While doing research for a paper in an entirely different class, I stumbled upon this journal; it’s available for perusal at www.multilingual-education.com and well worth checking out. It’s published by Springer as one of their many “open journals”; as such, it’s freely accessible to the public with no charge to read or download articles and no registration necessary to use the site. Instead, the journal runs on a “reverse business model”, with researchers paying a rather steep fee to have their articles published. The fee, it says, may be waived for researchers based in low-income countries, and is usually footed by academic institutions or private sponsors. Articles are peer-reviewed and must meet rigorous publication standards. It’s been published since 2011 and contains 5 issues with 33 articles.
I’d certainly like to meet the Editor-in-Chief, Andy Kirkpatrick, a Professor of Linguistics at Griffith University in Australia. His areas of specialty are World Englishes (particularly Asian varieties) , English as a Lingua Franca, and contrastive Chinese-English discourse and pragmatics. In 2011, he, along with Merrill Swain and Jim Cummins, authored a book entitled How to Have a Guilt-Free Life. Using Cantonese in the English Classroom. He has an amazing and prolific beard.
The Co-Editor, Bob Adamson, head of the Department of International Education and Lifelong Learning at the Hong Kong Institution of Education, has an impressive list of honors and publications. Sure, I’d like to meet him too, especially since he’s written fifty-plus English textbooks for primary and secondary schools in China. Writers of childrens’ textbooks are bound to be good conversationalists. Some of his interests include Comparative Education and Curriculum Studies.
Here’s their mission statement:
Multilingual Education is a high-quality journal that publishes empirical research on education in multilingual societies. The journal publishes research findings that in addition to providing descriptions of language learning, development and use in language contact and multilingual contexts, will shape language education policy and practices in multilingual societies. Multilingual Education is highly relevant to researchers in language and education, language education professionals, and policy makers.
Who would this journal appeal to? In my opinion, a wide variety of people. As the mission statement makes clear, the articles published are empirical research, reflecting both qualitative and quantitative studies. However, an evening spent skimming through a variety of articles revealed that many of them would be approachable and appealing to academics outside the field of applied linguistics, and potentially to non-academic readers as well. Since education is a broad field encompassing sociocultural as well as academic issues, ethnographers, anthropologists, sociologists, and historians (or those with a general interest in any of those fields) would enjoy dipping into any one of the papers available for perusal. Geographers, too, might find this journal of interest; because the publication fee is waived for researchers from low-income countries, studies from places like South Sudan, Uganda, and Bangladesh are featured, which certainly whets my curiousity. One can travel to Paraguay, to Ghana, to Luxembourg, or Kenya, and get a glimpse of the context in which English is taught around the world. Since many of the studies are qualitative, readers can get an in-depth picture of the culture from scholars and practitioners living abroad doing longitudinal studies.
What I’d like to read: Hmmmm. I’ve skimmed quite a few already, and am using one for a paper in my curriculum class. I certainly can’t resist a paper entitled Emotion-Based Language Instruction (EBLI) as a new perspective in bilingual education, co-authored by Bob Adamson, the journal editor. In this widely-viewed article, the authors propose a new approach to bilingual education based on the emotional qualities that learners bring from their L1 experience; Adamson’s unabashedly humanistic approach is based on the ideas of Stanley Greenspan, famous for a “floor time” therapy approach to treating children with autism spectrum disorders. I also wouldn’t mind digging into Marching is for soldiers: Russian-born Buriat children in a Chinese bilingual school, an ethnographic study focusing on the tension experienced by Buriat Mongolian children being schooled in a school system reflecting Han Chinese ideology. This longitudinal study, supported by data from interviews, casual conversations, and questionnaires, is packed with historical and geographic detail and looks to be a great read.
Highly relevant empirical research with a global focus, and it’s all open access; why would I not recommend this journal? Check it out for yourself!