our words make worlds

Call for proposals

Introduction Call for proposals Advisory Group Calendar Tutorials
Thank you for your interest, this call is now closed.

The Digital Modern Languages tutorial writing sprint is a physical and virtual event designed to create a variety of open educational resources demonstrating the critical and applied use of digital tools and methods for teachers, learners and researchers interested in modern languages and cultures. 

This initiative is led by the Digital Mediations strand on the Language Acts & Worldmaking project https://languageacts.org/digital-mediations/, which explores interactions and tensions between digital culture and Modern Languages (ML) research. The project is funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) under its Open World Research Initiative (OWRI). 


The DML tutorial writing sprint aims to: 

  •  Produce a set of learning resources which will improve critical digital literacies in ML learning and research  

  •  Facilitate greater engagement between digital practitioners and ML educators/researchers  

  •  Provoke discussion about possible connections between digital literacies at secondary and HE levels and beyond 

  •  Foster greater connection between ML and heritage/community language learning modes  

  •  Provide students and researchers with new modes of engagement with ML content and research 

  •  Contribute to greater awareness of the importance of Modern Languages learning and research 


This initiative will lead to the production of a series of self-learning online tutorials on how to use digital tools & methods critically in researching or learning about ML languages and cultures. The outcome will be an edited collection of tutorials, providing a snapshot of digital methods for modern languages. 

The tutorials will be approximately 4,000 words in length, and be written in approachable, non-expert language with clear examples. 


We take as inspiration education models such as The Programming Historian (https://programminghistorian.org/) and learning resources such as the O’Reilly book series, or For Dummies series. 


We welcome proposals for Tutorials (‘how to’ use a particular digital method or tool) which address either educational or research challenges in the Modern Languages and Cultures, including both: 

  • Language learning and

  • Learning and research about ML cultures 

This may involve either established or emerging areas within the field of Modern Languages and beyond, including (but not limited to): language pedagogy, digital arts, translation, linguistics, digital sociolinguistic and digital cultural studies, including ethnographic and discourse analysis approaches. 

Tutorials would need to respond to identifiable needs within ML learning and research (at any educational level). 

Each proposal should state: 

  • Name(s) of applicant(s) 

  • For multiple author applications, the author order 

  • Language(s) of proposal 

  • Languages studied/researched 

  • summary of the tutorial itself, explaining 

    its aims 

    its general structure 

    its focus 

  • Education or research 

  • Level – primary, secondary, HE 

  • Expected level of progression (making clear the entry-level and expected advancement in knowledge) 

  • A list of the digital methods used 

  • A list of the digital tools used 

  • If the methods/tools are open source or not 

  • Whether they apply to specific languages, or language families 

  • Whether or not proposers will commit to translating the tutorial into any other languages (if successful) 

  • And to give confirmation that the proposers commit to providing a finished tutorial by the stated deadline and that they give permission for it to be published as an Open Educational Resource 

  • Information about the applicants, and the skills they will bring to the tutorial 

Where appropriate, tutorials may wish to provide test content (data) which learners can use as they do the tutorials and which they can then use for their own independent research/learning.  Proposers may also re-purpose existing tutorial/teaching materials, although they should make clear where this is the case and confirm that there are no restrictions in re-use. 

Applicants do not need to have academic posts or to have formal modern languages roles – we welcome proposals from both within and beyond established modern language learning/research institutions (including, but not limited to, schools, Higher Education, arts/cultural sector, digital practitioners and private sector). 


To give a sense of the range of tutorials we are looking for, here are some possible examples: 

  • Using a digital storytelling tool to facilitate secondary school language learning 

  • Using web archives to study the Latin American communities in London 

  • Mapping colonial history in Brazil digitally 

  • Exploring geospatial representations of a French novel 

  • Game-based approaches to language learning at school 

  • Applying network analysis to golden age Spanish texts  

  • Digital publishing approaches to Chinese texts 

  • Examining digital peripheries in ML research 

  • Exploring linguistic and geographic markers for digital identity creation in social media 
  • Exploring translation pedagogy in Open Translation platforms


As we are launching this experimentally for the first time, we ask for proposals to be submitted in English but we encourage people to translate tutorials if the tutorial is accepted for publication. 


  • Tutorial proposals must be submitted via the Form (see below) by 24 March 2019. Proposers will receive notification of the outcome in early April 2019 

  • The tutorial writing sprint will take place 4-5 July 2019 

  • The deadline for final submission of tutorials is 1 September 2019 

  • Tutorials will be published in autumn 2019 


There will be limited bursaries (up to £200) to help contribute to travel and accommodation costs. For multi-author proposals, each tutorial will normally only be eligible for one bursary. Lunch and dinner will be provided by the organisers. Bursaries requests should be made at time of application, and bursaries will be targeted in particular at early career researchers and people travelling from distance. Priority will be given to those who cannot claim travel bursaries from other sources. 

Venue and dates 

The event will take place in Central London on 4th and 5th July 2019 

Physical/Virtual attendance 

The event will consist of: 

  • a physical event over two days at King’s College London 

  • a virtual event, with participants remotely connecting to the physical event 

The physical event will include a mixture of seminars, writing, demonstrations and peer review.  

The virtual event will take place in parallel to the physical event, with feedback provided to and from virtual participants at periodic intervals during the event. 

We expect to select 8-10 proposals for the physical event, and a similar number for the virtual event. 

Tutorial writing support 

The event will start with a seminar by people experienced in writing digital tutorials, and support will be provided to tutorial developers throughout the event and for a limited period afterwards. 

Peer review 

All tutorials will be peer-reviewed (by a review panel appointed by the project) — both at proposal stage and prior to publication — from the following perspectives: 

  • Modern Languages review - does this make a useful contribution to ML education or research practice? 

  • Digital review - does this engage with digital tools for ML in new and interesting ways? Is it sustainable and globally focused? 

  • Educational balance - we will look at achieving balance across educational levels (primary, secondary and higher education) for the group of accepted tutorials as a whole 

  • Linguistic balance - we will look at achieving balance across languages, and between European and non-European languages, for the group of accepted tutorials as a whole. 

  • Technical criteria - do the tutorials assume a particular platform, ecosystem, device or technical setup? If so, this will need to be fully justified (e.g. on the basis of available infrastructure). In general, we will favour tutorials based on multi-platform/open access/source software unless there is a very clear pedagogical rationale. We will also favour tutorials based on stable resources rather than alpha (or even beta) tools 

  • Variation in level - most tutorials will have a low barrier of entry (‘novice-friendly’), although we also encourage tutorials requiring some confidence with computational techniques 

Both single and multiple author applications are welcome 

During the initial peer review stage, we may exceptionally invite/commission additional proposals in order to meet these criteria. 

We expect most tutorials are likely to be approximately 4,000 words in length. If you expect the length of your tutorial to be vastly different from that, please let us know at application stage. 


Tutorials, data and (where appropriate) tools will be published as an edited collection of Open Educational Resources on the Language Acts & Worldmaking website and on an Open Educational Resource (OER) platform for deposit/long-term sustainability. 

Advisory group 

This initiative is supported by the following advisory group: 

  • Adam Crymble, University of Hertfordshire 

  • Tori Holmes, Queen’s University Belfast 

  • Lucy Jenkins, University of Cardiff 

  • Orhan Elmaz, University of St Andrews 

  • Elina Vilar, Queen Mary, University of London 

  • Naomi Wells, School of Advanced Study 

Further information 

Further information is available on the project website at https://languageacts.org/digital-mediations/event/writing-sprint/ 

The application form is here 


For any queries, contact Paul Spence at paul.spence@kcl.ac.uk