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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Language and Education

For a Special Issue on
Researching Multilingually to Rethink EMI Policy and Practices

Abstract deadline
15 June 2022

Manuscript deadline
30 November 2022

Cover image - Language and Education

Special Issue Editor(s)

Xuesong (Andy) Gao, School of Education, University of New South Wales
[email protected]

Yongyan Zheng, College of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Fudan University
[email protected]

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Researching Multilingually to Rethink EMI Policy and Practices

Xuesong (Andy) Gao

School of Education, University of New South Wales

[email protected]

Yongyan Zheng

College of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Fudan University

[email protected]

The use of English as medium of instruction (EMI) has been enthusiastically promoted by many governments and educational institutions, largely because it is widely seen as instrumental in helping individuals to develop English competence as well as enabling nations to gain advantages in transnational flows of knowledge, commodities, and people. While EMI used to be associated with educational systems in contexts with colonial pasts, such as Hong Kong, India, and the Philippines, EMI education of various types (e.g., Content Language Integrated Learning, CLIL) has also grown significantly in other contexts where English is not widely used, such as Asia (e.g., Japan, Mainland China, Vietnam) and Europe (e.g., Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey). In addition, the use of EMI is not only promoted in tertiary institutions; it has been recently advocated as a preferred educational option in primary and secondary schools in contexts such as Asia and Europe, especially in the private elite education sector.

The unprecedented growth of EMI in contexts where English is not widely used raises a few critical questions for educators, policy makers, and researchers. First, educators, policy makers, and researchers need to work out how the implementation of EMI policies can be refined to ensure that EMI practices lead to the desired educational outcomes (i.e., students’ gains in learning both English and subject content) for students with diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds in multilingual contexts. Second, educators, policy makers, and researchers need to address a growing concern about educational equity, since the widening gaps in individual students’ access to learning resources put the ‘have nots’ at a clear disadvantage. Third, educators, policy makers, and researchers need to explore how the rise of EMI education may be undermining efforts to sustain multilingualism as well as learning and teaching in the national language(s) in many educational contexts.

Considering the above-mentioned concerns, we contend that the sustainable implementation of EMI practices inevitably relies on the multilingual resources that students and teachers can bring to bear when implementing EMI policies. Therefore, we argue that these critical questions related to the promotion of EMI should be addressed by applied linguistics researchers from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds researching multilingually and collaboratively, whereby researchers can ‘use, or account for the use of, more than one language in the research process’ (Holmes et al., 2015). We welcome submissions informed by the paradigm of researching multilingually to achieve the following aims in this special issue:

  1. Research on EMI policy starts with multilingual collaboration among researchers, educators, and policy makers in order to develop an appropriate understanding of how EMI policy has been working and what can be done to refine its implementation to achieve its desired educational outcomes (e.g., learning of both subject knowledge and English).
  2. Research on EMI practice begins with the recognition that students and teachers bring multilingual resources and identities to learning and teaching, which can be strategically used to promote the learning of subject content through English and maintain the critical role of these actors in EMI education and affirming their diverse identities.
  3. Research on EMI policy and practice prioritizes the development of teachers to ensure the successful implementation of EMI policy to enhance students’ learning experiences and achievements. Researching multilingually also means analyzing how EMI combines with the linguistic management of other dimensions of academic life (e.g., doing research, publishing research, supervision).
  4. Doing research on EMI policy and practice multilingually needs to broaden its engagement with and from a variety of perspectives (e.g., indigenous, sociocultural theory, and critical) in a variety of educational contexts (e.g., secondary, higher education).
  5. Doing research on EMI policy and practice needs to be simultaneously committed to respect for multilingual and multicultural diversity and recognition of equity and social justice. The special issue enables students, teachers, and researchers in underrepresented contexts to have their voices heard.

Please send your abstract to Andy ([email protected] ) and Yongyan ([email protected]) by May 31st, 2022.

  1. Key dates
  • May 31st, 2022: Submit 2-300 word abstract
  • June 15th, 2022: Potential contributors invited to submit their full manuscripts
  • November 30th, 2022: Full manuscripts due for submission and external review
  • August 31st, 2023: Manuscripts finalized for publication in the final issue of 2023

Submission Instructions

Please send your abstract to Andy ([email protected] ) and Yongyan ([email protected]) by 15 June, 2022.

After abstracts are selected, authors will submit their manuscripts through ScholarOne and go through the usual blind peer review process (https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/mm-le). Select "Researching Multilingually to Rethink EMI Policy and Practices” when submitting your manuscript.

The special issue welcomes submissions informed by the paradigm of researching multilingually to achieve these aims:

  1. Research on EMI policy starts with multilingual collaboration among researchers, educators, and policy makers to develop an understanding of EMI policy and to refine its implementation.
  2. Research on EMI practice begins with recognition that students and teachers bring multilingual resources and identities to learning and teaching, which can be strategically used to promote learning and maintain the critical role of actors in EMI education and affirm diverse identities.
  3. Research on EMI policy and practice prioritizes the development of teachers.
  4. Doing research on EMI multilingually needs to engage a variety of perspectives (e.g., indigenous, sociocultural, and critical) in a variety of educational contexts (e.g., secondary, higher education).
  5. Doing research on EMI policy and practice needs to be simultaneously committed to respect for multilingual and multicultural diversity and recognition of equity and social justice. The special issue enables students, teachers, and researchers in underrepresented contexts to have their voices heard.
  • June 15th, 2022: Abstracts due
  • November 30th, 2022: Full manuscripts due
  • August 31st, 2023: Manuscripts finalized for publication in late 2023

Other information about the journal can be found at https://www.tandfonline.com/action/journalInformation?journalCode=rlae20

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article

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