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General Interest Submissions

Due to a high volume of submissions to our journal and a resulting backlog, we are not currently accepting new General Interest submissions.  We hope to begin accepting General Interest essays again by June 1, 2010.  We apologize for any inconvenience this situation causes.  Putting all our efforts into clearing this backlog will allow us to open the journal to General Interest submissions as soon as possible.  In the meantime, we are still accepting submissions targeted to issue themes and to our other features and columns.  For issue themes and deadlines, please see a current issue of English Journal or the list below.

Upcoming Themes

Beyond Grammar: The Richness of English Language
Deadline: July 15, 2010
Publication Date: March 2011

Words create images, connote tone, and indicate register. Words form poetic phrases and harsh commands. They weave meaningful conversations, express deep emotions, explain difficult propositions. Words can be funny or clinical, clear or ambiguous. They can be rude or polite, targeted to a specific audience or designed for broad understanding. English can be obvious and sincere or coded and ironic. Variations in English usage and different English grammars have fascinated linguists and bedeviled language purists for centuries. This issue of English Journal is devoted to the ways in which you have helped students—especially native speakers, but also English language learners—to understand and appreciate English language in all its complicated glory. We do not seek articles that propose traditional grammar drills or mnemonic devices for memorizing the parts of speech; we do seek articles that engage students in higher-level language study, including examinations of standardized English and other equally legitimate forms of English. How does language make emotion, create a joke, clarify ideas, build community, or generate conflict? How have you helped students of all ability levels to study different forms of English and to learn to code-switch effectively to communicate in different social contexts? What literary works have helped you focus on issues of language, and what issues of language have brought greater interest to literary works? How do you help students learn to give formal speeches, to engage in persuasive conversations, to learn how to interject their thoughts in animated conversations, and to listen effectively to others? How have you helped students learn to argue convincingly in polite and not-so-polite conversation? How have your students learned to edit their written work in a manner that shows command of language, understanding of audience, and appropriate tone, register, and usage in a variety of rhetorical situations? How do you help students learn when they can and cannot take risks in their written language? How have you helped students deal with conflict by using language instead of more physical alternatives?

Ethics in the English Classroom
Deadline: November 15, 2010
Publication Date: July 2011

Ethics is possibly the most challenging topic taken up in English courses. What is an English teacher’s proper role in helping students to become good, ethical adults? What is an English teacher’s responsibility for taking up important, but controversial, subjects? What literature and writing assignments have you found helpful in raising ethical dilemmas and instructing students in effective ways of resolving them? How have you helped students to value—and effectively engage in—intelligent discussion over close-minded arguments? What have you learned from character education that has benefitted your teaching? How has your teaching of ethics changed over the years as laws, community mores, and technology have affected the world? How do we (or should we) keep our personal beliefs from affecting what and how we teach? What do you do when you disagree with your students, their parents, your administrators, or the community on ethical issues that you believe have an important bearing on your classroom? What ethical compromises have you felt forced to make as a teacher? What can we do to help students learn how and when to respect the different beliefs of others? How do you help students develop intelligent, ethical stances without telling them what to think? What classroom activities have you used to build students’ abilities to work well with others? For this issue, we welcome a wide variety of articles addressing ethics in English class.

Students Reading and Writing for Their Own Purposes
Deadline: March 15, 2011
Publication Date: November 2011
One of the unique aspects of English language arts is that its focus on developing literacy skills allows teachers to integrate students’ personal interests and goals directly into the curriculum. In fact, NCTE’s Learning Standard 12 is about just that: “Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).” As important as helping students to develop an inclination and ability to use their literacy skills for their own purposes is, some would argue it’s among the least emphasized of the twelve NCTE Standards. This standard is not easily assessed, nor do prepackaged curricula generally accommodate students’ individual goals and interests. To raise awareness of and share strategies for fulfilling this important standard, the November 2011 English Journal is devoted to the ways in which teachers can and should incorporate students’ purposes in English classes.

How have you creatively integrated students’ personal goals and desires into your reading and writing assignments? What methods have you developed for soliciting students’ individual interests and helping students to advance them in ways appropriate to English language arts? How have you helped students understand that literacy can help them achieve their own goals? What is the effect on the quality of student work of incorporating students’ purposes into your curriculum? How have you connected students with people and organizations outside your classroom: in the larger school, the community, national and regional organizations, online communities, and so on? How have media and Web 2.0 technologies enhanced your ability to engage students personally in ELA? Any article addressing the ways in which students’ own purposes may be highlighted in English class is welcome for this issue.

General Interest

Due to a backlog of submissions, English Journal will not accept any new General Interest submissions until June 1, 2010.

Ongoing Features

Speaking My Mind: We invite you to speak out on an issue that concerns you about English language arts teaching and learning. If your essay is published, it will appear with your photo in a future issue of We welcome essays of 1,000 to 1,500 words, as well as inquiries regarding possible subjects.

Student Voices: This is a forum for students to share their experiences and recommendations in short pieces of 300 words. Teachers are encouraged to submit the best responses from their classes, not whole class sets, please. Individual students are welcome to submit as well. Topics are as follows:

  • How has logical thinking helped you out of a difficult situation? (Deadline: November 15, 2009)
  • What makes you want to go to English class? (Deadline: January 15, 2010)
  • What can students currently without disabilities learn from students with disabilities? (Deadline: March 15, 2010)
  • How has or could English class help you better understand, appreciate, and protect nature? (Deadline: May 15, 2010)

Teacher to Teacher: This is a forum for teachers to share ideas, materials, and activities in short pieces of 300 words. Topics are as follows:

  • How can we motivate students to value logic and logical thinking? (Deadline: November 15, 2009)
  • How do you get to know your students well enough to understand what motivates them? (Deadline: January 15, 2010)
  • How has a lesson, assignment, or assessment designed as an accommodation for a student with a disability given you ideas about how all students might learn better? (Deadline: March 15, 2010)
  • What literature that relates to the environment and nature do you enjoy teaching? (Deadline: May 15, 2010)
Original Photography

Teacher photographs of classroom scenes and individual students are welcome. Photographs may be sent as 8" × 10" black­-and-white glossies or as an electronic file in a standard image format at 300 dpi. Photos should be accompanied by complete identification: teacher/photographer’s name, location of scene, and date photograph was taken. If faces are clearly visible, names of those photographed should be included, along with their statement of permission for the photograph to be reproduced in EJ.

Original Cartoons

Cartoons should depict scenes or ideas potentially amusing to English language arts teachers. Line drawings in black ink should be submitted on 8 1/2" × 11" unlined paper and be signed by the artist.

 

For EJ Submission Guidelines, click  here.

For more information, contact English_Journal@notes.cc.sunysb.edu.

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