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Call for Paprers: Teaching in a Pandemic: Reaching Multilingual and Marginalized Students

Thresholds in Education
Guest Editors:
Gloria Delany-Barmann & Carla Paciotto
Western Illinois University
Lindsay Meeker
West Liberty CSD

Special Issue: Teaching in a Pandemic: Reaching Multilingual and Marginalized Students
Since March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a tight grip on the world and has made us rethink how we approach practically all aspects of our lives. In the United States, the impact of the pandemic on low-income families of color has been evident, as we are observing “a disproportionate burden of illness and death among racial and ethnic minority groups” (CDC, April 22, 2020) with the highest death rates among Blacks and Latinos (PEW Research Center, 2020). While most states have been in lockdown trying to curb the spread of the virus, school districts across the nation have had to act quickly to transition from brick and mortar school life to remote teaching and learning modes. The response from schools during the pandemic has deeply underscored the disparity of school and family resources. Indeed, the first emergency schools across the country had to face was how to feed their low-income students and spent the first two weeks after the school closure creating elaborate plans to deliver meals to millions of poor children. At the same time, teachers started struggling to deliver instruction remotely to all children. Teachers have faced a wide array of obstacles in delivering online instruction, the first one being the uneven distribution of internet access among low-income families (Arias, 2020). Just as many teachers don’t/didn’t have the preparation to teach online and through remote learning technology, “many of their students also lacked either the devices or reliable Internet connections in their homes to access the ongoing, nontraditional lessons so they can keep up with their better-connected peers” (NAME, 2020). It is becoming clear that the COVID-19 pandemic can produce a prolonged lack of access to educational resources, ultimately, contributing to widening the wealth and health gap between upper-middle class and low-income communities.

Schools have had to quickly adapt to educate students in their second language and provide them with the necessary learning supports so that they will be successful in this new remote learning environment. In addition to the challenges of academic remote learning, there is an ‘up-tick’ in meeting the social emotional needs of our students due to pandemic-induced trauma (Modan, 2020). Students are experiencing higher anxiety levels as their lives are impacted by family unemployment, social isolation, and possible illness and death. Students who are immigrants or refugees have a whole other layer of uncertainty during these times. Schools are not only addressing these new needs now, but they must consider what plans are in place when the new school year begins, whatever that may look like.
Using multilingual students, schools, and the Covid-19 pandemic as a point of departure, this special issue seeks qualitative and quantitative work that examines the educational experiences of multilingual students and their teachers as they learn how to navigate this new terrain. We invite authors to explore various perspectives (students, teachers, policy) that unpack (explore) how multilingual students experience remote learning of language and content during a crisis situation which bare little semblance to “normal.”
We welcome a range of explorations that invite audiences to engage in the following key areas:
1) Old and new areas of educational inequity that the pandemic crisis has unveiled specifically related to immigrant families/students
2) Intersection of top-down state policy and local educational realities
3) Inclusive and successful solutions overcoming the obstacle to access to education during pandemic crisis.
4) Expanded/unexpected roles of educators revealed during the Covid-19 pandemic
5) Role of after-school providers and other community members in supporting needs of multilingual learners.
6) In what ways are school districts addressing the SEL of students?
7) Reaching/working with multilingual families during the pandemic.

This list of areas is not exhaustive, and we will review all proposals that address the topic in a substantive manner.
Possible areas of investigation/analysis for manuscripts include (among others) the following:
● Teacher and student resilience and self-care during the pandemic
● Policies impacting the education of diverse students during the pandemic
● Teaching language and content remotely
● Creation of transformative pedagogies
● Social justice oriented responses to the pandemic

Author Guidelines Please email an extended abstract/proposal (1-2 double-spaced pages), short reference list, 4 keywords, and 3-5 sentence author(s) bio(s) to ga-delany-barmann@wiu.edu by August 15, 2020.
Final Manuscript Formatting
● Manuscripts should be between 6,000 and 8,000 words, including abstract, list of keywords, appendices, footnotes and references. We reserve the right to return any manuscript that exceeds that length (APA style).
● All text must be double-spaced; Times New Roman font with 12-point type required; 1-inch margins on all sides.
● Submit all manuscripts in APA style. Authors should refer to APA for general questions of style, grammar, punctuation, and form, and for footnotes of theoretical, descriptive, or essay-like material.
● The journal defers to author preference in decisions about the naming and capitalization of racial, ethnic, and cultural groups. Manuscripts should be internally consistent in this regard.
General Timeline Information Abstracts Due: August 15, 2020 Acceptance/Rejection: September 15, 2020 Initial Draft Due: December. 1, 2020 Final Revisions Due: February 1, 2021 Publication: February/March 2021

Dates: 7/17/2020 - 8/15/2020

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