Call for papers

Call for Papers: “Creativity and Innovation in Language Curriculum Development”

A Themed Issue of the Indonesian Journal of Applied Linguistics (Indexed in Scopus-Elsevier)


Guest Editors:

Handoyo Puji Widodo, Shantou University, China

John Macalister, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Angel M. Y. Lin, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong


Language curriculum design or development has been a long-standing pillar of language education as a curriculum shapes  how language pedagogy and assessment are enacted (Widodo, 2016). In the area of language education, different second language theories (from, e.g., linguistic, sociocultural, social semiotic perspectives) have informed language curriculum reform or innovation in different educational settings (Mickan, 2013). In contemporary language education around the globe, changes in language curricula have been driven by national policy making, by economic globalization and transnational mobility, and by current trends in SLA theory and research (Graves & Garton, 2017; Widodo, 2016). Language curriculum reform has also brought about fertile debate on fundamental educational directions. Scholars in the area of language policy and curriculum have questioned whose interests are manifested or voiced in the public arena or in educational circles. “Against this backdrop, many countries have resorted to either adjusting their language policies or innovating their national curricula in order to gain a leading advantage in the ever-increasing competition among nations” (Cu & Fan, 2017, p. 267).


In practice, Graves (2008) maintains that the core of language curriculum development process involves planning, enacting, and evaluating with the outcome of the development being “experienced by teachers and students in the classroom” (Macalister and Nation, 2011, p. 1). In the educational landscape, both teachers and students are actual actors who experience the designed or mandated curriculum (Widodo, 2016). In this regard, teachers approach the mandated or national curriculum differently (Shawer, 2010). For instance, some teachers may adopt a fidelity approach by emphasizing content transmission, while others may adapt national curriculum materials in order to suit their pedagogical practice (Shawer, 2017). Additionally, to some extent, how language teachers approach the mandated curriculum is driven by different social, political, and institutional agendas and interests.


During the last two decades, owing to educational globalization and economic mobility, many countries around the world have made language curriculum innovations (e.g., Graves & Garton, 2017; Kostoulas & Stelma, 2017; Lin, 2016; Shawer, 2017, Widodo, 2016). They have invested money, time, and energy in such innovation. Therefore, it is no wonder that language curriculum reform or innovation has been one of the most important educational agendas in different educational institutions (primary, secondary, and tertiary). The enactment of such innovation rests on teachers’ and learners’ expectations and interpretations (resistance and acceptance), external constraints (e.g., national policies, mandated materials), and internal constraints (e.g., school support/culture, class size). With this in mind, language teachers play different roles as curriculum ‘technicians’ or transmitters, curriculum makers, and curriculum developers in order to meet the different needs of diverse groups of language learners. In this respect, at the school and classroom levels, language teachers need to be creative in re-making and enacting the mandated curriculum in which the goal of language education is to educate and empower language learners to become successful language users and cultural agents.


Given the macro and micro socio-institutional and socio-political nature of language curriculum development, we are seeking submissions which address the design, enactment, and evaluation of language curriculum innovation or reform at primary, secondary, and tertiary education levels. This innovation challenges language teachers and teacher educators to re-make or adapt the mandated curriculum. In this special issue, we are bringing together the theory, research, and practice of language curriculum innovation and reform. This special issue includes work that addresses fundamental frameworks for language curriculum making and enactment informed by different approaches (e.g., CLIL/CBI-based, CLT, genre-based, task-based, text-based, constructivist, corpus-based approaches). It also publishes work that reports the design and implementation of a language curriculum at classroom, school, and national levels situated in different institutional contexts (e.g., ESL/EFL contexts). Overall, this special issue will be a much-needed resource for language teachers and practitioners, language curriculum designers/developers, graduate students majoring in TESOL and Applied Linguistics, pre-service language teachers, and language teacher educators and trainers who teach language curriculum development.


All manuscripts are expected to have a clear relation to the theme, scope, and readership of the journal, even though the contexts and topics addressed may differ. All theoretical perspectives are welcome; we envisage this issue showcasing the identified areas of language curriculum development from a myriad of theoretical and research paradigms. We also welcome reflection papers that discuss or address the application of classroom- or school-based language curriculum. The length of manuscripts should be no more than 7,000 words (including references and appendices).


Please bear in mind that full-length manuscripts will be reviewed by two referees before the final selection is made. The deadlines for various stages of the process are as follows:


  • Full-length manuscripts: 5 April 2018
  • Decision on peer review: 5 June 2018
  • Revision of manuscripts: 10 July 2018
  • Final copy: 5 September 2018
  • Expected publication date: 30 September 2018


If you have any enquiries about this special issue, do feel free to contact one of the guest editors at The subject of the email should be stated clearly as “2018 Issue of IJAL”.



Graves, K. (2008). The language curriculum: A social contextual perspective. Language Teaching, 41, 147-181.

Graves, K., & Garton, S. (2017). An analysis of three curriculum approaches to teaching English in public-sector schools. Language Teaching, 50, 441–482.

Kostoulas, A., & Stelma, J. (2017). Understanding curriculum change in an ELT school in Greece. ELT Journal, 71, 354-363.

Lin, A. M. Y. (2016).  Language across the curriculum & CLIL in English as an additional language (EAL) contexts: Theory and practice. Singapore: Springer.

Macalister, J., & Nation, I.S.P. (2011). Case studies in language curriculum design: Concepts and approaches in action around the world. New York: Routledge.

Mickan, P. (2013). Language curriculum design and socialisation. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Richards, J.C. (2001). Curriculum development in language teaching. Cambridge University Press, New York.

Shawer, S. F. (2010). Classroom-level curriculum development: EFL teachers as curriculum-developers, curriculum-makers and curriculum-transmitters. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26, 173–184.

Shawer, S. F. (2017). Teacher-driven curriculum development at the classroom level: Implications for curriculum, pedagogy and teacher training. Teaching and Teacher Education, 63, 296-313.

Widodo, H. P. (2016). Language policy in practice: Reframing the English language curriculum in the Indonesian secondary education sector. In R. Kirkpatrick (Ed.), English Language Education Policy in Asia (pp. 127-151). Switzerland: Springer.