Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal: A consolidated scientific community locally and globally
Clavijo-Olarte, A. (2015). Belonging to a Community of Research Practice. Colomb. Appl. Linguist. J., 17(2), 175-178. https://doi.org/10.14483/http://dx.doi.org/10.14483/udistrital.jour.calj.2015.2.a00
Clavijo-Olarte, A. (2017). Exploring oral discourse development in the EFL classroom: perspectives from Ecuador, Honduras, Chile & Colombia. Colomb. Appl. Linguist. J., 19(2), 161-164. https://
Clavijo Olarte, A. (2018). Colombian Applied Linguistics reaches 20 years of publication. Colomb. Appl. Linguist. J., 20(1), 4-7. https://doi.org/10.14483/22487085.13193
González, A. & Llurda, E. (2016). Bilingualism and globalization in Latin America: fertile ground for native-speakerism. In F. Copland, S. Garton, & S. Mann. (Eds.). LETs and NESTs: Voices, Views and Vignettes. London: British Council.
Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: learning meaning and identity. Cambridge: CUP.
How to Cite
With this outstanding group of articles published in the first issue of Volume 21, I would like to close an important professional and personal learning process as the head of the editorial team of the Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal. I feel grateful to my institution, Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, for the professional support received during the last 10 years by hiring a technical team through the Center for Research and Scientific Development (CIDC) to assist the arduous job of the editor. Moreover, the scientific community of the Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal was also fully supported by other national and international communities of scholars who are committed to the same high quality standards in publication or have been in the field for a longer trajectory. To those thousands of authors, peer evaluators, colleagues in the scientific and editorial boards who have accompanied the editor for 20 years I am forever grateful. It was your professional judgment and ethical practice and our rigorous and ethical editorial practice that permitted to position the Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal as a solid scientific publication and a valuable source for teacher educators and researchers in Latin America and other parts of the globe where CALJ has a wide audience.
I have personally and professionally learned a great deal about what it takes to create, sustain and empower academic communities through the commitment of publishing scientific articles. Through various stages in the editing process I dealt with authors, evaluators, scientific committees, assistants, proofreaders, indexes, SIRes and Publindex. I learned to listen and understand different points of view always considering what was best for the readership. As an author myself, I always cared about the expectations, feelings, encouraging or discouraging moments that authors experienced when facing writing for publication. It was important, as editor, to explain the criteria and editing workflow of the articles to each one of the authors. Thus, annually in the launching event of the first issue of the journal we informed the audience about the underpinnings of the process of receiving, evaluating, editing and publishing the articles. I have always valued the global network I constructed through professional but spontaneous invitations to know our academic journal. My encounters with colleagues in conferences whose academic work signified a contribution became a possibility for an invitation to publish in our scientific journal or to participate as an evaluator for a particular article. These and many other activities are the everyday dynamics of maintaining a community of practice in the editorial world.
This issue offers seven research articles and two book reviews. The first article deals with topics related to using cultural content in the English lessons to help undergraduate students develop meaningful communication through cultural knowledge. The authors, Oviedo, H., & Álvarez, H. (2019) explored undergraduate students´ responsiveness to cultural issues and activities in their process of learning English. The second article by Cuesta Medina L., Alvarez Ayure C.P., Cadena Aguilar, A., Jiménez Bonilla, M. S., Maldonado Chacón, P., & Morales Pulido, V. (2019) deals with the value of reflection in Language Teaching and Learning with in-service language teachers pursuing a graduate degree. The results of their study unveil the difficulties that in-service teachers have in their cognitive, metacognitive and linguistic domains. The authors report teachers´ inability to self-assess, self-monitor, and self-evaluate their academic performance. They consider that participants could be assisted in the development of self-regulatory skills as they grow in their professional continuum to face the challenges set by their teaching contexts while they bridge their learning gaps.
A third contribution addresses foreign language teachers´ identity. Brazilian and Chilean teacher educators and researchers Archanjo, Barahona & Finardi (2019) focused on three main issues: emerging identities, the role of foreign language proficiency to study how foreign language pre-service teachers develop and ways to conceptualize their teacher identity in three teacher education programs in Brazil and Chile. Their results suggest that FL teacher identity is shaped by notions of legitimization of the teacher’s role and language proficiency.
Luis Ricardo Rojas and Jenifer Rueda at a public university in the South of Colombia, introduced Embera Chamí students to English learning through Task and Project-Based Learning. They developed a project with students that would raise awareness of drugs’ harmful effects and at the same time learn about the kind of English they need to use to sell their crafts in different fairs around the country.
The fifth article by Ximena Paola Buendía and Diego Fernando Macías provides a review of 25 empirical studies on professional development of English language teachers in Colombia. The authors suggest that there is a need to move from traditional master-apprentice, content-oriented, teacher-centered models of professional development towards initiatives that allow teachers to critically analyze their particular context and needs, and devise their own local alternatives so that they can become more active agents of their own process of change.
Mauricio Mancipe and Cynthia Marcela Ramírez in their article “The role of language in elaborating explanations in the science class in bilingual contexts through CLIL”, analyze the role of language in teaching from two perspectives: communicative and explanatory. The authors carried out a pedagogical implementation with students using the CLIL approach and their findings report a close link between the L2 proficiency, and the depth of the explanations elaborated by the students. They considered that the implementation re-dimensioned the content perspective applied by teachers when using the CLIL, placing bilingualism in the science classes as a medium that fosters communicative and explanatory processes by nurturing different cognitive linguistic abilities.
Lastly, Elizabeth Flores-Salgado y Michael T. Witten do a comparative study of Mexican and Irish compliment responses and they find that social factors (social distance, social power, gender, and the topic of the compliment) in both the Mexican as in the and Irish society seem to be crucial parameters in the formulation and acceptance or rejection of a compliment.
Two book reviews are also part of this issue. The first by Laryssa Paulino de Queiroz Sousa on Posthumanism in applied linguistics; and the second by Ómar Garzón on quality standards and unequal conditions in initial teacher education in Colombia. They add to the professional discussion on the existing challenges in teacher education within the field of applied linguistics. At this point and having introduced the current issue, I would like to recall some of the themes from previous editorial articles that have been significant in the construction of this scientific community.
The importance of raising awareness about the local appropriation of languages by using the local contexts for teaching and researching. This way, teachers are closing the existing gap between the foreign language and the students’ knowledge and realities.
“The teaching of English as a foreign language in our Latin American contexts requires that all educators become familiar with and actively address the needs of diverse learners; participate in the social practices that constitute the EFL professional field, and implement critical approaches that integrate content, local contexts and language education so that new educational challenges can be faced having the needs of the communities of students in mind”
Clavijo, A. (2015). January - June 2015. Vol. 17 • Number 1 pp. 4-10.
Another recent theme is the status of local teachers of English in the unequal treatment of native and nonnative speakers of English.
The preference for native speaker teachers of English (NS) over Non-native speakers (NNS) to work in public and private schools in Latin American countries places teachers at a disadvantage and “increases the loss of public trust in local teachers and in university-based programs that train English teachers” (Llurda & González, 2016:104).
Clavijo, A. (2017). Vol 19. Number 2. 161-164.
Belonging to a Community of Research Practice
Regarding my professional concern about the writing and publishing dimensions of research productivity and how writers' understanding of the nature of journal article writing can be developed, I propose to develop communities of writing practice by means of communities of research practice at our higher education institutions. Communities of practice, as Wenger (1998) puts it, are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly. Thus, if we work on creating healthy productive environments within our communities of research in higher education institutions we should possibly facilitate and successfully develop our research and publication agendas.
Clavijo, A. (2015). July - December 2015. Vol. 17• Number 2 pp. 175-17
Colombian Applied Linguistics reaches 20 years of publication
With the increasing impact of technologies in the sociosemiotic landscape of our contemporary communities one wonders about the directions our professional field may take when faced with new generations of learners that live on and from the screen and how to educate teachers that can use these new ways to communicate in the service of a critical education. Texting, messaging, Skyping, whatsapping, voicing, videoing and more are communicative practices that engage a new kind of social networking which our pedagogies need to incorporate. Yet, in Latin America the inclusion of these practices should align with larger educational goals for social justice, equality, respect for diversity and democracy that orient modern societies and that call for critical approaches in applied linguistics.
Clavijo, A. (2018). Colombian Applied Linguistics Vol. 20 • Number 1 pp. 11-24
The Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal has been steered by some of these ideas and principles in these years I have been at the helm. They have been fundamental in helping the journal gained the recognition of the academic community and, I hope, in ushering the way to a promissory future.
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