JALDA's Aims and Scope
The Journal of Applied Linguistics and Applied Literature: Dynamics and Advances (JALDA) is an ambitious academic publication which aims to encourage and disseminate cross-disciplinary research targeting real-world problems and real-life concerns where language and/or literature are at the center. Bringing together the now-well-established discipline of Applied Linguistics and the thriving subject of Applied Literature, JALDA stimulates and promotes innovative work within applied studies on language and literature. In the first place, it publishes articles on the two inter-related subjects of Applied Linguistics and Applied Literature. However, as an essential component of JALDA's long-term goals, a new focus has been added, namely the dynamic relationship between language teaching and literature, a fast-growing and dynamic field that requires special attention. In fact, the long-term prospective ambition is to bring this inter-subject dynamics from background to the foreground in the journal. JALDA’s precise outlook on each of the three intended areas is outlined below in the hope of further illumination on its publication policies and planned purview.
1. Applied Linguistics
The most prevailing definition of Applied Linguistics so far with a consensus on, conceives the field as “the theoretical and empirical investigation of real-world problems in which language is a central issue” (Brumfit, 1997, p. 93). Although real-world problems concerning language may involve each of the three questions regarding the nature of language, its use and its learning, historically, the question of efficient learning and teaching of languages has been a predominant concern among real word problems attended to in Applied Linguistics. Accordingly, the following subjects are well-seated areas of investigation within mainstream Applied Linguistics which are included in JALDA’s scope of focus. JALDA considers English as a foreign language as the subject of learning:
- Second language vocabulary acquisition
- Grammatical development in L2
- Teaching and learning L2 skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening)
- Technology in language learning and teaching
- Second language curriculum and materials
- Individual differences in second language learning
- Social issues in language learning
- Language teaching methodology
- English for specific purposes
- English as a Lingua Franca
- Language assessment and testing
- English as an international language
- Research methods in applied linguistics
- Language teacher education
- Bilingual education
Although the subject of Language Learning and Teaching seems to have already established itself as the mainstream concern in Applied Linguistics, the sheer fact that language learning and teaching take place in various ecological conditions, brings forth the warning that ignoring the questions concerning the nature of language and language use might carry with it the risk of blocking our views of the true nature of language learning and teaching as well. Applied Linguistics studies need to preserve the flexibility to be inspired by and note the insights from the studies concerning the nature of language and language use, an area which has been labeled as the “Linguistics Applied” or “Applications of Linguistics” by Davis and Elder (2007). In other words, language pedagogy needs to be examined in its social background in order to be able to reap benefits from the blessings of the unknown.
It must be reminded as a word of caution that linguistics is not alone in inspiring Applied Linguistics Studies. In fact, attention to the contextual aspects of language learning and teaching highlights the cross-disciplinary nature of Applied Linguistics. In this perspective, any research that associates a language-related problem to the core knowledge in psychology, sociology, anthropology, education, neuroscience, economic and political sciences, law, business, etc. counts as Applied Linguistics. In this view, Applied Linguistics can equally be based in psychology, education, sociology, computer sciences and any other relevant area as it is in linguistics. The intention in these interdisciplinary inquires is to offer reformative, corrective and ameliorative views and suggestions for a language-related real-world problem. In this sense, the discipline of Applied Linguistics will be open to the attempts to account for the issues of language learning and teaching alongside its various dimensions as outlined above by giving way to the studies inspired by other language-related studies including the following:
According to JALDA’s policy formulated here, a few canonical considerations make Applied Linguistics distinctive from Linguistics Studies. Also, these key features define the nature of work on Applied Linguistics that is expected to be submitted for publication in JALDA.
2) Language in its ecology
3) Cross-disciplinary nature
4) Reformative goals
5) Real-life data
2. Applied Literature
Applied Literature has emerged recently as an effort to draw literary studies more akin to human beings’ everyday needs. A problem-oriented view of literature might be alien to most of the scholars in English Literature, one way or another, since the established tradition in literary studies does not concern itself primarily with real-life problems. However, there is an urgent call upon the experts and academicians of English Literature to further concern themselves with the real word, an appeal that needs to be responded effectively. Literary studies seem to be in an urgency to be taken out from the academic world into the real world. Literature needs to be treated as a real-world art concerning itself with people’s lives and not simply an academic art that is analyzed and criticized within academic forums.
Inspired by this urgency, Applied Literature is defined here as any systematic research where literature can solve or ameliorate a real-world problem. In this sense, literature acts as a stimulus to reform. Applied Literature examines the effect of literature on human beings whereby the literary text is in service of dealing with real-life problems. To be able to account for the various aspects of human life in all its contexts, Applied Literature must be interdisciplinary in its nature. Furthermore, to meet the essential requirements of a scientific research, it has to give allegiance to a satisfactory level of methodological rigor. By definition, Applied Literature is thus:
1) Problem-oriented in terms of objectives
2) Effect-driven in its rationale
3) Multi- disciplinary in its scope
4) Method-conscious in its procedure
5) Data-based in terms of its subject
6) Reform-oriented in its applications
What Is Not Applied Literature? X
Articles in Applied Literature that are based on the following research orientations, that is they are Pure Literature, do not comply with the policies of JALDA:
X 1. The starting point of the research is based on a piece of literary work rather than a problem in the outside world.
X 2. The rationale and justification of the study is theory-driven rather than effect-driven.
X 3.The study commits itself exclusively to the tradition of literary studies without any attempt to invoke insights from other disciplines.
X 4. The study acts upon literary texts as the only data available for analysis and does not attend to the data from the real-world human life.
X 5. The study does not imply any reform, amelioration or solution to a real-world problem in its conclusion.
Areas of Research in Applied Literature
Following are some subjects that can included in Applied Literature. The list is not definitive; JALDA encourages initiatives and innovations in this regard:
√ 1) Therapeutic value of literature
√ 2) Trauma studies in literature
√ 3) Literature and ethical development
√ 4) Literature and science
√ 5) Literature and environment
√ 6) Literature for professional training
√ 7) Literary literacy education
√ 8) Other innovative areas
3. Dynamics between Applied Linguistics and Applied Literature
The most ambitious and prospective goal of JALDA is to propagate research on real-life problems where both language and literature are at the core. Here, the intention is to deal with language-related problems where literature acts as a source of solution or amelioration to the problem. JALDA considers this interdisciplinary preoccupation as a highly promising area of research concern for the specialist in both Applied Linguistics and Literary Studies. As part of its long-term policy, JALDA team fervently encourage researchers to step in this innovative forum of inquiry. Novel as it is, the concept of the research on the Dynamics between Applied Linguistics and Literature can be illustrated with the few following areas of inquiry. The list is inevitably tentative and open for further promotion. JALDA is opening a special forum for discussing the options and potentials available regarding the feasibility of this new research area. We ardently invite scholars and experts of the related fields to share their initiatives with us by submitting their prospects in the form of Review Articles or reporting their interdisciplinary research findings.
1) The role of literature in language teaching
2) The role of Literature in language teacher education
3) The role of Literature in language assessment
4) The role of Literature in Language teaching curriculum
5) Other innovative areas
Basic Criteria for Publishing with JALDA
A research article published in JALDA:
1) starts and deals with a real-life problem, where language and/or literature is at the center.
2) introduces clear suggestions for tackling problems.
3) upholds an iterative relationship between theory and practice.
4) involves symptomatic and documented evidence in the form of real-world data.
5) may rely on the research data of quantitative, qualitative or combined nature.
6) involves a wide spectrum of research designs ranging from highly qualitative ethnographies or case studies to statistics-based experiments.
Written by Dr. Davoud Amini and updated by Dr. Ahad Mehrvand on Thursday, July 18, 2019.
Special thanks to the following members of JALDA Editorial Board:
Dr. Bahram Behin, Prof. Jane Mattisson Ekstam, Dr. Abolfazl Ramazani, Dr. Ghader Razmjou, and Dr. Roya Monsefi.