By Andries W. Coetzee
Apr 21, 2013
Early April saw the Annual Board Meeting of the journal Language Learning at the University of Michigan. Language Learning is published by Wiley-Blackwell, an international leader in scholarly publications, and has been a major international journal in the field for over 65 years.
The Univeristy of Michigan, and our Department in particular, has had a long relationship with the journal Language Learning—a connection that we are both proud of and thankful for. The journal was founded at the University of Michigan by the "Language Learning Research Club", with the first volume appearing in 1948. This affords Michigan considerable international renown within the language sciences, and indeed it gives claim to the University of Michigan as the birthplace of Applied Linguistics.
Publication of the journal was later taken over by an academic publisher, and it is currently published by Wiley-Blackwell. However, the University retained its involvement with Language Learning. The general editor of the journal is traditionally affiliated with the University—this position is currently filled by Nick Ellis. The board of directors of the journal also has heavy Michigan representation. The board is currently chaired by Pam Beddor, with other Michigan members being Nick Ellis, Julie Boland, Diane Larsen-Freeman, Dave Ogden and Mary Schleppegrell. In 1985, in in a matching arrangement with the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, Language Learning endowed the "Language Learning Visiting Research Assistant Professorship in Linguistics" at the University of Michigan. This enables us to have a regular visiting assistant professor in our Department, adding to the intellectual diversity and vibrancy that makes Michigan Linguistics what it is. It also offers junior scholars an opportunity to establish their research careers before embarking on tenure-track positions. In fact, two of our current faculty (Andries Coetzee and Ezra Keshet) started their academic careers at Michigan in this position.
Below is some additional information about the journal provided by its current editor. It is clear that this is a first rate journal, and that is an honor to have the journal affiliated with our Department.
In the European Reference Index for the Humanities (ERIH), Language Learning is considered INT1, that is, a journal “with an internationally recognized scholarly significance among researchers in the respective research domains,” and “with high visibility and influence among researchers in the various research domains in different countries, regularly cited all over the world".
In the Journals Citation Report (Thomson Reuters) for 2011, Language Learning’s Impact Factor was 1.218, which means that articles published in 2009 and 2010 were cited an average of 1.218 times. This impact factor made it rank 26th of 161 Linguistics journals and 42nd of 203 Education & Educational Research journals.
In the new Google Scholar Metrics, Language Learning has an h5-index of 30, which means 30 articles (published between 2007 and 2011) attracted 30 or more citations. This h5-index of 30 made it rank 4th under the Humanities, Literature, & Arts journals, 2nd under Foreign Language Learning journals, and 2nd under Language and Linguistics journals.
Articles published in Language Learning often attract prizes in the field. For example, Plonsky & Gass (2011) received the Pimsleur Award; Van Beuningen et al. (2011) received the Brumfit Dissertation Award. This recognition of research excellence has been a sustained pattern, with many such awards to articles dating back to the 1990s and 2000s.
Benefaction for research in the field
Language Learning is unique in the field in that it is part of the Language Learning Research Club, a not-for-profit scholarly group, which annually supports our field of research in the form of dissertation grants, small grants, scholar-in-residence grants, and roundtable meetings, as well as supporting a Language Learning visiting research assistant professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Michigan. Over the past decade, almost every annual conference of AAAL and EuroSLA have had a roundtable/symposium funded by Language Learning.