Editorial: Introduction to this Special Issue : English for Academic and Professional Purposes in the Digital Era

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-13
Number of pages11
Journal / PublicationRELC Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


Developments in digital communication technologies have had a significant effect on the way that people communicate, including how we gain access to, create and disseminate knowledge in academic and professional contexts. These developments have provoked interest from researchers investigating innovative digital genres and practices (e.g. Kuteeva and Mauranen, 2018; Luzón and Pérez-Llantada, 2019), as well as researchers investigating pedagogical strategies to address such innovations (e.g. Li and Storch, 2017; Yi et al., 2020). In language and literacy education generally, and in the field of languages for specific purposes (LSP) more particularly, it has been maintained for some time that the ubiquity of digitally-mediated communication gives rise to ‘emerging needs’ for language learners (Hafner et al., 2015; Hafner and Miller, 2019; New London Group, 1996). For example, because of the availability of new forms of digitally medi- ated collaborative and multimodal forms of expression – think, for example, of collabo- ration on Google Docs and the video content available on YouTube and elsewhere – it is now necessary for researchers and teachers to consider how such communicative resources can be accounted for in the language curriculum. The purpose of this special issue is to engage with issues of digital communication, teaching and learning in aca- demic and professional contexts.