Issue Five – Engaging with the Multilingual Turn for Learner Development: Practices, Issues, Discourses, and Theorisations

Call for Inclusive ​Practitioner Research and Reviews​ for Issue 5 of The Learner Development Journal (LDJ5) (LDJ 5 Call for Papers PDF download)

Engaging with the Multilingual Turn for Learner Development: Practices, Issues, Discourses, and Theorisations

Deadline:​ ​Monday 13th January 2020
Editors: ​Andy Barfield, Oana Cusen, Yuri Imamura, & Riitta Kelly

The four of us all share an enthusiasm about researching and understanding issues to do with learner development and multilingualism, and we would like to work with a wider group, co-learning with other teachers and students who are similarly enthusiastic and curious about engaging with the multilingual turn for learner development.

If questions like the following intrigue you, then please consider putting in a proposal for Issue 5 of The Learner Development Journal (LDJ5):

Why do we need multilingualism/in what ways is multilingualism useful and important for learner development? Why now?

In what different ways might multilingual approaches to language education lead teacher-researchers to question, engage with, and attempt to move beyond current norms and dominant notions of learner development? ​Why?

Under what conditions do learners use and might they use their multilingual resources for developing their own capacities and self-direction in becoming more autonomous learners? How? Why?

What puzzles do you and your learners have about developing multilingual practices in the classroom and outside, and how might you explore those puzzles together?

How could multilingual approach(es) and practices for learner development enhance “Quality of Life and Learning” for ourselves as teachers and for the learners we work with? Why?

Outside of formal education, what can be learned from different practices of raising children multilingually in Japan (and in other societies)?

How might such insights inform and transform our approaches to learner development within formal education?

​For LDJ5 we wish to bring together a group of teacher-researchers interested in inclusive practitioner research, with a specific emphasis on starting from practices and/or ideologies to do with multilingualism and learner development, and then theorising “outwards” through inquiry towards critically situated understandings—whether these practices and ideologies are explored within formal/non-formal education, from primary through to tertiary, or in other contexts such as family, pre-school, adult learning, fieldwork, social media, study abroad, and the workplace.

Possible areas of activity and inquiry

Some specific areas of activity and inquiry that we hope contributors will be interested in exploring include:

  • learners’ multilingual language histories and/or multilingual literacy histories, including learner beliefs and narratives about living and learning multilingually
  • learners’ linguistic/multilingual repertoires, including their emergent multilingual identities
  • learners’ explorations of the linguistic landscapes (material, digital, …) that they move through
  • learners’ translanguaging practices and their (academic, critical, digital, multi-) literacy development
  • translanguaging in-class and out-of-class, including learner advising and self-access learning
  • (the development of) multilingual practices by learners and by teachers
  • multilingual practices in communities and families and their implications for learner development in education
  • multilingualism as a right, resource, or problem for learners, teachers and institutions
  • learners’ use and development of multilingual practices outside of formal education
  • (development of) multilingual learner-centred curricula, pedagogies, approaches, courses, and classrooms in practice
  • discourses of the nation state (and colonialism) and the monolingual bias in languages education and their impact on learner development
  • ideologies of language and learning (including native speakerism) and their impact on educational discourses and institutions, as well as on teaching and learning practices for learner development

If there are other areas of activity and inquiry that interest you about engaging with the multilingual turn for learner development, then please feel free to consult with us by email ahead of sending in your proposal. Thanks.

Developing a community of practices together

Our aim is to make the collaborative process of LDJ5 supportive and inclusive by creating a stimulating and enjoyable community of practices of research and writing.

We warmly encourage co-constructed inquiries, co-authorship, and joint participation of students/learners in inquiries and writing.

As a contributor to LDJ5 you will be expected to collaborate with other contributors at different points in the development of your research and writing, for example engaging in discussions of your practices and inquiries, sharing writing, responding to each other’s drafts, and taking part in face-to-face and/or online conversations.

Exploratory writing with narrative accounts and practice-related reviews

LDJ5 will feature two main types of exploratory writing: ​narrative accounts​ and practice-related reviews​. With ​narrative accounts​ at 5,000-7,000 words, we are looking for around 6-10 contributions, ​each with a strong narrative quality.​ ​We invite contributors to LDJ5 to:

●  ground their writing in concerns and questions that they have about engaging with the multilingual turn for learner development

●  write their inquiry as an unfolding story

●  include different voices

●  relate their inquiry to arguments and debates in the field where appropriate, and

●  write questioningly to construct critical understanding and reflection on practices, issues, discourses, and theorisations to do with ​multilingualism and learner development.

We also encourage contributors to adopt an exploratory stance in their writing and to experiment by, for example, using dialogue, multimodal elements, as well as video and other hyperlinks. See, for example, ​this piece by Lena Karlsson and Fergal Bradley​ (2018), as well as ​this inquiry into Exploratory Practice by Alison Stewart, Robert Croker and Judith Hanks​ (2015). ​Places of Practice: Learning to Think Narratively​ by Jean Clandinin and associates (2015) and ​this thought-provoking commentary by Naoko Aoki​ (2003) also provide a range of ideas for inquiring and writing narratively.

For ​practice-related reviews​, we would like to include reflective commentaries at around 2,000 – 3,000 words​ about the books listed further below ​(inspection copies have been generously provided by publishers and we would send you a copy of the respective book to review). As a reviewer, you would need to relate your review to exploring your own local learner development practices and concerns rather than trying to provide objective, ‘clinical’ summaries of a particular work:

Conteh, J., & Meier, G. (Eds.) (2014). ​The multilingual turn in languages education​. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Heinrich, P. (2012). ​The making of monolingual Japan​. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Horner, K., & Weber, J-J (2018).​ Introducing multilingualism: A social approach​ (2nd ed.). London, UK: Routledge.

Kalaja P., & Melo-Pfeifer, S. (Eds.) (2019). ​Visualising multilingual lives: More than words.​ Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Martin-Jones, M., & Martin, D. (Eds.) (2016). ​Researching multilingualism: Critical and ethnographic perspectives.​ London, UK: Routledge.

May, S. (2014) (Ed.). ​The multilingual turn: Implications for SLA, TESOL, and bilingual education​ (2nd ed.). London, UK: Routledge.

Piller, I. (2016). ​Linguistic diversity and social justice: An introduction to applied sociolinguistics​. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

If there are ​other books or work​ about engaging with the multilingual turn for learner development (for example, particular papers or studies that you find inspiring, or especially thought-provoking) that you would like to review, please contact us to share your ideas. Thanks.

Staged development of research and writing

Rather than working exclusively towards a full draft from the outset, we feel it is more productive and enriching to build on, re-work, and extend your research and writing in stages through sharing incomplete drafts, discussing them, and getting peer responses from other contributors, as well as later receiving feedback from LDJ Review Network members, and the LDJ5 editors.

The draft schedule planned for the staged development of research and writing is as follows (we may adjust some details later after further discussion with contributors):

13th January 2020           Proposal deadline
End of February 2020 Notifications of acceptance
March & April 2020 Discussion of inquiries and plans
30th April 2020 First piece of writing: narrative accounts: 1,200-1,500 words; practice-related reviews: 600-1,000 words; peer responses
31st August 2020 Second piece of writing (building on, re-working, and extending the first piece): narrative accounts: 2,000-3,000 words; practice-related reviews: 1,200-1,800 words; peer responses

Choice of blind peer or open review by LDJ Review Network members

September & October 2020 Feedback from LDJ Review Network members
15t​h​ December 2020 –31s​t​ January 2021 Third piece of writing (building on, re-working, and extending the second piece): full draft (narrative accounts: 5,000 to 7,000 words; practice related reviews: 2,000-3,000 words)
February & March 2021 Feedback from peers, editors, and LDJ Steering Group
April & May 2021 Finalised drafts
June, July, August 2021 Finalisation of all texts , including abstracts and keywords (English and Japanese, plus another language) and author bios (English and Japanese, plus another language)
September 2021 Proofreading and final checks
October 2021 Publication

Initial inquiries and proposals (Deadline Monday 13th January 2020)

  • If you wish to check anything with us ahead of sending in your proposal, please email us at: ​JALT LDJ5​ ​​, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
  • The deadline for all proposals is Monday 13th January 2020.
  • For your proposal, please include the following information in a Word document.Name(s):
    Institutional affiliation(s):
    E-mail address(es):
    Member of JALT LD SIG? ​Yes/No
  • Proposal guideline: ​Start with a brief story about yourself and your working (or studying) context(s), and your interest in ​engaging with the multilingual turn for learner development​. Indicate which type of writing you plan to do.
  • For a ​narrative account​, write around 500 to 600 words to introduce your proposed inquiry. Include also your ideas and/or concerns about writing narratively.
  • For a ​practice-related review​, write about 250 to 300 words, identifying the book or work you are interested in reviewing and why, and focusing on practices and/or questions that you plan to relate your review to.
  • Send your completed proposal to us (Andy Barfield, Oana Cusen, Yuri Imamura, Riitta Kelly) at: ​JALT LDJ5​ ​


We are looking forward to hearing from you​—​and if you have any questions or concerns along the way, please feel free to email us at and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Andy Barfield, Oana Cusen, Yuri Imamura, & Riitta Kelly