Call for Papers - Babylonia 2/2021


Children with special needs and foreign/second language learning

Between 1 and 7% of children are estimated to have oral language acquisition disorders and between 5 and 10% are estimated to have written language disorders (e.g. dyslexia). In Switzerland, each primary school class would thus count on average 3 children with special needs (dysphasia, dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, etc.). Some of these children come from immigration backgrounds and are faced with important challenges in terms of schooling in an L2 as well as social integration in the host country. Added to the language disorder, there are the child’s and family's socialization efforts. 

In this issue of Babylonia, we bring forward a discussion of the needs of children with learning disabilities and language disorders with respect to foreign and second language learning: 

  • What can be done to facilitate the learning of foreign languages in children who already have difficulties in the school language? 
  • How can synergies be created between the efforts of parents, teachers and speech therapists?
  • Should children with language disorders be exempted from foreign language learning?
  • Should foreign language choices be revisited for children with learning disabilities?
  • Are communicative approaches for foreign language teaching appropriate for children with language impairments or would these children benefit from explicit grammar instruction?
  • How can the home and school languages be taken into account in the case of migrant children who suffer from language impairments?
  • What should be done in situations where the child with language impairment also is a language brokerer for their allophone parents?
  • Why are children from migrant and minority backgrounds over-represented in speech and language pathology consultations?

If you would like to contribute to this special issue of Babylonia, we invite you to send us a short summary (0.5-1 page) of your contribution before November 5, 2020 (anna.ghimenton[at] and/or amelia.lambelet[at] Selected contributions will be due by February 1, 2021 for publication in August-September 2021. 

Following Babylonia's editorial line, we welcome empirical contributions (research projects, action-research), practical (didactic sheets, exercises, good practices, etc.), and socially engaged contributions (position papers, interviews, etc.). Babylonia favors clear and easily understandable writing style. Concrete examples - directly in the text or in boxes - are welcome. Article size: 16'000-20'000 characters (4-5 pages). 


November 5, 2020: Submission of contribution proposals

November 20, 2020: Decision on contribution proposals

February 1, 2021: first version of the articles

June 1, 2021: Final version of the articles