for example, studies that draw on both survey data and qualitative classroom data). Theoretically-oriented papers should offer a solid conceptual discussion targeting classroom practices and the teaching/learning of English, and may include language policy (e.g., Hult, 2017).

Thus, for this Special Issue, we seek proposals that specifically target language practices in English (EFL, ESL, EAL) classrooms. Topics could cover, but are not limited to:

  • Primary/secondary school English classroom practices
  • English teaching practices in higher education
  • English classroom practices in learning centers
  • Language use in English classrooms
  • Classroom-based assessment and testing (formative and summative)
  • Language practices in monolingual/multilingual English classrooms
  • Teachers’ (or learners’) beliefs about language practices
  • Oral interaction in English classrooms
  • Language play in English classrooms
  • Teaching English grammar/pronunciation/vocabulary/phraseology/formulaic language
  • Focus on form in English classrooms
  • Language practices in the course of an English lesson (introduction/lesson/end)
  • Pedagogical approaches to English language teaching
  • Translanguaging/multilingual practices (including code-switching)
  • Language and culture in the English classroom
  • Learner voices about language practices in the English classroom
  • ICT for teaching/learning, including CALL and game-based teaching and learning
  • Task-based language learning in English classrooms

Potential contributors should submit a word document with a title, a 300-word abstract, and a short 50-word bio (for each author) to our Editorial Office ([email protected]) by 1 June, 2021. Authors of successful abstracts will be invited to submit full papers by 31 October, 2021, which will be sent out for peer review. In line with the international diverse spirit of Languages, we encourage the submission of papers that study English language classrooms across the globe. Abstracts will be reviewed by the Guest Editors to ensure proper fit within the scope of the Special Issue. Full manuscripts will undergo double-blind peer-review.

Tentative completion schedule:

Abstract submission deadline: 1 June, 2021

Invitation to authors to submit full papers: 15 June, 2021

Full manuscript submission deadline: 31 October, 2021


Blommaert, J., & Verschueren, J. (1998). Debating diversity: Analysing the discourse of tolerance. London: Routledge.

Borg, S. (2006). Teacher cognition and language education: Research and practice. London: Continuum.

Borg, S. (2010). Language teacher research engagement. Language Teaching, 43(4), 391-429. doi:10.1017/S0261444810000170

Cox, J. G. (2017). Explicit instruction, bilingualism, and the older adult learner. Studies in second language acquisition, 39(1), 29-58. doi:10.1017/S0272263115000364

Ellis, G. (2013). ‘Young learners’: clarifying our terms. ELT Journal, 65(1), 75–78. doi:10.1093/elt/cct062

Gabryś-Barker, D. (Ed.) (2018). Third age learners of foreign languages. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Hult, F. M. (2017). More than a lingua franca: Functions of English in a globalised educational language policy. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 30(3), 265–282. doi:10.1080/07908318.2017.1321008

Mackey, A., & Sachs, R. (2012). Older learners in SLA research: A first look at working memory, feedback, and L2 development. Language Learning, 62(3), 704-740. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9922.2011.00649.x

Murray, G. (2011). Older language learners, social learning spaces and community. In P. Benson & H. Reinders (Eds.), Beyond the language classroom (pp. 132–145). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Nikolov, M., & Mihaljević Djigunović, J. (2006). Recent research on age, second language acquisition, and early foreign language learning. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 26, 234–260. doi:10.1017/S0267190506000122

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pia Sundqvist
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Erica Sandlund
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Marie Källkvist
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Henrik Gyllstad
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 1200 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.


  • classroom-based assessment
  • classroom interaction
  • code-switching
  • English as a foreign language (EFL)
  • English as a second language (ESL)
  • English as an additional language (EAL)
  • English language teaching (ELT)
  • ideology
  • language diversity
  • language practices
  • languaging
  • learners’ beliefs
  • multilingualism
  • plurilingualism
  • teachers’ beliefs
  • translanguaging

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Examining Pedagogical Translanguaging: A Systematic Review of the Literature
Languages 2021, 6(4), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6040180 - 26 Oct 2021
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In the past two decades translanguaging has proven to be a potent concept in applied linguistics, having generated a large amount of literature that explores theoretical and empirical dimensions of this linguistically inclusive pedagogical approach to language teaching and learning. This systematic literature [...] Read more.
In the past two decades translanguaging has proven to be a potent concept in applied linguistics, having generated a large amount of literature that explores theoretical and empirical dimensions of this linguistically inclusive pedagogical approach to language teaching and learning. This systematic literature review focuses on empirical studies that draw on the translanguaging framework in English language teaching (ELT) and beyond. Following PRISMA guidelines for systematic reviews, this study aims to shed light on the current state of knowledge about the affordances of translanguaging pedagogies in a plethora of educational contexts worldwide and to highlight possible avenues for future research. Eleven databases were searched to obtain a dataset spanning from 2011 till February of 2021 and yielding nearly 3000 publications. After duplicate removal, abstract screening, and application of the inclusion/exclusion criteria, a total of 233 studies were coded and analysed to address the research questions. As a result, this systematic review synthesizes the state of knowledge on pedagogical translanguaging, with the aim to inform educators about developments in this rapidly growing field and support researchers in identifying future research priorities on the subject of drawing on learners’ full linguistic repertoires for linguistically inclusive education. Full article
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