Call for Papers: Special Issue of the L2 Journal on L2 Writing and Personal History

Call for Papers: Special Issue of the L2 Journal

Special Issue Editor: David I. Hanauer

L2 Writing and Personal History: Meaningful Literacy in the Language Classroom

Literacy holds special potential in the realm of language education. Genres of writing such as autoethnography, autobiography, biography, journal writing, diary inquiry, narrative and poetry provide potential routes through which personal experience, perception, emotion and understanding can be channeled and communicated. It is through literacy and in particular writing that personal phenomenological experience can be reflectively inspected, explicated and presented for interpretation by others. As explored through expressive writing, language learning can be a life changing event that involves an interaction with novel expressive resources that allow new understandings of self and other to emerge (Hanauer, 2003, 2010; Kramsch, 2009; Pavlenko, 2001, 2007). These understandings of the language learner stand in stark contrast to instrumentalist and managerial position that direct many language learning educational programs and construct the language learner only in terms of testable cognitive ability. It is for this reason that Hanauer (2011) suggests that meaningful literacy instruction be at the center of second and foreign language learning and provide a response to the situation described by Kramsch (2006) that second and foreign language pedagogy and research have lost the perception of ‘the flesh and blood individuals who are doing the learning’ (p. 98).

The L2 Journal is looking for researchers and teachers who have utilized different aspects and genres of second language writing in ways which are meaningful for the language learner. We are interested in usages of L2 writing within the language classroom that position and explore the language learner as a socially and culturally contextualized individual with a rich, extended history of personal experience. Literacy instruction of this sort understands language teaching as a process of widening and deepening the ways an individual can understand, interpret, feel and express her or his personally meaningful understandings of themselves within social and cultural settings.

A special issue of the L2 Journal will be dedicated to the exploration of L2 writing and personal history within the language classroom. Research papers of interest for this special issue may address the following options:

·    Descriptions of L2 writing practices that promote and facilitate meaningful L2 writing experiences

·    Investigations of the responses of L2 learners to meaningful L2 writing experiences

·    Studies of personal histories of language learning through L2 writing

·    Explorations of genre differences in relation to L2 writing and personal history

·    Case studies of personally meaningful L2 writing

·    Reports on usages of L2 writing as a means of exploring new social and cultural contexts

Please submit a title and 300-word abstract electronically in Word format by July 15, 2012 to Usree Bhattacharya at First drafts due December 31, 2012 for a special issue of L2 Journal (late Spring 2013).


Hanauer, D. (2003). Multicultural Moments in Poetry: The Importance of the Unique. The Canadian Modern Language Review, 60(1), 69-88.

Hanauer, D. I. (2010). Poetry as Research: Exploring Second Language Poetry Writing.

        Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Hanauer, D. (2011). Meaningful literacy: Writing poetry in the language classroom. Language

Teaching: Surveys and Studies, 45(1), 105-115.

Kramsch, C. (2006). Preview Article: The Multilingual Subject. International Journal of Applied       Linguistics, 16(1), 97-110.

Kramsch, C. (2009). The Multilingual Subject. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Pavlenko, A. (2001). “In the World of the Tradition, I was Unimagined”: Negotiation of Identities in Cross-Cultural Autobiographies. The International Journal of Bilingualism, 5(3), 317-344.   

Pavlenko, A. (2007). Autobiographic Narratives as Data in Applied Linguistics. Applied Linguistics, 28(2), 163-188.