About the Journal
Focus and Scope of Journal
The Journal of Academic Language and Learning (JALL) is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal which is devoted to the interests of professionals who provide academic language and learning (ALL) development to students and staff in tertiary education settings. The journal has a broad scope incorporating the following sections.
Topics of interest in this section include, but are not limited to, research into the following:
- student transition issues, including the transitions faced by recent high school leavers, international students, mature aged students, and those starting a research higher degree;
- student experiences with academic writing, from undergraduate essays to PhD theses, including issues faced by students from a non-English speaking background;
- student learning, including the particular difficulties some students have with quantitative subjects such as statistics, and issues arising from the interrelationship between language and learning in (inter-) disciplinary domains;
- elucidation of the academic needs of students with a disability;
- interrelation of theory and practice, drawing on a range of disciplinary perspectives: e.g., applied linguistics, education, reading theory, composition, sociology of knowledge, and others;
- the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in learning support;
- the development of students' AI literacy, and explorations of the challenges and opportunities posed by generative AI tools for universities and ALL work;
- evaluating and improving the quality of academic language and learning practice.
In all cases, both papers which add to an understanding of the issues involved as well as reports on investigations into how ALL educators might most effectively work with students in the area of concern are welcome. In addition, theoretical papers as well as empirical studies are of potential interest.
Letters and Comments
Letters and comments include submissions such as:
- Brief commentaries on articles from previous issues (e.g. pointing out other relevant literature; providing brief critiques).
- Suggestions for follow-up or original research that needs to be done.
Also of interest in this section are papers where authors provide follow-up data and analyses of these on their own previous publications. It is expected that such submissions would provide new insights into the topic of the original publication or/and provide a worthwhile amount of new evidence supporting the claims or conjectures made in the original publication. Evidence of the replicability of the original findings with new cohorts may also be of interest.
Reviews should be of books of interest to professionals working in the field of academic language and learning development in tertiary education settings. A useful guide on writing book reviews for a scholarly publication can be found here, though the word limit mentioned on this site does not apply to JALL book reviews.
- Research articles will be double-blind, peer-reviewed by two reviewers.
- Reviewer reports will usually be expected within four weeks.
The criteria by which reviewers will be asked to assess a manuscript include:
- Relevance and interest to JALL readership.
- How well informed the paper is by previous scholarship in the field.
- How substantial a contribution to understanding in this field is provided by the paper.
- The quality of the evidence, reasoning and theorising used to support the conclusions of the manuscript.
- The quality of the writing.
Referees are asked to rate papers as being excellent, good, fair or poor according to the following criteria:
Relevance and interest to journal readership.
Submissions should be relevant to and of interest to the audience for this journal, which encompasses staff in a variety of roles in the higher education sector, including universities, technical and further education colleges, and private providers. The readership may include advisers in academic language and learning for native speakers of English and/or students from cultures and language backgrounds other than English; lecturers in the disciplines; and academic staff developers.
The Journal favours contributions of a scholarly nature, especially in the use and application of appropriate evidence, research and theorising as applied to contemporary issues of concern to the readership.
JALL seeks papers that make a contribution to understanding in the field. Papers may range in form from conventional research reports to "critically inflected narratives" (Farris & Anson, 1998), and innovation may be welcome, but all should offer both substance and insight.
Papers that are mainly concerned with educational practice or policy should also offer something to theoretical thinking in the area.
Quality of the Writing
Papers should be readable and clearly expressed, and should conform to the journal's guidelines for authors. They should be carefully presented and proofread and should be ready for publication.
Reviewers are also asked to elaborate on ways in which the paper might be improved and why. The goal is to provide sufficient feedback to allow the author(s) to improve their paper to a publishable standard.
Comments can also be made in the manuscript itself and this annotated manuscript can be attached to your reply.