Language Learning

Cover image for Vol. 67 Issue 1

General Editor: General Editor: Nick C. Ellis / Journal Editor: Pavel Trofimovich / Associate Journal Editor: Emma Marsden / Associate Journal Editor: Kara Morgan-Short / Associate Journal Editor: Scott Crossley / Monograph Series Editor: Marianne Gullberg / LL Cognitive Neuroscience Series Editor: Núria Sebastián-Gallés / Executive Director: Scott Jarvis / Associate Executive Director: Jeff Connor-Linton

Impact Factor: 1.869

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 10/181 (Linguistics); 25/231 (Education & Educational Research)

Online ISSN: 1467-9922

Author Guidelines

Instructions for Contributors

Language Learning is an international journal that publishes rigorous, original empirical research as well as systematic critical literature reviews and innovative methodological contributions. Domains covered include first and second language acquisition in naturalistic as well as tutored contexts, including second, foreign, and heritage language, bilingual education, immersion programs, and study abroad. All disciplinary perspectives are welcome, from linguistics and psychology to anthropology, cognitive science, education, neuroscience, and sociology.

As one of the premier peer-reviewed journals in the field of applied linguistics, established in 1948 at the University of Michigan, Language Learning strives to promote research of the highest quality with thorough literature reviews and solid theoretical frameworks, rigorous data analysis, cogent argumentation, and clear presentation.

Manuscript types. Language Learning invites original submissions in the following categories:

  • Empirical Study. Manuscripts submitted under this category should report research carried out in a specific domain of language studies, involving a theoretical or applied focus relevant to language learning and development.
  • Conceptual Review Article. Manuscripts submitted under this category should offer a current review of a body of knowledge in a specific domain of language learning studies, rigorously developing theoretical arguments relevant to problems in language research or problematizing key issues in need of further investigation.
  • Methodological Review Article. Manuscripts submitted under this category should provide a state-of-the-art review of methods and techniques employed in a particular domain of language learning studies, systematizing and consolidating methodological insights both within and across research paradigms.
  • Systematic Review Article. Manuscripts submitted under this category should systematically analyze data, concepts, and results from previous studies to clarify trends and issues in language learning research and to inform readers of trends in developing fields of language study. Preference will be given to articles which target novel or underexplored issues and articles which systematize knowledge in research areas with disputed or conflicting findings.

Manuscripts considered for publication will be reviewed for their presentation and analysis of new empirical data, expert use of appropriate research methods, and rigorous development of theoretical arguments relevant to problems in language studies — with the guiding criterion of enhancing existing knowledge. Methods sections must be detailed enough to allow the replication of research. Theoretical accounts should be internally consistent.

Manuscripts will be considered for publication with the understanding that all pertinent sources of support and information have been acknowledged and that the manuscript is being submitted to Language Learning only. Language Learning will not consider articles that have been published or are being considered for publication elsewhere. Authors are asked to submit a cover letter to the editor with their manuscript submission. In it, they should provide relevant background to the submission and disclose any special circumstances that may raise potential ethical considerations, such as any conflicts of interest or any overlap of the present submission with text or data appearing elsewhere in related published or under-review work.

Length and style requirements. Submissions must match the aims, scope, and style requirements of the journal. Manuscripts submitted must conform to the specifications of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition.

  • Published papers are usually less than 10,000 words, including endnotes, references, tables, and figures. In order to keep manuscript length reasonable, authors are encouraged to designate additional research materials (e.g., appendices, data, extra tables and figures, or samples of materials) to be published as part of Supporting Information on the Language Learning website. For further information on the supporting information options, please see
  • All manuscripts are to be accompanied by an abstract of about 150 words (see Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, chapter 2).
  • All citations included in the list of references should include a unique DOI identifier (if available) and should be formatted according to the requirements of the American Psychological Association (see Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, chapter 7).
  • If a manuscript includes notes, do not use the footnote or endnote features in a word processing document. All notes should be formatted manually as endnotes (superscripted digits), with the relevant text placed at the end of the body of the manuscript under the title Notes, before References.
  • If figures and tables do not interfere with formatting, layout, and readability of the manuscript, they should be inserted in exact locations inside the body of the manuscript. In all other cases, each table and figure should be listed on a separate page at the end of the main manuscript file, with the <Insert Table # Here> or <Insert Figure # Here> placeholders inserted in the body of the manuscript to designate the location of each table or figure.
  • Reviewers often seek more extensive information about study materials and methods than what is possible to include within the limited space of a manuscript. As much as is feasible, submit full details about the procedure, testing protocol, instruments, and methodology of your study using the Supporting Information option during file upload. Examples of additional information include language tests, full listing of stimuli, questionnaires, screenshots of computer-based testing interfaces, additional graphical or tabular representations of data, and so on. Providing full methodological detail as part of the review process will help speed up the review as well as allow reviewers to carry out more informed evaluations.

Manuscript blinding. Authors should pay careful attention to preparing their submission to allow blinded peer review. Language Learning supports several manuscript blinding alternatives, in recognition of the fact that manuscripts vary in the extent to which self-citations are used. Authors are required to choose one or a combination of the following blinding alternatives in order to prevent delays in initial manuscript processing. Authors are also required to clearly indicate their blinding choice in the accompanying cover letter.

  • Full Blinding. In the body of the manuscript, replace all citations and references which contain all authors' and coauthors' names and the publication year by writing: Author (xxxx) or (Author, xxxx). In the reference list, ensure that the entire citation is blinded (including year, title, journal, etc.) and that the citation is located at the top of the reference list.
  • Partial Blinding. Replace only a portion of selected references by writing Author (xxxx) or (Author, xxxx) to the extent that authors' anonymity can be best preserved. In the reference list, keep full citation for the references that remained intact in the body of the manuscript but blind those references (including year, title, journal, etc.) you chose to anonymize, placing them at the top of the reference list.
  • Referring to Own Work in the Third Person. In many cases, reviewers need to have access to essential citations in a manuscript, particularly when these are used to motivate current work. If these citations are based on authors' and/or coauthors' prior research, blinding such work might not only be revealing of authors' identity but might also make it difficult for reviewers to adequately evaluate manuscripts. In such cases, in the body of the manuscript, authors should describe their own and their coauthors' relevant work in the third person, as one normally would refer to other researchers' work in a published manuscript. In the list of references, provide full citations for own work, placing those in the appropriate location alphabetically.

Again, in the cover letter to the Editors, clearly indicate how each submission has been blinded in order to avoid processing delays.

Reporting quantitative research findings. When reporting research using quantitative and statistical methods, authors submitting to Language Learning should follow the Guidelines for Reporting Quantitative Methods and Results in Primary Research by Norris, Plonsky, Ross, and Schoonen (Volume 65, Issue 2).

  • Authors are also required to provide measures of effect sizes, at least for the major statistical contrasts which they report (see Editor's Announcement, Volume 57, Issue 1, for detailed guidance).
  • For further guidance on conducting and reporting quantitative research, authors are encouraged to consult the chapters in Improving and Extending Quantitative Reasoning in Second Language Research published in Currents in Language Learning (Volume 2).

Review process. Language Learning processes manuscripts in a prompt and professional fashion. To expedite peer reviews and ensure the highest level of expertise in the review process, some manuscripts will be forwarded to one of the Associate Editors who will serve as the action editor in those cases. Articles suitable for the journal are typically sent to at least three reviewers drawn from among experts in the field. The names of all reviewers consulted are printed in the journal annually.

Submission of manuscripts. Manuscripts should be submitted online at Full instructions and support are available on the site, and a user ID and password can be obtained on the first visit. Support can be contacted by phone (888-503-1050), e-mail or via the “Get Help Now” link. If you cannot submit online, please contact the Editorial Office by e-mail:

Shared Research Instrumentation Policy for Accepted Articles. Language Learning encourages accepted authors to upload their data collection materials to the IRIS database ( IRIS is an online repository for data collection materials used for second language research. This includes data elicitation instruments such as interview and observation schedules, language tests, pictures, questionnaires, software scripts, URL links, word lists, pedagogical interventions, and so on. After an article has been formally accepted, the authors can upload their instrument(s) with an ‘in press’ reference, and the IRIS team will add page numbers to the reference after they are available. The sharing of research instrumentation benefits the research community and helps authors and journals increase the visibility of their published research.

Early View. Language Learning articles are published online through Early View in advance of their appearance in a print issue — see Early View articles.

Open Science badges. Recognizing the importance of research transparency and data sharing to knowledge-building, Language Learning would like to join the open science movement by encouraging authors to engage in open science practices and by rewarding authors for engaging in such practices. In partnership with the non-profit Center for Open Science (COS), we offer all authors submitting their manuscripts to Language Learning access to the following three open science practices — Open Materials, Open Data, and Preregistered Research Designs. We also award all qualifying authors open science badges recognizing their contributions to the open science movement. The open science practices and associated award badges, as implemented by the Center for Open Science and supported by Language Learning, are the following:

Open Materials Badge

The Open Materials badge recognizes researchers who share their research instruments and materials in a publicly-accessible format, providing sufficient information for researchers to reproduce procedures and analyses of published research studies. In the field of second language research, a qualifying public, open-access database of research instruments and materials is the IRIS digital repository of data collection materials (

Open Data Badge

The Open Data badge recognizes researchers who make their data publicly available, providing sufficient description of the data to allow researchers to reproduce research findings of published research studies. Numerous data-sharing repositories are available through various Dataverse networks (e.g., and hundreds of other databases available through the Registry of Research Data Repositories (

Preregistered Badge

The Preregistered badge recognizes researchers who preregister their research plans (research design and data analysis plan) prior to engaging in research and who closely follow the preregistered design and data analysis plan in reporting their research findings. The criteria for earning this badge thus include a date-stamped registration of a study plan in such venues as the Open Science Framework ( or Clinical Trials ( and a close correspondence between the preregistered and the implemented data collection and analysis plans.

The Open Science Framework ( qualifies as a public, open access repository which supports all three open science practices described above. This repository can host entire projects, including materials, data, and pre-registration protocols.

Applying and qualifying for open science badges is not a requirement for publishing with Language Learning, but these badges are further incentive for authors to participate in the open science movement and thus to increase the visibility and transparency of their research. Interested authors can find information about how to qualify for each badge on the Language Learning website, under author guidelines, and in the online submission system at

Online production tracking is now available for your article through Wiley-Blackwell's Author Services. Author Services enables authors to track their article — once it has been accepted for publication — through the production process to publication online. Authors can check the status of their articles online and choose to receive automated e-mails at key stages of production. Authors will receive an e-mail with a unique link that enables them to register and have their article automatically added to the system. Please ensure that a complete e-mail address is provided when submitting the manuscript. Upon publication, corresponding authors can collect a gratis PDF offprint of their article from Author Services. Visit for more details on online production tracking and for resources including FAQs and tips on article preparation, submission, and more.

OnlineOpen. OnlineOpen is available to authors of primary research articles who wish to make their article available to non-subscribers on publication, or whose funding agency requires grantees to archive the final version of their article. With OnlineOpen, the author, the author's funding agency, or the author's institution pays a fee to ensure that the article is made available to non-subscribers upon publication via Wiley Online Library, as well as deposited in the funding agency's preferred archive. For the full list of terms and conditions, see

Any authors wishing to send their paper to OnlineOpen will be required to complete the payment form available at

Prior to acceptance of a manuscript for publication, there is no requirement to inform Language Learning of an intention to publish in OnlineOpen. All OnlineOpen articles are treated in the same way as any other article. They go through the journal's standard peer-review process and will be accepted or rejected based on their merit.

Copyright Transfer Agreement. If a manuscript is accepted for publication, the author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an e-mail prompting them to login into Author Services, where they will need to complete the license agreement via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) on behalf of all authors on the paper.

For authors signing the copyright transfer agreement. If the OnlineOpen option is not selected, the corresponding author will be presented with the copyright transfer agreement (CTA) to sign. The terms and conditions of the CTA can be previewed in the samples associated with the following Copyright FAQs: If the OnlineOpen option is selected, the corresponding author will have a choice of the following Creative Commons License Open Access Agreements (OAA):

  • Creative Commons Attribution License OAA
  • Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License OAA
  • Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial — NoDerivs License OAA

To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements, please visit the Copyright FAQs and visit

Authors selecting the OnlineOpen option whose research is funded by The Wellcome Trust and members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) or the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) will be given the opportunity to publish under a CC-BY license in compliance with these Funders’ requirements. For more information on this policy and the Journal’s compliant self-archiving policy, please visit

Correspondence. Please direct your correspondence (please include your telephone number[s], Internet address, and institutional affiliation) to the appropriate person listed below:

For questions about journal manuscripts, contact:

Pavel Trofimovich
Journal Editor, Language Learning
Department of Education (FG-5.150)
1455, de Maisonneuve Blvd. West
Concordia University
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H3G 1M8
Editorial Office e-mail:

For submission of grant applications and questions about business matters, contact:

Scott Jarvis
Executive Director, Language Learning
Ohio University
Department of Linguistics
Gordy Hall 383
Athens, OH 45701, USA

For questions about general editorial policy and other book series, contact:

Nick C. Ellis
General Editor, Language Learning
Department of Psychology,
University of Michigan
530 Church Street
3215 E. Hall 1109
Ann Arbor MI 48109-1043, USA