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TESL CANADA JOURNAL Call for Papers, Special Issue, Winter 2024

Tuesday, November 7, 2023 at 12:00 AM (EST) to Monday, January 15, 2024 at 1:00 AM (EST)

Event Details

TESL CANADA JOURNAL Call for Papers, Special Issue

Teaching Grammar in the 21st Century: Revisiting the Old and Envisioning the New Guest Editors:
Leila Ranta and Majid Nikouee, University of Alberta

Grammar instruction is widely acknowledged as an integral component of teaching English as a second or additional language (hereafter, L2) to adult learners. For example, the best practices guidelines developed by Alberta's Teachers of English as a Second Language (ATESL, 2022) underscore the importance of teachers' having a profound understanding of English grammar as well as the pedagogical skills necessary to impart this knowledge. In both areas, teachers can benefit from the technical knowledge that comes from the scholarship of grammatical description by linguists and from the empirical investigation into L2 grammar learning by researchers in the field of instructed second language acquisition (ISLA). The large body of literature by ISLA researchers addresses many aspects of grammar pedagogy under different labels such as focus on form, consciousness-raising, language awareness, and form-focused instruction (FFI). These terms are preferred by ISLA scholars to avoid some of the negative associations that teachers have with traditional grammar teaching (e.g., ‘drill and kill’). Furthermore, FFI is a useful general term to refer to any instruction where attention is directed to the target language, whether at the phonological, grammatical, pragmatic, or other levels of analysis. The use of such terminology, however, may make it harder for practitioners to see the relevance of ideas from the literature to their teaching.

Although several landmark studies of FFI have been conducted in Canada, especially in French immersion (e.g., Harley, 1989) and in primary-level ESL classes in Quebec (e.g., White, Spada, Lightbown, & Ranta, 1991), there has yet to be a scholarly investigation and critical discussion of grammar teaching in Canada. We believe that the TESL Canada Journal can support Canadian educators by offering pedagogical guidance beyond what grammar textbooks provide implicitly and explicitly. To serve this support role, scholarly articles need to be relevant to the practical concerns of adult ESL instructors in Canada such as, for example, the thorny question of the effective integration of grammar teaching into lessons based on the Canadian Language Benchmarks.

We invite submissions addressing a wide range of topics related to grammar teaching such as, but not limited to, the following:

  • Descriptive studies of current practices (e.g., surveys; observational studies)

  • Analysis of published grammar materials

• Rationale for and illustration of innovative pedagogical techniques

  • Reports of experimental FFI studies

  • Systematic literature reviews or meta-analyses

  • Theoretical discussions

  • Cross-context comparisons (e.g., K-12 to adult ESL or vice-versa; EFL to ESL; ideas

    from studies of other languages)

  • Teacher education and professional development issues relating to teaching grammar

  • Personal perspectives on teaching grammar in different contexts (e.g., lower proficiency

or literacy learners; English for academic purposes) or descriptions of grammar teaching activities that the writer has consistently had success with.

This special issue of TESL Canada Journal will publish “Full-length Research Articles”, “In the Classroom” and “Perspectives” papers. Please refer to the author guidelines for more information about the length and expected content of these different types of submission:

Interested authors are invited to submit a 300-word abstract (excluding references) to by January 15th, 2024. Notice of acceptance will be emailed in February. Full manuscripts are due May 1st, 2024, and will be subject to a double-blind review process. The special issue will be published in Fall 2024.

If you have any questions about this special issue, please contact Majid Nikouee at


Harley, B. (1989b). Functional grammar in French immersion: A classroom experiment. Applied Linguistics, 10(3), 331–359.

Urbiztondo-Cervera, H. & Gnida S. (2022). ATESL best practices for adult EAL and LINC programming in Alberta. ATESL. linc-programming-alberta/

White, L., Spada, N., Lightbown, P.M., & Ranta, L. (1991). Input enhancement and L2 question formation. Applied Linguistics, 12, 416–432.