Call for Papers: The Asian EFL Journal Special Issue

Call for Papers

The Asian EFL Journal Special Issue:

Literacy Development for Primary and Secondary English Language Learners Across the Greater China Region


The Asian EFL Journal calls for submissions to a special themed issue “Literacy Development for Primary and Secondary English Language Learners Across the Greater China Region.” The special issue is a timely response to scholars’ and practitioners’ interests in English literacy development for L1-Chinese learners across the Greater China region. Along with the wide acceptance of the English language, education policies in the Greater China region have further increased learners’ exposure to English through compulsory lessons, particularly at the primary and secondary level. Accordingly, the introduction of literacy instruction is happening at an ever increasingly earlier age, resulting in ELT researchers and practitioners seeking routes to develop literacy for primary and secondary learners across the region.

However, literacies are multiple, multimodal, and multifaceted, and the development of literacy becomes an enormous challenge for both primary and secondary students as they are immersed into a completely new culture with its own conventions, mechanisms of participation, modes of belonging, and ways of acting among members of the target discourse community. The notion of ‘literacies’, developed from the area of ‘new literacy studies’ (Lea & Street, 1998) has emphasized three main perspectives: study skills; academic socialisation; and academic literacies. This suggests a focus on a set of atomised skills to fix problems with literacy learning (i.e., reading and/or writing), enculturation of students into academic discourses, and critical examination of institutional practices, rules, and dominant discourses of the academy. Literacy development, in this perspective, is highly complex and multidimensional. In addition, while it can be argued that much has already been written about English foreign language instruction, the published literature has not directly addressed numerous issues related to literacy instruction and development, particularly for Chinese young learners (Pine & Yu, 2008). Hence, there is a need to critically discuss ways of supporting EFL practitioners in bridging the gap between theory and practice in literacy development in the Greater China region.

It should be noted that discussing how to develop an effective approach/method in literacy instruction should not be undertaken lightly and will surely pose a number of challenges. This has been compared to a muscle that needs the constant constraining discipline of exercise to strengthen individuals’ innovative thinking and problem-solving. In this case, as teacher-researchers, we need to consider ways of diffusing good practice, and perhaps most important of all, ways of integrating modern approaches across the curriculum, across institutions, and across contexts so that professional innovation can influence literacy development in the L1-Chinese context. Such growing concerns also introduce major conceptual and methodological shifts in research so that the challenges in English literacy instruction can be fully explored and understood to inform the development of effective, enjoyable, sustainable literacy-related curricula and pedagogical approaches. For these reasons, this special issue welcomes submissions that examine issues related to English literacy development for L1-Chinese primary and secondary learners across the Greater China region. Potential topics for submission include but are not limited to:

  • Requirements of student writing: staff interpretations
  • Writing requirements: student interpretations
  • Understandings of plagiarism in writings
  • Materials and pedagogy for EFL literacy
  • Curriculum design for EFL literacy
  • Reading assessment
  • Writing assessment
  • Written corrective feedback
  • Development of reading and/or writing skills
  • Instruction of writing strategies in EFL classrooms
  • Integrating academic reading and writing instruction
  • Recent policy developments and empirical examination of their impact on
  • EFL literacy and young learners
  • Writing and identity



Lea, M. & Street, B. (1998). Student writing in higher education: An academic literacies approach. Studies in Higher Education, 23(2), 157-172.

Pine, N., & Yu, Z. Y. (2008). Early literacy education in China: A historical review. In C. Leung & J. Ruan (eds.), Perspectives on teaching and learning Chinese literacy in China (pp.81-106). Dordrecht: Springer.

Key dates for the special issue

September 2017
Call for Abstracts

December 2017
Abstracts Due

February 2018
Results sent to Authors; Invitations for Full Paper Submissions

August 2018
Full papers due; First round of reviews starts

November 2018
First round of reviews due; Results of first round of reviews sent to authors with invitations to revise

January 2019
Revised manuscripts due; Second round of reviews starts

February 2019
Results of second round of reviews sent to authors with invitations to revise

March 2019
Final manuscripts due

September 2019

Guest Editors:

  • Dr. Barry Lee Reynolds
    Assistant Professor of English Education
    Faculty of Education, University of Macau
  • Mr. Mark Feng Teng
    Department of Education Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University


Submission Procedure

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before December 30, 2017, an abstract of about 300 words clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed paper and a separate title page that includes title, author name(s), affiliation(s), and corresponding author’s email address. Authors will be notified by February 28th 2018 about the status of their proposals. Full papers are expected to be submitted by August 30, 2018. All submitted papers will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Abstracts and articles should be sent to Dr. Barry Lee Reynolds ( and Mark Feng Teng ( or



If you have any inquiries about this call for papers, please contact the guest editors:

Dr. Barry Lee Reynolds ( and Mr. Mark Feng Teng ( or