OLBI Journal Vol. 11 (2021) - Call for Papers



Call for Papers

Special Issue Theme:

Multiliteracies and Plurilingual Pedagogies in the 21st Century: Critical Responses to the New London Group’s ‘A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies’

 Guest Editors:

Angel M. Y. Lin, PhD., Professor & Tier 1 CRC in Plurilingual and Intercultural Education, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University

Catherine Levasseur, PhD., Assistant Professor, Institut des langues officielles et du bilinguisme/Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute; Editor, OLBI Journal, University of Ottawa

Geneviève Brisson, PhD., Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University

Keiko Tsuchiya, PhD., Associate Professor, Graduate School of Urban Social and Cultural Studies, Yokohama City University, Japan

Guest Editorial Coordinator:

Bong-gi Sohn, PhD., Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Simon Fraser University

Email: bsohn@sfu.ca

Since the 1996 publication in Harvard Education Review of the seminal paper of the New London Group, ‘A pedagogy of multiliteracies: Designing social futures’, over 2 decades have elapsed and it is high time we undertook critical reviews of research and pointed out pressing issues and urgent directions of research in this area. Many of the old challenges for literacy education outlined by the New London Group (1996) back then persist today, with some of them further intensified. For instance, the relentless spread of neoliberalist discourses and policies in many parts of the world with K-12 and tertiary education increasingly driven by market logic and consumerist imperatives. Globalization has intensified migration flows crossing national and geographic boundaries while new immigrants (with some exceptions) still suffer from lack of access to (higher) education and this is also true of various indigenous groups. In many parts of the world, where excelling in standardized tests is the de facto goal of education, there is still very little room for students’ and teachers’ creativity and innovation.

Apart from these old challenges being intensified, new developments in society and information communication technology have presented new challenges for language and literacy education. First, the relationship between teachers and students have been altered significantly in many aspects. In many schools, teachers are no longer considered to be more technologically resourceful than students, as was assumed in the 1996 paper of the New London Group. Students usually discover, outside formal classroom contexts, many multimodal/ trans-semiotic resources and learn to utilize them in ways that are unheard of by the teachers. Although, a cautionary note must be added here that not all students are equally technologically savvy (Connolly and McGuinnes, 2018) or have equal access to digital resources (Van Deursen and van Dijk, 2014; Collin, Steeves, Burkell and Skelling-Desmeules, 2019). Thus, teachers’ former assumed role as the more knowledgeable or as the technological experts in the classroom has, in many cases, shifted or been completely altered.

In addition to the changing teacher-student relationship, the development of society and technology has far outperformed researchers and educators’ pace in understanding the on-going phenomena. Social fragmentation due to tribal tendencies of social media and YouTube groups presents another new concern that multiliteracies pedagogies are still striving to understand or respond to (Garcia, Luke and Seglem, 2018). How many of the four principles of the pedagogy of multiliteracies proposed by the New London Group (viz., teaching as situated and transformed practice, overt instruction and critical framing) are still relevant or in need of reconceptualization? In this Special Issue, we call for papers that address these and various related issues, including the following three clusters of topics:

  1. A pedagogy of multiliteracies (PoM): The New London Group has developed a PoM mainly in Anglo-speaking countries (e.g. US., UK., Australia); how relevant is it in other contexts in the world? And if it has been seen as relevant, how has it been taken up, practised, and re/designed in various contexts in the world?
  2. How can a PoM be re/designed to address the urgent issues in the 21st Century?
  3. PoM and plurilingual pedagogies (e.g. translanguaging pedagogies): How do they intersect? How to re/design PoM in plurilingual and pluricultural contexts?

To reflect plurilingualism, multiliteracies and diversity, we are strongly encouraging submissions that re/design traditional academic conventions/ modalities of knowledge construction/ representation/ dissemination and yet we are also accepting conventional proposals. We are thus open to both traditional articles as well as submissions that creatively design their presentation using multiliteracies, multimodalities, multi-registers, and plurilingual and pluricultural semiotic resources.

Please submit an extended abstract of 600 words (with multimodalities) to Dr. Bong-gi Sohn: bsohn@sfu.ca     


  1. Call for Paper Abstracts: July 15, 2020
  2. Blind Review of Abstracts: July 16 - August 31, 2020
  3. Accepted Abstracts Authors to prepare their paper manuscripts: September 1st - November 30, 2020
  4. Blind Review of Paper Manuscripts: December 1st 2020 - January 15, 2021
  5. Paper manuscript authors to revise their papers based on reviewers' comments: January 16 - February 28, 2021
  6. Accepted papers go into the journal production process; target production date: April 2021


Collin, S., Steeves, V., Burkell, J. & Skelling-Desmeules, Y. (2019). Entre reproduction et remédiation, quel rôle joue l’école envers les inégalités numériques des jeunes d’âge scolaire? Formation et profession, 27(3), 59-76.

Connolly, N. & McGuinness, C. (2018). Vers une littératie numérique pour une participation et une mobilisation active des jeunes dans un monde numérique. In Conseil de l’Europe (ed.), Points de vue sur la jeunesse, Vol. 4: Les jeunes à l’heure du numérique (pp. 81-99). Strasbourg, France: Conseil de l'Europe. DOI:10.3917/europ.coll.2018.01.0081

Garcia, A., Luke, A., & Seglem, R. (2018). Looking at the next 20 years of multiliteracies: A discussion with Allan Luke. Theory Into Practice, 57(1), 72-78.

van Deursen, A. J. A. M., & van Dijk, J. A. G. M. (2014). Digital skills: Unlocking the information society. New-York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: 10.1057/9781137437037