Submissions Wanted: RLJ Special Issue: COVID-19 & Online Teaching Pedagogy in the Times of a Global Crisis: Research, Practices, & Solutions

Deadline: December 23, 2020

Editors: Liudmila Klimanova (University of Arizona), Jason Merrill (Michigan State University/Middlebury College Kathryn Wasserman Davis School of Russian), Shannon Donnally Spasova (Michigan State University).

The sudden global outbreak of COVID-19 in late 2019 has led to an abrupt transition of Russian and Slavic programs to emergency remote, hyflex, and synchronous online modalities as a then-thought-to-be temporary alternative to face-to-face and hybrid instruction delivery modes. The transition disrupted established educational practices and put unprecedented pressures on administrators, program directors, instructors, graduate teaching assistants, and students. While online instruction traditionally offers a great deal of flexibility in teaching and learning, the speed with which this move to remote teaching took place was staggering, and the need to continue with remote teaching beyond one interrupted term was unexpected. In addition to administrative and emotional challenges, and a severe lack of technical and methodological support associated with this transition, faculty and instructors in university programs found themselves unprepared to lead interactive classes in a video conferencing environment, to design suitable digital materials and evaluation instruments for remote teaching modalities, or to develop new pedagogies of remote language teaching for regular and immersive programs, often having to improvise quick solutions in less-than-ideal circumstances. 

This special online-only issue of Russian Language Journal is intended to explore various aspects of emergency remote teaching (ERT) and online learning in Russian and Slavic programs across the country and beyond. The primary objective of ERT is not “to re-create a robust educational ecosystem but rather to provide temporary access to instruction and instructional supports in a manner that is quick to set up and is reliably available during an emergency or crisis” (Hodges et al., 2020). The editors seek contributions from researchers, program/school directors, department heads, administrators, and teaching professionals that report and examine processes and outcomes of emergency remote and online teaching as well as reflect on the short- and long-term impact on the field of Russian and Slavic Studies after the COVID crisis. Authors are strongly encouraged to contextualize their contribution within appropriate theoretical, analytical, and developmental frameworks. Research studies, theoretical think pieces, and exemplary practices are all equally welcome. In addition, we welcome contributions on innovations and research in planned online instruction.

Content areas for contributions include – but are not limited to – the following:

–        Theoretical considerations about the unique contexts of Russian and Slavic language and culture teaching in the times of a global crisis.

–        Program administration and emergency remote teaching.

–        Research-oriented empirical studies of teacher and student attitudes toward remote teaching in the times of COVID.

–        Reports on the transition of language immersion and study abroad programs to online instruction that draw practical implications for program administration, innovation, and development.

–        Examinations of the use of technological tools and instructional design principles in developing curricular modules for remote/online teaching.

–        Problems and solutions in teaching literature, culture, and language courses fully online or remotely.

–        Discussions of planned online instruction in language and culture programs.

Submission Instructions: Authors should prepare their manuscript according to the Style Guidelines available at All papers will be peer reviewed following Russian Language Journal’s guidelines. Submission deadline for abstracts is December 23, 2020.

–        Submit an abstract of no more than 350 words to the editors to  

–        In your abstract, please state clearly if your proposal should be reviewed as (A) administrative reports; (B) pedagogical/online teaching innovations; (C) empirical/research-based papers; (D) theoretical think pieces/looking ahead pieces.

–        Full-length manuscripts (up to 7,000 words, including references and Appendices) will be due March 1, 2021 and must comply with the RLJ authoring guidelines. Manuscripts will be published as submitted without additional copyediting.

–        Full-length final draft of manuscripts will be due April 15, 2021.

Special Issue to be published online in May-June 2021. Please note that abstract acceptance does not guarantee publication of the submitted manuscript. All manuscripts will be subject to a double-blind peer review process.   For questions, contact Jason Merrill or Liudmila Klimanova