Introduction to the Special Issue: Learners’ outcomes and effective strategies in early second language learning






As early second language learning is increasingly considered fundamental in children’s development and as early language learning programmes are encouraged both at institutional and societal levels, research has expanded in scope from a narrow focus on age to examine the interplay between variables affecting language learning. In this introductory article to the special issue, we first provide an overview of the field of early second and foreign language learning and how it has changed over the last few years. Next, we report challenges and strategies that should be tackled both in research and in pedagogical practices. These include teacher education and use of teaching strategies, the use of multilingual practices, bilingual and CLIL programmes and teachers’, students’ and parents’ beliefs about language learning at an early age. We conclude with an overview of the articles and book reviews included in this special issue.

Author Biographies

Francesca Costa, Università Cattolica di Milano/Brescia

Francesca Costa is Associate Professor of English Language and Linguistics at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan. She taught English Linguistics at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan from 2002 to 2017, Scientific English at Università degli Studi di Pavia from 2006 to 2014, and English for Primary Education at Università degli Studi di Bergamo. Since 2001 she has been involved in teaching, teacher training, and research at all levels of education. She specializes in applied linguistics and the teaching and learning of the English language at all levels of education (from primary to university) with a particular focus on Bilingual Education, CLIL, ICLHE (Integrating Content and Language in Higher Education), EMI (English-medium Instruction) and scientific English. She holds a Doctorate in Education (UK). 

Elisabet Pladevall-Ballester, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Elisabet Pladevall-Ballester is Associate Professor at the Departament de Filologia Anglesa i de Germanística, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain. Her research interests include child second and third language acquisition in bilingual immersion and instructed foreign language classroom contexts and also in CLIL primary education contexts. She currently leads the research group EFLIC (2017SGR752) (English as a Foreign Language in Instruction Contexts) and teaches English Grammar and Teaching Methodology at the undergraduate level and Instructed SLA and CLIL in the department’s MA program.



How to Cite

Costa, F., & Pladevall-Ballester, E. (2020). Introduction to the Special Issue: Learners’ outcomes and effective strategies in early second language learning. EuroAmerican Journal of Applied Linguistics and Languages, 7(1), 1–10.



Introduction to a Special Issue