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The Language Hoax

By John H. McWhorter

The Language Hoax "argues that that all humans process life the same way, regardless of their language."


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Language and Development in Africa

By H. Ekkehard Wolff

Language and Development in Africa "discusses the resourcefulness of languages, both local and global, in view of the ongoing transformation of African societies as much as for economic development.. "


ReCALL

Call Deadline: 01-Sep-2016

Call Information:
The following is a call for the submission of preliminary proposals in the format of a long abstract (max. 1500 words) for a Special Issue of the ReCALL journal on virtual worlds ''Interactions for language learning in and around virtual worlds''.

See full call information including timeline, suggested topics and submission details here: http://journals.cambridge.org/images/fileUpload/documents/ReCALL-SI2017_CFP.pdf

Guest editors

Susanna Nocchi, Dublin Institute of Technology
Luisa Panichi, Centro Linguistico, Università di Pisa
Randall Sadler, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Ciara R. Wigham, Université de Lyon

Pedagogical opportunities offered by three-dimensional virtual worlds and their application to language learning have generated a considerable amount of interest and dialogue among educators and educational researchers in recent years. We define virtual worlds as 3D, immersive, persistent, graphical environments in which participants are co-present through their avatars and interact with each other and the world's contents. When characterising virtual worlds, a distinction is frequently made between social virtual worlds and gaming virtual worlds. Whereas gaming virtual worlds have an embedded predetermined goal, social virtual worlds emphasise user-generated content and require users to fill the environment with meaning and to extend the environment in order to make sense. Social virtual worlds are therefore not goal-oriented and adhere to the description proffered by Boellstorff (2008) as a blank slate that allows for a new type of culture to develop. This special issue aims to bring together research that specifically focuses on social virtual worlds.

The special issue seeks to bring together papers that explore the theoretical frameworks and methodologies needed by researchers to analyse interaction data from social virtual worlds. It encourages contributions that study interactions in open-source, browser-based and custom-made virtual worlds, as well as in those worlds that use mobile-technology.

The special issue will privilege research papers that offer critical reflection on both teaching practices (the rationale of using social virtual world platforms) and on the methodological tools of choice in analyses of empirical data. The editors encourage experimental methodological approaches building on the research affordances of social virtual worlds and are interested in papers that not only shed light on the potential of these environments and their added value but that also make suggestions about how virtual world educational activities and understandings have washback effects on our non-virtual world educational practices and thinking.

The guest editors encourage articles that encompass language learning in primary, secondary or tertiary education. Submissions that focus on the use of social virtual worlds for non-formal, informal and incidental language learning purposes are also welcome. The issue aims to reflect a range of target languages and offer insights on different approaches to language learning in social virtual worlds that could help to open up this type of environment to practitioners / researchers who were previously hesitant to use them.

Guest editors may be reached via recallvirtualworlds@gmail.com

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