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A Special Issue of L2 Journal: Critical Perspectives on Neoliberalism in Language Education
Call for Abstracts
Guest editors: Katie Bernstein, Emily Hellmich, Noah Katznelson, Jaran Shin, Kimberly Vinall
Language is increasingly understood as a commodified skill that allows learners, seen as language entrepreneurs, to compete in the global marketplace. Language teaching has become increasingly privatized through the emergence of a global industry that presents language in pre-packaged, standardized forms in response to the needs of the free market. As language becomes both a target as a technicized skill and an instrument of neoliberalization, language education finds itself caught in the crossfire. Neoliberal ideology and policy affect decisions about which languages to teach and to learn, when, where, and to whom languages are taught, and how to teach them.
This special issue seeks to build on previous work related to globalization, language standardization, multilingual subjectivities, and linguistic imperialism, amongst other related topics. By situating these discussions within the frame of neoliberal ideologies and practices this issue seeks to critically explore the historically situated ways in which neoliberal discourse has influenced the field of language education in order to open up spaces for critical reflection and action.
We invite both theoretical submissions that explore the relationship between neoliberalism and language education as well as empirical submissions (e.g. case studies) that focus on the effects of neoliberalism in specific contexts impacting L2 and TESOL/ESL teachers and learners. These contexts may range from the scale of a single language classroomK-12, university, adult education; second language, foreign language, heritage languageto the scale of national or international language policies. Articles in this special issue, therefore, might explore:
1. Language policy: How does neoliberalism influence language policies on a national or international level? How does this intersect with colonialism, globalization, and postcolonialism? How is English bound up with neoliberalism?
2. Educational philosophy (such as competitive models): How does neoliberalism influence philosophies of education, particularly language education?
3. Curriculum: How does neoliberalism structure and organize curriculum and assessment?
4. Teaching and learning practices: How does neoliberalism seep into classroom practices? How does neoliberal education produce subjects? How do these processes intersect with constructions of race, class, gender, and/or sexuality?
We especially invite articles that investigate neoliberalism's operation on multiple scales and the relationship between scales (e.g. the effects of neoliberalized language policies on curriculum, the effects of curriculum on teaching, teaching on identities, etc.), as well as articles that address the possibility of resistance and influence from subjects and local practices.
Please submit a 300-word abstract to L2specialissue@gmail.com by February 28, 2014. Inquiries can be directed to the same address. Authors will be notified of abstract acceptance by March 30. Manuscripts will be due August 15.