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TESOL Journal  Special Issue 2022: Call for Proposals

TESOL Journal Special Issue 2022: Call for Proposals

 Moving forward with TESOL materials development

 Guest Editors

Tat Heung Choi, Hong Kong Baptist University
Hang Chan, Hong Konga Baptist University


 In the spirit of TESOL Journal (TJ), we share the collective aspirations to involve teachers in professional dialogue to generate knowledge and exemplary practice, as well as to nurture engaged and resourceful learners with the language and cultural awareness, rhetorical sensitivity, and negotiation strategies necessary for effective communication in global contexts (Canagarajah, 2014).  To achieve these laudable goals, we need to renew our focus on TESOL teachers as “agents of methodological change” (Harmer, 2007), especially during these challenging times with remote learning against the pandemic.  We envision this special issue to be of interest to the TESOL community with our concern to promote inventive practices and teacher-generated materials, as well as critical perspectives on materials through evaluation.

It is aware that teachers being adaptively effective tend to abandon innovative practices as they are encumbered by a web of restrictive situations.  “Reconciling materials as constraint with materials as empowerment” (Maley in Tomlinson, 1998) and “walking a fine line” with autonomy (Erss, Kalmus, & Autio, 2016) would seem to be the necessary steps against the delivery culture of curriculum reform and professional learning.  The deliberation of practical design ideas in various teaching conditions and national contexts, along with the principles and processes that teachers follow in materials selection, adaptation or development, may encourage liberation and creativity through professional socialisation.  The educational and affective values of teachers’ literary and media inventories, complemented by their clearly outlined methods and learning outcomes, will serve as an eye-opening invitation to make a start and lead to far more meaningful levels of engagement for both teachers and learners. 


The call for teacher-made materials is in part concerned with timeliness in materials selection and use.  Coursebook materials are quick to be outdated in this rapidly evolving world.  To address the shifting characteristics and needs of English language learners, it merits a special issue to explore the kind of materials that might activate millenials or centennials to make meaning of their lives while learning the target language.  To draw on the metaphor of “third place” (Kramsch, 1993), materials that occupy spaces of “encounters and exchange” (Bredella in Byram & Hu, 2013) are both “transforming and transformable” by TESOL teachers and learners alike who are led into new worlds (Pahl & Rowsell, 2010).  Creating materials from a “third space” perspective ties into multimodal design theories and pedagogies (e.g., Choi & Yi, 2016; Kress, 2003; Kress & van Leeuwen, 1990; Yi & Angay-Crowder, 2016) with an interest in the maker/makerspace culture, as makerspaces are the next frontier for materials design.  Exemplars of cultural artefacts, literary texts, and creative media, annotated with classroom practitioners’ reflection and commentary on how their use of meaning-focused materials can refashion sociocultural learning and multimodal communication, are especially warranted.

This special topic thus aims to create new spaces for teaching professionals to reconceptualise materials development in TESOL and to position them as forerunners in materials design (Bouckaert, 2018).  To raise teachers’ awareness of the operation and perpetuation of ideologies in coursebooks and other TESOL materials (e.g., Dang & Seals, 2018; Gray, 2013; Gray & Block in Harwood, 2014; Sayer, 2018; Sayer & López Gopar, 2015), we take interest in materials evaluation and development through critical approaches to texts and English language learning.  Against the ideological representations of the social world, it is essential to cultivate TESOL practitioners’ propositional and procedural knowledge in their attempts to produce materials with cultural awareness and learner sensitivity (Canagarajah, 2014). 

Call for proposals

To move forward with TESOL materials development in this ever-changing world (e.g., Bouckaert, Konings, & van Winkelhof, 2018; Tomlinson, 2003, 2017; Tomlinson & Masuhara, 2010), it is useful to enable an active and vibrant professional dialogue from an applied research perspective as well as a theoretical or conceptual viewpoint.  With its emphasis on teaching and learning being socially situated, relational, activity-based, and experiential, this special issue provides a forum for TESOL experts and practitioners at all levels to make critical inquiries into materials development in constructive, autonomous, and creative ways.  The expected end products will be an ensemble of pedagogies celebrating teacher-generated materials with originality, as well as teacher-adapted cultural artefacts, literary texts, and creative media, against mass-produced, ready-made materials that do not serve dissimilar needs and interests of learners in diverse contexts.

Topics of interest for this special issue include but are not limited to the following:

  • Choice, control, and creativity in TESOL materials development
  • Teacher autonomy and identity in materials development
  • Critical evaluations of TESOL materials and ideological representations
  • Tensions and rewards of materials development for professional learning
  • Teacher-generated or adapted materials for sociocultural learning and multimodal communication
  • Remote English language learning and teachers as resourceful agents of change

Submission guidelines

 This international call for articles is being made through TJ and its networks.  We welcome contributions in any of the TJ submission categories, including Feature Articles, Research Briefs, Current Issues in TESOL, Classroom Explorations, Materials & Media Reviews, and Readers Respond.  Descriptions of these submission categories are available on the website of TJ, under “Author Guidelines” (

Interested authors should submit an anonymous abstract of 250300 words (as a Word file) describing their proposed article for initial screening, and supply a separate title page file (including all authors’ names, affiliations and email contacts).  Authors should clearly indicate that their proposals relate to the 2022 special issue on “Moving forward with TESOL materials development”.  Authors of selected abstracts will be invited to submit full versions of their manuscripts for review.  An invitation to submit a full manuscript, however, does not guarantee publication; final decisions will be made through a blind peer review process.  Proposals and questions relating to this special issue should be emailed to for the editors’ attention.


  • Call for proposals appears: April 5, 2021
  • Abstracts due: June 14, 2021
  • Notifications for inviting full manuscripts: June 30, 2021
  • Full manuscripts due: December 31, 2021
  • Publication of special issue: September or December, 2022