Towards Decentering English

Practices and Challenges of a Multilingual Academic Journal

  • Laura Di Ferrante Università per Stranieri di Siena
  • Katie A. Bernstein Arizona State University
  • Elisa Gironzetti University of Maryland
Keywords: linguistic diversity, global academic publishing, multilingual scholars, language choice, English for Research Publication Purposes (ERPP), Language for Specific Purposes (LSP)

Abstract

For a multilingual author, deciding in which language to publish an academic paper is a political choice. Not only is it linked to considerations such as career advancement and reaching the widest readership, it also touches on social and ideological questions, such as the preservation of languages, identities, cultures, and patterns of thinking and writing, in the face of English’s dominance as the “default academic language” (Bocanegra-Valle 2014). This paper presents an analysis of the language practices of E-JournALL, EuroAmerican Journal of Applied Linguistics and Languages, a web-based, open access, and trilingual journal. Since the journal’s founding in 2014, its editorial team has striven to ensure representation of English, Italian, and Spanish in each of its issues. In this article, we reflect on four years of multilingual publishing, asking: 1) What does it mean to ensure representation in E-JournALL of each of its three languages; 2) How do the languages of E-JournALL’s authors—and their decisions about publication language—relate to the role played by English in global academic publishing?; and finally, 3) Four years and eight issues in, where does E-JournALL stand as a multilingual journal in an English-dominated academic world? In addition to offering our own reflections as editors, we present the results of analyses of E-JournALL’s publication data about authors’ native languages, the languages in which they published their papers, and the languages of the publications they cited, which show that despite our efforts, there remains a clear dominance of English. However, the data also suggest a changing, more diverse reality, and they form the basis for some suggestions for fostering multilingualism in academic journals.

 

Author Biographies

Laura Di Ferrante, Università per Stranieri di Siena

Di Ferrante is Adjunct Professor of English at the University of Roma Tre and at the University for Foreigners of Siena. Founding editor and co-editor in chief of E-JournALLEuroAmerican Journal of Applied Linguistics and Languages, her education background and work experience have been carried out both in Italy and the United States. Her research interests focus on workplace and media discourse, intercultural pragmatics, and language attitudes.

Katie A. Bernstein, Arizona State University

Bernstein is an assistant professor in Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University and the associate editor of EuroAmerican Journal of Applied Linguistics and Languages. Her research focuses on young multilingual children’s language learning and the contexts in which their learning takes place—from the immediate context of peer interactions, to classroom contexts shaped by teachers’ beliefs and preparation, to broader political and ideological contexts. Her work has been published in Applied Linguistics Review, Linguistics and Education,and TESOL Quarterly.

Elisa Gironzetti, University of Maryland

Gironzetti is assistant professor of Spanish Applied Linguistics at the University of Maryland, founding editor of EuroAmerican Journal of Applied Linguistics and Languages, associate editor of Journal of Spanish Language Teaching, and director of publications of ASELE (Asociación para la enseñanza del español como lengua extranjera). Her research focuses on humor, pragmatics and language teaching, and Hispanic applied linguistics, including Spanish as a second or heritage language. She recently co-edited the Routledge Handbook of Spanish Language Teaching and her work has been published in Discourse ProcessesIntercultural PragmaticsHumor, and Journal of Spanish Language Teaching.

Published
2019-02-08