Achilleas Kostoulas

Applied Linguistics & Language Teacher Education

Fingers typing on keyboard

Ethical deliberations in multilingual education: Power relations in learning communities (Call for chapters)

I just read, at the LANTERN blog, about an interesting new edited collection that aims to explore ethical aspects of multilingual education. The book, which is intended as a primary text or core resource for teacher and researcher education, aims to challenge how we think about ethical decisions in language and literacy education. In the words of the editors, Theresa Austin and Hatice Çelebi:

The teaching of world languages across national boundaries is a given in the fast paced interconnective political and economic times we live. However, as we engage in the teaching, learning and researching this phenomena, how do ethics play a role in  our decision making and actions? As critical language educators and researchers, we have long avoided the technicist perspective that focuses on the formal  structures of language in our engagement with our profession. As we summon our criticality to  grapple with the ethical concerns that present in our work situations and contexts, we see increasingly a compelling need to question who benefits and who is left out by decisions that are contemplated and, indeed, made. This edited volume explores critical ethical issues in multilingual education in an ever increasingly global, connected, multicultural society. 

What is unusual about this book is that it will invite readers to dialogue with each other, thourgh prompts such as evocative scenarios, artifacts, counternarratives and testimonios. These should enable readers to identify and locate themselves in the context, to reflect on the events that produced the need for ethical decisions, and to consider the consequences that were experienced at that time. Some ways to analyse these include theoretical lenses like E. Goffman’s dramaturgy, V. Turner’s performance anthropology, performance ethnographies by A. D. Smith, D. Conquergood, and S. Madison, J. Saldaña’s ethnodramas, J. Schechter’s social theatre, Norris’ playacting, A. Boal’s theatre of the oppressed, and P. Freire’s pedagogies of the oppressed.

It is hoped that the dialogue evoked between the book and the readers will bring out theoretical themes and populations that have been underrepresented in language and literacies scholarship. The former include themes such as decolonizing research, critical multimodal literacies, feminist studies, ethnic studies, cultural studies, & posthumanism. The latter include minoritized populations (that are underrepresented in research), Deaf studies, special needs, refugee & diasporic peoples. Some more specific topics that might be considered are listed in the next section.

Suggested topics

The areas of language and literacy are rife with ethical considerations, which could be addressed in the chapters of the book. Some of the topics that chapter authors might consider, as described in the Call for Chapters, include the following:

  • Access & admission, placement & progress (e.g., exclusionary / privileged);
  • Collection & use of identity-based data in program admissions (e.g., assumptions about the connections between language and (mixed) race, ethnicity, citizenship);
  • Curriculum / program organization and design for student/community engagement and/or transformation;
  • Assessment & program evaluation- design of measures & use of resulting data;
  • Classroom-based practices & assumptions about language & literacy development in cultural contexts (e.g., language choice, medium and object of instruction, practices of providing feedback); 
  • Affordability revitalization &sustainability of dual/multilingual education;
  • Ideologies embodied and contextualized (e.g., native-speakerism, “standard” language & purism, language use/development, criteria for qualifications & economic mobility of teachers and students);
  • Commodification of  language education: study abroad, TESOL Certificates, online programs; 
  • Pre-service and In-Service Teacher Education: recruitment practices/criteria, preparing teachers for urban /rural, student teaching abroad; placements development; supportive measures, ex/inclusion;
  • Education of vulnerable underserved populations: minoritized, Generation 1.5, special needs, unaccompanied international minors, refugees, homeless; 
  • Ethical dilemmas in language choice within historical perspectives: What language speaks for the subaltern?
  • Language decisions in decolonization;
  • Medium of education & ideology for  minoritized populations across the world from Global South, Middle East, South Pacific, Europe, Northern Hemisphere.

How to contribute

If you are interested in contributing a chapter to this book, the editors would like to receive 500-1,000 word abstract on or before 30 January 2021. This should explain the ethical issue taht the chapter will focus on, as well as the genre that will evoke reader discussion. The abstract should be formatted using APA (7th edition) guidelines.

Abstracts should be submitted through the following Google Form. Notification of outcome will be given on 30th March 2021, and full chapters are due on 15th July 2021. Chapters will be double-blind peer-reviewed, and authors may be invited to share their expertise as reviewers.

Key dates

Proposal submission30 January 2021
Notification of acceptance30 March 2021
Full chapter submission15 June 2021
Review results to the authors15 August 2021
Chapter revisions15 August 2021
Final revisions30 December 2021
Publication deadline15 March 2021

More information

Correspondence about this project should be addressed to L2ed2021ethical [at] gmail [dot] com







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