Publish and flourish

James McCrostie


Teachers publish for different reasons. Some generously want to share a successful teaching idea. Others desperately want to find a better job. Full-time Japanese university positions typically require at least three publications, and proof of scholarship is increasingly required for part-time jobs.

No matter what the motivation, making submissions can intimidate those without much publishing experience. The following journals are recommended for publishing novices. They tend to be more open to submissions and offer feedback that’s more constructive than critical.

However, before submitting anywhere, authors must read the submission guidelines and a few issues to get a feel for the journal’s preferred topics and style. Unsuitable submissions are a journal editor’s greatest vexation and may mean that your future submissions aren’t taken seriously (Worsham, 2008).

An abundance of submissions means it takes up to a year to publish in The Language Teacher. Those in a hurry should consider submitting to one of the many JALT special interest group (SIG) or chapter publications; a slightly dated list is available in Swanson (2000). If you present at the annual JALT Conference it’s possible to publish in the Conference Proceedings. Plus, JALT’s Peer Support Group helps writers polish their writing: <>.

The groups TESOL and IATEFL also have many SIG newsletters in addition to their main publications: <> and <>.

The English Teaching Forumis written by teachers for teachers and published by the U.S. Department of State: <>.

The Asia Pacific Journal of Language in Educationpublishes both quantitative and qualitative research on issues relevant to the region: <>.

ESL Magazineis noteworthy for paying authors: <>. Affiliated periodicals include English Teaching Professional and Modern English Teacher.

Online journals don’t always have the same status as their paper cousins but often have more readers. The Internet TESL Journal publishes practical articles and lesson plans: <>.

TESL-EJaccepts articles on the research and practice of English as a foreign and second language: <>.

The East Asian Learnerpublishes practical research aimed at English teachers: <>.

Also focussed on Asia are: The Asian EFL Journal: <> and The Asian ESP Journal: <>.

For information on how university hiring committees rank publications see McCasland and Poole (2004) and Glick (2002).Publishing is time-consuming at the best of times, with the process of research to publication sometimes measured in years (McCrostie, 2007). Make it your New Year’s resolution to get the printing presses rolling.