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Call for papers: AAUSC Volume 2018

16 Jan 2017 10:29 PM | Robert L. Davis (Administrator)


Editors: Peter Ecke, University of Arizona; Susanne Rott, University of Illinois-Chicago

Series Editors: Johanna Watzinger-Tharp (U Utah), Kate Paesani (U Minnesota)

Understanding Vocabulary Learning and Teaching: Implications for Language Program Development

Singleton (1999) rightly stated that "much of what has passed for vocabulary teaching … addresses only the tip of the lexical iceberg" (p. 272). Despite advances in theories and research, there have been no new curricular proposals since Lewis’ Lexical Approach in 1993 that clearly outline how L2 learners will be able to acquire the depth and breadth of an advanced level of vocabulary proficiency within a four-year program of study.

The curricular challenge, and thereby the challenge for language program directors, is that while over 80% of the students we teach in language programs at US postsecondary institutions are of low level proficiency, departmental outcomes aim at students’ advanced ability “to participate fully and effectively in conversations on a variety of topics in formal and informal settings” (p. 5, ACTFL proficiency guidelines for Speaking, 2012). Consequently, clearly articulated trajectories that integrate the learning and appropriate use of individual words, collocations, and idioms are particularly important in a setting where learners have limited time and exposure to acquire the 9,000-15,000 word families needed for advanced proficiency (e.g., Hazenberg & Hulstijn, 1996). Additionally, trajectories also need to account for diverse program contexts, such as face-to-face and online learning, as well as diverse student populations, such as heritage, second-language, third-language, and bilingual learners.

This volume aims to provide language program directors and language teachers with the means to translate our current understanding of the processing, learning, long-term retention, and use of vocabulary into curricular decisions and classroom materials. In particular, the volume will address the following questions: How should teachers select, organize, present and explain new L2 vocabulary? How should they engage learners in repeated practice and use of vocabulary? How should they test vocabulary knowledge and usage as part of formative and summative assessment in language program?

Questions that this volume seeks to address:

  • Which theoretical frameworks can be used to make principled decisions about vocabulary teaching and learning in a four-year curriculum?
  • What role do the L1 and other languages play in the acquisition and teaching of L2 lexis?
  • What challenges do prominent (e.g. communicative) approaches and more recent approaches to language teaching (e.g., literacy-based, genre-based, task-based or content-based approaches) face with respect to vocabulary teaching and learning, and how can they be addressed?
  • How can needs of heritage learners or learners studying a third language be addressed?
  • How do typological differences between the L1 and the L2 affect lexical development?
  • How can new media and online learning materials enhance word learning and retention?
  • Which learning and teaching strategies foster long-term retention?
  • How can learning materials in different modalities complement each other?
  • How many words can we expect students to know after two, three, or four years of university instruction?
  • How can teachers and learners assess vocabulary knowledge and skills?

The editors of the 2018 AAUSC volume seek contributions on diverse approaches to the learning, teaching, and assessment of vocabulary knowledge and skills. We encourage submissions of conceptual/theoretical contributions, empirical studies, as well as pedagogical interventions. Authors should keep in mind that the main audience for this volume includes language program directors, curriculum and material developers, faculty focused on teacher training and professional development, and world language teachers in a range of educational settings.

Articles should be between 6,000 and 8,000 words and follow APA format. See style sheet (APA format, 5th edition) in recent issues of the AAUSC series (, or visit

For questions about the volume, please contact the volume editors Peter Ecke ( or Susanne Rott (

The submission deadline for 400 word abstracts is January 31, 2017. More information regarding the deadline for full manuscript submissions will be provided soon.

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