Achilleas Kostoulas

Applied Linguistics & Language Teacher Education

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Upcoming publication opportunities

A number of interesting calls for papers has made it into my inbox in the last couple of days, and while I am not doing any work in any of the topics listed, they might be useful to some of you. So, if you are doing research in language testing or instructional design, or if you think you’d like to share your perspective on topics of gender and race in English Language Teaching, you might want to read the following calls:

  1. Special Issue of Language Testing: “Local Tests, Local Contexts“;
  2. Special Issue of Applied Instructional Design: “Attending to Issues of Social Justice through Learning Design“;
  3. IATEFL Teacher Development & Global Issues SIGs: “Race and Queerness in ELT“.

Empty examination room in black and white
‘Examination’, by Thomas Galvez @ Flickr, CC-BY 2.0

Local Tests, Local Contexts

The first of the three calls is for contributions to an upcoming special issue of Language Testing. In recent years, language teaching and learning has been moving away from ‘one-size-fits-all’ approaches, and the role of ELT as a locally situated phenomenon is increasingly understood. The upcoming (2022) special issue of Language Testing builds on this tradition, by looking into the contextual factors and assessment issues associated with local testing.

What is a ‘local test’?

As the guest editor, Prof. Slobodanka Dimova (University of Copenhagen), explains in the call for papers, local language tests display at least two of the characteristics listed below:

  1. They utilize local resources for test development and implementation;
  2. They include bottom-up adaptation of local standards and policies;
  3. They reflect the local context in task design; and
  4. They have a local impact.

Scope of the Special Issue

Proposals are invited for empirical and conceptual papers with a focus on local testing, as defined above. Some possible aspects of local testing that might be discussed include the following:

  • Local assessment practices vs. global assessment traditions;
  • Localized impact and washback;
  • Curriculum-test congruence;
  • Placement, diagnosis, and exit testing;

  • Technology and accessibility;
  • Local policy;
  • Language assessment literacy;
  • Stakeholder involvement in test design.

How to submit a proposal

To submit a proposal, you will need to send the guest editor an extended abstract (1,000 words), containing: (a) the author’s/authors’ name(s), title(s), affiliation(s) and contact information; (b) the title of the proposed paper; (c) the research questions that the paper will address; (d) methodological information, including participants, data collection and data analysis; (e) significance of the findings and/or contribution of the study to the field; and (f) a 50-word biographical statement for each author.

The extended abstracts should be sent to the guest editor’s address (slobodanka.dimova [at], and cc’ed to the journal’s editors as well (xunyan [at] and aginther [at]

Important Dates

Abstract submission deadline31st October 2020
Notification of acceptance15th November 2020
Paper submission deadline15th February 2021

woman holding a sign in protest
Photo by Life Matters on

Attending to Issues of Social Justice through Learning Design

The second call for papers is not specifically focussed on English Language Teaching, although I am sure there are more than a few people in our community who might have something to say about the topic. The central question(s) that the upcoming (2021) Special Issue of the Journal of Applied Instructional Design aims to address is:

How can learning design be applied and leveraged to promote social, political, and economic change? And what role can we, as designers, play in that work?

What makes such a topic important?

Recent global events, including but not limited to the COVID-19 pandemic, have made it impossible to ignore the structural injustices in the societies where our teaching activity is embedded. Although it might be argued that such concerns are not part of our professional endeavours, such a perspective seems too narrow, as it limits education to the transmission of knowledge and skills, and excludes values.

The guest editors of the Special Issue describe this position somewhat eloquently:

The reality is that our field is not merely a collection of tech-savvy scholars. We are a diverse, interdisciplinary group of educators who engage in learning design in very complex and creative ways. (…) We care deeply about the learner and the learner’s experience, and how to support that experience best in a given context. To achieve this goal, we blend theory and technology in new and novel ways to develop, implement, and evaluate the efficacy of both instructional and non-instructional interventions. For many of us, this entails working in and pushing back against systems that promote or perpetuate injustice and inequality.

If you’d like to read on, the full Call for Papers can be downloaded here.

Scope of the Special Issue

The guest editors are keen to receive proposals for papers focussing on a variety of educational settings (K-12 to Higher Education) as well as other organisational and professional contexts. Some possible themes include the following:

  • Culturally-situated and cross-cultural approaches to instructional design and research;
  • Improving performance in the context of workplace inequity;
  • Participatory models of learning (e.g., Youth-led Participatory Action Research);
  • Long-term projects that address disparity issues regarding access to technologies and resources (e.g., digital and pedagogical divide);
  • Applications of critical theory in learning design;
  • Ethical and responsible (i.e., humanizing) concerns regarding the collection, analysis, and presentation of data and findings.

The editors are particularly keen to receive proposals that acknowledging the complex and intersectional nature of issues such as justice, equality and change.

The journal welcomes practical, empirical and theoretical (position) papers. More details about the types of papers that the journal publishes can be found here.

How to submit a proposal

Interested authors are encouraged to contact the guest editors (see below for contact details) for an initial discussion of their proposal.

An abstract (500 words) of the proposed paper should be submitted (using Google Forms) for review by 16th October 2020.

Important Dates

Abstract submission deadline16th October 2020
Invitation to submit full paper16th November 2020
Initial paper submission deadline1st January 2021
Decision on initially submitted papers1st April 2021
Revised paper deadline1st June 2021
Final decisions & feedback on revised papers1st July 2021
Final manuscripts due1st August 2021
PublicationSeptember-October 2021

The Guest Editors

The guest editors of the Special Issue can be reached at the following addresses.

Dr. Theodore J. (TJ) KopchaUniversity of Georgiatjkopcha [at]
Dr. Tutaleni I. AsinoOklahoma State Universitytutaleni.asino [at]
Dr. Lisa A. GiacumoBoise State Universitylisagiacumo [at]
Ms. Katherine WaltersUniversity of Georgiakatherine.walters26 [at]

assorted color sequins
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on

Race & Queerness in ELT

The final call for contributions is more open-ended: this is a for a live web conference co-organised by the IATEFL Teacher Development and Global Issues Special Interest Groups. The conference is part of a month-long awareness-raising effort, the GISIG & TDSIG Web Carnival: Race and Queerness in ELT (1st November to 6th December).

What makes this event important?

Identity issues, including race and gender identity, have always been central to language learning, but they have not always been explicitly addressed. In fact, there is a strong tradition in ELT to avoid any mention of politics and sex (as well as other PARSNIP, or ‘taboo’, topics, such as alcohol, religion, various ‘isms’, and, yes, pork). This event aims to help raise awareness of such identity-central topics. As the organisers point out:

ELT itself can be regarded as a microcosm of the global village at large, whereby whiteness and heteronormativity–amongst other power structures–are positioned in the centre of decision-making in everything from materials to organisational practices to conference themes. One-off or occasional statements, talks, or strands at events are something, but our/their ‘inclusion’ defines us/them as peripheral to the main conversation. Through this month- long event, TDSIG and GISIG will use our platforms to put RACE and QUEERNESS at the centre of the discussion. We will bring together and amplify the voices of ELT folx who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of colour, and/or LGBTQIA and allies who support us/them.

How to participate?

The web conference will include diverse session types such as keynotes, concurrent talks, breakout sessions, and more, with a focus on race, LGBTQIA, or intersections of the two within ELT. You can submit your proposal by 30th September 2020, at this Google Form. A £100 honorarium is available for certain keynote speakers.

Alternatively you can contribute to the community of practice month, by sharing original or linked articles, blog posts, video, podcast episodes, and comments on socials to illuminate and examine race and queerness in ELT.

About this post: The content in this post was based on calls for papers that I received in the week between 7 – 14 September 2020. I will try to update the post with additional information as I receive it. You can find additional publication opportunities here. Feel free to use the social sharing buttons below if you’d like to forward this post to anyone you know who might be interested.



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