Call for papers: SiSAL Journal special issue on virtual and other learning spaces

Call for papers. SiSAL Journal is planning to publish a special issue on virtual and other learning spaces in June 2016 (Volume 7, Issue 2). DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: January 15th, 2016.

Editors of the special issue: Curtis Edlin and Jo Mynard

Information for potential contributors

Learning environments have been long studied in classroom contexts, and we know that environmental factors play a role in students’ learning: temperature, space, seating arrangement and types of seating, flexibility of layout, and orientation all play a role in influencing activity and learning in classroom contexts. Though one might expect that environmental factors influence activity and learning to an even greater degree outside the classroom with no teacher to mediate activity, the topic has received little treatment to date. Fortunately, over the past few years there has been growing interest in space design for autonomous language learning. For example, the theme of an AILA RenLA symposium at the World Congress in Brisbane in 2014 convened by Terry Lamb and Garold Murray was ‘space, place and autonomy in language learning and teaching’.

In this special issue, the editors would like to explore aspects of both physical and virtual spaces that influence activities and learning within them. The editors invite submissions from colleagues who are interested in the use of space and design to support self-access learning. The papers can be research papers, theoretical papers, and/or practical papers. Themes may include (but are not restricted to):

  1. Space design principles for supporting language learners in self-access settings.
  2. Online space design and e-learning for language learners.
  3. The role of social spaces in language learning.
  4. Metaphorical spaces in learning (such as Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development – ZPD, or Murphey’s zones of proximal adjusting – ZPA (Murphey, 1996; 2013).
  5. Other topics related to space, place, or learning environments in self access learning learning (please check with us first).

This special issue will publish the following:

  1. Research papers (around 4000 words)
  2. Summaries and works in progress (around 2000 words)
  3. Descriptions of practice and practical applications based on research (up to 3500 words)
  4. Perspectives (opinions and reflections) (around 2000 words)
  5. Reviews of events, academic books, articles, and learning resources (around 2000 words)

Submissions will follow the usual blind peer review process. Please refer to the following page for a detailed description of submission types and format:

Deadline for submissions: January 15th, 2016

Articles can be submitted via the usual channels outlined on the SiSAL Journal website:


Murphey T. (1996). Proactive adjusting to the zone of proximal development: Learner and teacher strategies. Paper presented at the 2nd Conference for Socio-Cultural Research Vygotsky and Piaget; Geneva, Switzerland: September 1996, Psychological Sciences Research Institute: Geneva, Switzerland.

Murphey, T. (2013). Adapting ways for meaningful action: ZPDs and ZPAs. In J. Arnold & T. Murphey (Eds.), Meaningful action: Earl Stevick’s influence on language teaching (pp. 172-189). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.


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