Special Issue of the CALICO Journal (34.1)
Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) in Extracurricular/Extramural Contexts
Special issue editors: Liss Kerstin Sylvén and Pia Sundqvist
This special issue of the CALICO Journal will focus on CALL in extracurricular, or extramural, contexts. The terms extracurricular and extramural are used interchangeably and refer to any type of contact that learners have with a target language outside educational settings (universities, evening classes et cetera). Sometimes, the term naturalistic CALL is used for the same phenomenon. Recent research in the field of extramural learning of second/foreign (L2) languages indicates that this is an important new arena for L2 acquisition. The aim of this special issue is, therefore, to highlight that L2 learning is not restricted to the classroom; today L2 learning may very well take place also outside of institutional settings.
Several recent empirical and theoretical studies have examined links between different extramural activities, such as playing digital games, being involved in fan fiction, watching TV, et cetera, and various aspects of L2 proficiency. For instance, Reinders and Wattana (2011) show correlations between playing an adapted online multiplayer game and willingness to communicate in the target language (English) in their study at tertiary level education in Thailand. Furthermore, the same authors (2015) reveal that gameplay may lower affective barriers to learning and increase learners’ willingness to communicate. In the same vein, Peterson (2010; 2012a; 2012b) points at positive findings between playing a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) and different aspects of target language interaction in studies from Japan (also tertiary level). Others have looked at fan fiction in relation to learning (Sauro, 2014) with promising suggestions for task-based learning. There are also links between time spent watching TV/films and L2 vocabulary acquisition (Webb & Rodgers, 2009a, 2009b). Studies such as these are very important contributions to the field of CALL and language learning, but it should be noted that they are conducted (a) at tertiary level and (b) in educational settings. As is well-known, L2 learning often starts much earlier, when learners are children or in their teens. What is less known is that learners may acquire language skills also outside of school, for instance, through the use of digital media. To date, there are some empirical studies that have investigated relations between engagement in different extramural English digital activities and L2 English proficiency among young learners, that is, learners in primary or secondary school, for example in Belgium (Kuppens, 2010), Finland (Piirainen-Marsh & Tainio, 2009), and Sweden (Olin-Scheller & Wikström, 2010; Sylvén & Sundqvist, 2012; Sundqvist & Sylvén, 2014). All of these studies indeed highlight the potential of extramural L2 learning.
For this special issue we seek proposals that target the relation between extramural activities, exposure, and L2 learning from different national settings and perspectives. Topics could cover, but are not limited to:
· digital games
· fan fiction
and their relation to the learning of an L2, as measured either in formal educational settings or by other means of evaluation. Although we are particularly interested in papers presenting in-depth empirical data, papers targeting theoretical perspectives or methodological issues that illuminate the possible relation between extramural target language exposure/engagement and language learning outside of institutional settings are also welcome. Furthermore, as there are so few studies carried out among young learners, we especially welcome studies from primary, secondary, and upper secondary levels. Any target language is of relevance for this special issue.
Please send a Word document with your title and 250-word abstract by 1 September to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Full papers are to be submitted through the OJS of the CALICO Journal by 31 December 2015; please consult the author guidelines (For Authors; http://www.equinoxpub.com/CALICO) and from there access the online submission.
Call for papers: April 6, 2015 (1st CfP), June 1, 2015 (2nd CfP)
Submission deadline for abstracts: September 1, 2015
Invitation to authors to submit full papers: September 15, 2015
Submission deadline for manuscripts: December 31, 2015
Revised draft deadline: May 31, 2016
Publication: January, 2017