• Vol 20, No. 2 (2018) July-December

    Learning how to recognise and make student and community assets the subject of curriculum is at the core of teachers’ designs and enactments of critical and inclusive pedagogies. However, this era of globalisation and standardisation, where education is increasingly seen as a commodity that underscores economic competitiveness, has made space for local knowledge production, hard to find. Knowing how to incorporate community problems in school-based student-led inquiries, whilst meeting authorised learning outcomes, is also challenging. At the same time there are particular pressures on language teachers where states extol the benefits of English, or another foreign language literacy for global competitiveness. Yet, educational researchers and teacher educators know the potential power of working with students’ assets and motivations to enhance language and literacy learning in classrooms. Community based approaches to language education in various places in Latin America are explored in this issue with contributions from teacher-researchers, collaborative teams, teacher educators and university-based researchers.

  • Vol 20, No 1 (2018) January-June

    Although it might be commonplace to mention it, applied linguistics is becoming a rhizomatic field of inquiry with emerging poles of interest and practice in the various contexts where languages are learned and taught. The 18th World Congress of Applied Linguistics 2017 in Rio de Janeiro featured a diversity of topics that illustrate it. Applied linguists from all over the world attended and presented on old and new topics that included Queering Applied Linguistics, Colonization: Histories about languages and identities in the border Brasil-Paraguay, Intercultural competence, gender in political discourses, conversation analysis, a corpus based history of applied linguistics, forensic dialectology in Brazilian Portuguese; discourse, reproduction and citizenship; transglossia and liberated women identity in a peripheral south Asian country; English as an additional language, English as lingua franca, functional analysis of internet language use, language education policy, learning English as a second language, language impairment, bilingualism; multilingualism as a resource, multiliteracies in language teacher education; academic literacies; identities, emotions and investment in multilingual ́s multimodal production; teacher ́ identity transformations during their practice; multimodal discourses in interactive practices in WhatsApp, to mention some.

  • Vol 19, No 2 (2017) July-December
    Educating learners of English as a second/foreign/additional language to speak is a complex social practice. Speaking in another language involves a range of processes that go from successfully handling new muscular movements to developing and consolidating an individual, yet social, voice in that language. This voice deals with the projected identity the learner deploys when engaging in meaningful interactions, which is constantly being negotiated in every use of the language. For Ortiz-Medina in this issue, “the construction of identities and, particularly, the ways in which English language learners position themselves and others are determined by how they interact in the power networks of the classroom” (p.252). She investigated how young adult learners of English constructed their identities as speakers of English through their positioning in oral tasks in an English class.
  • Vol 19, No 1 (2017) January-June
    As a coeditor of CALJ, I would like to draw your attention to the rising importance of identity studies in the EFL setting and their contribution to the field. The Socratic imperative “know thyself” has inspired teacher researchers around the world (Benwell & Stokoe, 2006; Cheung, 2015; Johnson & Golombek, 2016; Norton, 2013) to raise awareness towards knowledge-power relations affecting our own constitution as subjects (Foucault, 1980). From a poststructuralist view, the comprehension of identity as something not given but constituted has illuminated a type of research more interested in revealing how interior and exterior forces—in Deleuze’s (1993) words—influence our constitution as subjects of a practice. In the field of EFL, research examining identity contributes to the understanding of who English teachers and learners are and how these identities are related to the teaching and learning process. When looking specifically at local studies, one has the sensation that a double effect has resulted from the use of identity as a category of analysis. On the one hand, its use has empowered the critical positions of researchers regarding sociocultural aspects that define and shape English teaching (Bonilla & Cruz, 2014), English teachers’ roles in relation to policies and English teachers’ identities (Gonzalez, 2010; Mendez, 2016; Quintero & Guerrero, 2013), English teachers’ practices of interaction (Fajardo, 2013), and English teachers’ self-perception of their non-nativeness (Viáfara, 2016). On the other hand, it has increased the interest of English teachers in their students’ identities not only to understand aspects affecting the learning of the target language, but also to understand how aspects of identity such as gender, age, culture, and interest might interfere with the teacher and the language per se (Castañeda-Peña, 2009)
  • Vol 18, No 2 (2016) July-December
    Studies about teacher learning during the last twenty years have focused on the relationship between knowledge and practice. Cochran-Smith and Lytle (1999), situate self-study in the category of knowledge-of-practice and propose a view of inquiry as stance to understand teaching and learning about practice as a process that occurs during the span of a teacher’s career. Self-study research is a fairly new approach to teacher research that views teachers as reflective practitioners and focuses on the critical examination of one´s own practice. The literature on self-study research provides contributions from Dinkelman (2003), Loughran (2007), Cochran-Smith and Lytle (1999), Clandinin and Connelly (2007), and Peercy (2014), among others. Loughran (2007) defends that a central purpose in self-study is uncovering deeper understandings of the relationship between teaching about teaching and learning about teaching. Connelly and Clandinin, (2007, p. 575) distinguish between teachers’ knowledge as something they possess and a view of knowledge as coming from their practices. They consider that self-study is important because of its potential to reveal knowledge of the educational landscape. Dinkleman defines self-study as “intentional and systematic inquiry into one’s own practice” (p. 8). Lastly, Peercy (2014) uses self-study as a mechanism for innovation and change within a framework of practice-based education in teacher education.
  • Vol 18, No 1 (2016) January-June

    Although for the last 10 years Colombia has proposed a National Plan for Bilingualism in different stages, the education of young children in Colombian public and private schools in relation to English language learning evidences some critical issues regarding the preparation of future teachers, the professional development of in-service teachers, and the national standards for foreign language teaching. The preparation of future teachers of English focuses mainly on delivering theoretical perspectives of English grammar, linguistics, traditional and decontextualized approaches to EFL teaching, second language acquisition theories, and research methods to mention some of the general content in English language education. The study carried out by Cardenas (2009) investigating the tendencies in language teacher education in Colombia reported that "transmission and language skill oriented models of teaching still exist at universities; educational perspectives that view the person as a social individual and promote a critical model of education are rarely found" (p.100). However, most programs fail to address the challenges and teaching realities that classrooms in public schools face every day. With a single and isolated experience in the practicum in elementary school, an absence of in-depth discussions about critical approaches to teaching in today's challenging times, and a lack of innovative and creative practices that articulate content from the disciplines in the curriculum, future teachers remain unprepared for teaching in classrooms full of children with diverse cultural and socioeconomic needs and literacies

  • Vol 17, No 2 (2015) July-December
    Belonging to a community of research practice as applied linguists or as academics in any field is part of our professional life. Being an academic implies, inter alia, creativity in advancing knowledge in the disciplines, which reflects in writing journal articles, presenting papers in conferences, doing research, teaching, tutoring students and publishing. Globally, every higher education institution requires that academics publish in prominent journals to make their work and their institution visible and influence their professional field. However, the questions that arise concerning academic production are how do communities of research support academic production?, How do higher education institutions help novice researchers develop academic writing competences?, What is the place of writing within research? How do institutions foster quality publication?
  • Vol 17, No 1 (2015) January-June
    An analysis of the thematic tendencies in the 41 research articles published in the issues of the Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal during the last three years, 2013-2015, indicates that authors have focused their attention primarily on five topics. These themes can be grouped as a) Trends and Approaches to teaching English as a foreign language, with the highest number of articles, followed by b) language learners´ processes and outcomes, c) teacher education for both preservice and inservice teachers, d) critical literacy and literacy involving social development, and d) uses of Spanish as expression of popular culture and English as a sociolinguistic phenomenon in San Andres. The variety of research reflected in these five thematic groups certainly contributes to addressing the two target disciplines our journal is interested in: Applied Linguistics and English Language Education in the context of Colombia and Latin America.
  • Vol 16, No 2 (2014) July-December
    Welcome to this new issue of the Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal. This time a new layout is presented addressing the challenges of becoming a digital journal for the applied-linguist academic community. This effort has been cooperatively constructed by the joined efforts of the CIDC Journal Coordinator at Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, the Editorial and Scientific Committees, the editor and his editorial assistant and the valuable contributions made by authors and peer reviewers. As expressed by Holland, Skinner, Lachicotte and Cain (1998) in relation to identity and agency, this making of a figured world for our journal has been a heteroglossic exercise where multiple voices are entangled together and where the vantage point of our dialogism rests in a plural collective experience that shapes angles of a revisited identity.
  • Vol 16, No 1 (2014) January-June
    Welcome to our Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal new issue. The present journal edition proposes a hermeneutical exercise on domains of applied linguistics inviting readers to be “implied” revisiting and renewing research horizons at national and international levels around three research interests: Education and professional development of language teachers, Literacy processes and new literacies in two languages and Discourse studies in educational contexts. These academic paths are also the foci of our graduate programme in Applied Linguistics to TEFL at Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, and they constitute our own research agenda.
  • Vol 15, No 2 (2013) July-December

    In this issue I would like to address community based pedagogies (CBP) as an approach to teaching and learning used by people interested in doing educational work within a social perspective in our context. Research studies focused on CBP use community asset mapping to document the resources of a community by viewing the community as a place with strengths or assets that need to be preserved and enhanced, not deficits to be remedied. Gee (2000) asserts that recognizing valuable sources available in the community helps learners acquire knowledge embedded in social, cultural and material contexts.

  • Vol 15, No 1 (2013) January-June
    Literacy acquisition and literacy development are interesting and necessary topics for research, reflection and pedagogical action for educators at all educational levels. Ferreiro’s speech at the 26th quadrennial congress of the International Publishers Union in the year 2000 addressed literacy acquisition as a right of all citizens in a democracy, and as a multidisciplinary field studied by a plethora of scholars from disciplines like history, anthropology, psycho-linguistics, and linguistics. Her discussion, framed within a sociocultural context for literacy, views diversity from different facets: “diversity of systems of writing invented by humanity; diversity of purposes and social uses; diversity of languages in contact; diversity regarding texts” (Ferreiro, 2001, p. 58).