Call for papers: Self-access and the Coronavirus Pandemic

Call for papers. SiSAL Journal is planning to publish a special issue on Self-access and the Coronavirus Pandemic in September 2020 (Volume 11, Issue 3) edited by Jo Mynard (Japan), María de la Paz Adelia Peña Clavel (Mexico), Honggang Liu (China), and Tarik Uzun (Turkey).


Information for potential contributors

The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has had an enormous and unprecedented effect on the whole world. Society has changed in fundamental ways and people around the globe are increasingly turning to technology to attempt to keep systems going and to maintain social bonds. In this special issue, we we focus specifically on the impacts on self-access and take these questions as a starting point:

  • How can the social-supportive aspects of self-access be maintained in an era of social distancing?
  • How can we manage to have meaningful interactions with learners using the available technology?
  • How can we overcome challenges and support learners effectively in such uncertain times?
  • How can we pay attention to the wellbeing of learners and teachers given the daily challenges people face?

We are interested in accounts of how colleagues around the world are attempting to overcome the significant challenges. We are interested in both successful and less successful interventions so that we might learn from our experiences. Some contributions might take the form of reflective or narrative accounts or perspectives. However, we would particularly welcome research papers or work-in-progress reports of projects which draw upon the analysis of actual data collected during these disruptive times. Contributions may include (but are not limited to):

  1. Theoretical explorations of self-access learning in uncertain times.
  2. Empirical studies related to supporting learners in self-access learning at a distance.
  3. Practical and/or reflective case studies and examples of how staff are supporting students in accessing language learning opportunities. 
  4. Organizational structures for student support in self-access during a pandemic.

Please note: Although online language teaching is a topic worthy of exploration during these turbulent times, SiSAL Journal specialises in outside-class and self-access support for the development of language and learner autonomy rather than classroom-based language instruction.

Guidelines for authors:

  1. Research papers (around 5000 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)


  • Jo Mynard, Professor and Director of the Self-Access Learning Center, Kanda University of International Studies, Japan
  • María de la Paz Adelia Peña Clavel, Coordinator of the Mediteca, National School of Languages, Linguistics and Translation, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico
  • Honggang Liu, Professor of Applied Linguistics, Faculty of Education, Northeast Normal University,  China
  • Tarik Uzun, Independent Learning Centre (ILC) Coordinator, School of Foreign Languages, Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University, Turkey

Special issue editorial team members

  • Metin Esen, Instructor of English & Teacher Trainer, Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University, School of Foreign Languages, Turkey

  • Gao Lixiang, PhD candidate in language education, Faculty of Education, Northeast Normal University, China

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: July 20th, 2020.

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

SiSAL Journal is an open access, peer-reviewed, quarterly publication for those interested in the field of self-access language learning.  The articles reflect the ongoing contributions to the field and are aimed at international researchers and practitioners. The scope of the journal incorporates self-access learning and skills support centers which aim to promote learner autonomy.