Unheard Voices: Language Education Outside the Mainstream

Virginia Lam (Guest editor), Sahar Alshobaki (Guest editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Unheard voices: Language education outside the mainstream
Research Intelligence issue 158
For several decades, a range of schools, services and workers, from across the charitable and other not-for-profit sectors and non-governmental organisations, have been providing enriching to life-changing language education to countless learners of all ages from all walks of life. These valuable places of community or alternative education have been embraced by learners as safe inclusive spaces that foster lasting relationships. Nevertheless, they have historically been overlooked by the mainstream sector and underappreciated or unrecognised by society at large.

This issue of Research Intelligence, guest edited by Virginia L. Lam and Sahar Y. I. Alshobaki, aims to give voice to those who work in, or have supported, diverse forms of language education. It sheds light on the impactful work of the settings and services, and the issues they face. Through these articles we gain insights into different forms of language education outside the mainstream, the professionals who have evolved and adapted their practices for the learners and communities they serve, and the challenges these provisions and groups have faced or overcome, the essence that marks out such unique people and places of education.

Contributions to this issue:
Virginia L. Lam examines modern foreign languages (MFL) education and communities, including heritage language tuition in complementary schools.
Zara Fahim, Yuni Kim and Eva Eppler consider barriers to formal qualifications in heritage languages.
Yoshito Darmon-Shimamori provides a parent and teacher’s perspective on practitioners’ development of MFL literacy.
Liz Black explores research-informed continuing professional development outside the mainstream.
Ruth Durant provides a practitioner’s reflections on informal EAL provisions, including the role of friendship.
Samson Maekele Tsegay and Muhammad Azeem Ashraf discuss linguistic immobility in study-abroad contexts.
Zehui Yang highlights equality initiatives, including design-based research, to empower non-native English-speaking teachers.
Alison Phipps considers reflexive language pedagogies for cultural justice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17
Number of pages1
JournalResearch Intelligence
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2024

Cite this