Call for Papers for the Special Issue on "Decoloniality and ELT: The South Writes Back"


Guest Editors:

Carmen Helena Guerrero Nieto
Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, Bogotá, Colombia.

Clarissa Menezes Jordão
Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba, Brasil.

Gabriela Veronelli
Center for Global Studies and the Humanities, Duke University, North Carolina, USA.

The decolonial turn has been around for about 30 years now in the field of social sciences and the humanities but it is until relatively recently that it entered into the conversations in English Language Teaching (ELT). The upsurge of research embracing a decolonial stance in ELT seems like an obvious consequence of the implementation of so-called “bilingual policies” across the continent, where “bilingual” means basically English. Another recent trend in Latin America has been the push towards internationalization of education, especially higher education, a movement that also seems to place English as “the natural choice” as a medium of instruction.

Knowing that education is always political, many Latin American scholars have raised their voices on the different ways in which language policies tend to privilege English over other languages (either modern or indigenous) and on how various aspects of the ELT field have been instrumental in facilitating, fostering, and perpetuating English Language Teaching as a colonial practice. Decoloniality in the ELT field in Latin America is, therefore, not simply a fashionable buzzword, but a political project aiming at disconnecting ELT from its modern/colonial orientation and interrupting its violence.

The emergence of various graduate programs in Applied Linguistics, journals, and national and regional conferences organized by universities and English teachers’ associations (like ASOCOPI in Colombia) have all served as scenarios where researchers, practitioners, teachers, student-teachers, and teacher educators have voiced their takes on decoloniality in ELT.

This special issue intends to bring together voices from and across the South in an attempt to map out and share ways in which ELT practitioners are making sense of the decolonial option.

We are inviting authors to send research reports, case studies, methodological and theoretical articles from a critical (and reflexive) stance that identifies and interrogates the coloniality of English in Latin America, and helps in promoting the interruption of the violence of modernity/coloniality in ELT in our onto-epistemologies.

These are some suggested topics to be engaged from a decolonial perspective (broadly understood):

  1. Linguistic imperialism and the role(s) of English in the internationalization of higher education: globalization, standardization, mobility
  2. Bilingualism, multilingualism, translingualism and normativity in English Language Teaching and Learning
  3. Approaching CLIL and/or EMI
  4. Native speakerism and its resonance in ELT policies in the Global South
  5. EFL teacher identity and (internal and external) colonialism and/or coloniality
  6. Concepts of language and their impact on English Language Teaching and Learning
  7. Decolonizing undergraduate and graduate teacher education


Proposals can vary from a range of approaches such as methodological, practical or theoretical, or a combination of the three.

We welcome papers in English, Spanish and Portuguese, and/or in movements of translanguaging with these and with other local languages. In the last case, we urge authors to please make sure their translingual movements are explained (in footnotes) so readers can more fully grasp their intent.

Proposals should include title, author(s) names, affiliation and email, a 300-500 word abstract, and a short reference list.

Proposals should be emailed (in word or pdf format) to, with the heading: “Decoloniality and ELT: the South writes back”, by December 1st 2021.

Important dates for this special issue



Abstracts submission

By December 1, 2021 to

Notification of acceptance or rejection of proposal

December 22, 2021

Full paper submission through Íkala’s journal system

March 1, 2022

Peer review process

March 2 to May 1, 2022

Authors' reviews and second peer review, if applicable

from May 2 to June 1, 2022

Copyediting and layout

from June 2, 2022 - August 31, 2022


September 1, 2022

Papers accepted for publication must comply with all journal publication guidelines. These can be consulted here.

The proposals will be initially assessed based on their innovation and their appropriateness and alignment with the topic of the special issue. Authors of selected proposals that meet the criteria will be invited to submit full manuscripts of between 8,000 and 8,500 words, including abstract ​​and references, through the journal platform. These will then go through a peer-review process. Only manuscripts that successfully undergo the review process will be published. Quality of the submission as well as reviewers’ comments are decisive factors on acceptance for publication.

For any questions regarding content or format for this special issue, please contact