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Call for Abstracts - The Endowed Power of Academic Language: Peeling the Entanglements


The Endowed Power of Academic Language: Peeling the Entanglements 

EDITORS : Sultan Turkan, Queen’s University, Belfast-UK &  Jamie L. Schissel, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA 

The proposed book provides a venue for professionals, practitioners, and academics in education from various contexts to illustrate how systems, structures, and agents have racialized academic language (AL) to perpetuate deficit views of the learning of language-minoritized students. AL is often defined abstractly as the language minoritized students need to succeed in schools (Bailey & Heritage, 2008; Chamot & O’Malley, 1994; Schleppegrell, 2004), ignoring or actively dismissing the socio-interpretive nature of the concept. Furthermore, although standards movements ask educators to legitimize and idealize the testing and teaching of AL (Sato & Thompson, 2020)AL remains construct that is still not yet clearly defined (Garcia & Solorza, 2020) nor operationalized consistently between K-12 English Language Proficiency (ELP) assessments and standards (Sato & Thompson, 2020). Yet, as we speak, AL is present in educators’ and individuals’ lives and teachers are being held accountable for effective teaching of AL to language minoritized students. 

Our book explores AL as a process of enregistering various signs, symbols, and actions that index a recognizable practice for a specific group (Agha, 2007, 2007). Within this conceptualization of AL, this book aims to provide necessary counter narratives to the prolific AL literature that position language-minoritized students as lacking the skills deemed necessary to succeed in the language of schooling. We use language-minoritized as a term to speak about these specific learners. The term points to the disenfranchisement of communities and is related to the “near-universal agreement among language education scholars about the legitimacy of minoritized linguistic practices” (Flores & Rosa, 2015, p. 149). To work toward social justice in the education of language-minoritized students, we delve deeply into the issue by not only building on the strengths of emerging literature on racialized AL within the US context (Flores, 2020; Garcia & Solorza, 2020; Rosa, 2016) but also by engaging with transnational perspectives to explore the ramifications of idolizing AL in other, primarily anglophone, contexts where this concept has been taken up. We seek theoretical and empirical contributions examining the epistemology of AL and the narratives constructed around its utility in instruction and assessment. More specifically, possible contributions could include but are not limited to AL intersectional relationships with respect to eugenics, race, class, ethnicity, religion, ability, gender, and/or sexuality that actively work to upend the entrenched colonial, white supremacist foundations in relation to: 

  • standards-based education 
  • instructional practices 
  • testing and assessment  
  • educational policies 
  • teacher education 
  • community-based education 

Proposal for theoretical perspectives as well as empirical studies based on different methodologies across various educational and geographical contexts are welcome. The proposed volume will be submitted to the Teachers College Record Disability, Culture, Equity series (Prof. Alfredo Artiles, series editor). Potential contributors are invited to submit a 300-word abstract to the co-editors by June 7. Abstracts should be submitted to Contributors will be notified by August, 2021.