General Interest Submissions
We publish articles of general interest as space is available. You may submit manuscripts on any topic that will appeal to EJ readers. Remember that EJ articles foreground classroom practice and contextualize it in sound research and theory. As you know, EJ readers appreciate articles that show real students and teachers in real classrooms engaged in authentic teaching and learning. Regular manuscript guidelines regarding length and style apply.
The Capacity and Audacity of English
Deadline: November 15, 2012
Publication Date: July 2013
English is a wide-reaching field and one that takes some cheek, or chutzpah, to teach well. This final issue of Ken Lindblom’s editorship explores these aspects of English teaching and learning. Connected with all human communication, the field of English includes literary study, linguistic knowledge, philosophical speculation, psychological exploration, composing in written and in new visual and aural forms, arts of presentation, developing literacy skills for critical citizenship in a democracy, the ability to debate and convince, habits of mind that encourage reflection and openness to new learning and change, and much more. What is the new territory and outer landscape of the field of English, and how have you encouraged your students to explore it? With so much within our purview and within the present climate of financial and educational reform, it takes a certain amount of audacity to teach English well. How have you helped students learn to take risks in their research, writing, and presenting? What books have you found worth fighting to include in your curriculum? What challenges do you still face in your curriculum? How have you emphasized real education in the face of higher-stakes testing? What advice do you have for new teachers in the present political environment? How can we help students to develop the skills required to take a stand in difficult circumstances? How do we continue to motivate ourselves as English teachers?
Knowing Better: Examining Assessment
Deadline: January 15, 2013
Publication Date: September 2013
Manuscripts should be submitted after August 1 to Julie A. Gorlewski and David A. Gorlewski; additional information to come. What do we want our students to learn? What are they learning? And how do we know? Developing and implementing effective assessment strategies is an ongoing challenge for both novice and experienced teachers. The contemporary trend toward using standardized test scores as primary measures of student and teacher performance emphasizes the need for teachers to develop knowledge and proficiency in the area of assessment. Teachers, as those closest to learners, are positioned to be experts about what learners know and are able to do. English teachers must assess numerous, intricate sets of skills and understandings—capacities and aptitudes that are not easily quantified. How can this be done? How is high-quality assessment supported? And what obstacles exist to its implementation? This themed issue will explore the complexities of assessment, considering matters such as authentic assessment, for-mative and summative assessment, and assessment of the various, multifaceted aspects of English language arts. Articles in this issue will consider the various products that demonstrate student growth, share ideas about evaluating learners and learning, and examine the forces that promote—and detract from—effective, authentic assessment.
Choices and Voices: Teaching English in a Democratic Society
Deadline: March 15, 2013
Publication Date: November 2013
Manuscripts should be submitted after August 1, 2012, to Julie A. Gorlewski and David A. Gorlewski at http://www.editorialmanager.com/ncteej. As English teachers, we have a responsibility to prepare students to be active participants in a democratic society—to be able to see through popular political rhetoric, develop an understanding of the issues and conflicts, and perceive themselves as significant members of a dynamic society. Given this context, we seek articles that explore the realities and possibilities of English classrooms in our democratic society. How can the skills we aim to develop (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) relate to democracy? What types of literature are uniquely suited to this topic? How can we use literature as a lens through which to view democracy? What does American literature say about our nation and its people? Is it celebratory or critical—or somewhere in between? How can nonfiction works be used to further the teaching of democratic principles? How do different approaches to writing and speaking encourage and/or discourage voices of diverse populations? How might teachers use writing and speaking to help students to find their voices as members of a democratic society? How can various forms of writing (for example, argumentation, persuasion, narration, poetry) foster and enhance understanding of, and participation in, democratic processes?
Interdisciplinary Synergy: Teaching and Learning in Collaboration
Deadline: May 15, 2013
Publication Date: January 2014
Manuscripts should be submitted to Julie A. Gorlewski and David A. Gorlewski at http://www.editorialmanager.com/ncteej. As a central component of both culture and identity, language represents an important aspect of how teachers and learners experience the world. Although schools are often divided into content-specific departments, we know that thinking is not bound by time or space. Students don’t turn off their “math brains” when they enter science classes, nor do they stop being analytical thinkers in art class. English teachers, as facilitators of the language in which most learning experiences occur, have particular opportunities—and responsibilities—with respect to interdisciplinary instruction. In this issue, we seek to explore the challenges and possibilities of interdisciplinary instruction. Issues to consider and expand on include the following: How are English classes enhanced and strengthened by collaborating with teachers in other disciplines? How are studies in each content area enhanced by these experiences? What particular strengths do English teachers bring to collaborative endeavors in math, social studies, science, physical education, and the arts? How do extracurricular activities contribute to interdisciplinary work? What experiences have you had in working across disciplines? What kinds of institutional supports can encourage interdisciplinary collaboration? How does cross-content planning and instruction influence student learning? In the spirit of interdisciplinary collaboration, we especially encourage manuscripts that are coauthored by colleagues working to achieve synergy across content areas. We hope authors will help to explore and reveal how English classrooms can bridge disciplinary boundaries in the service of authentic teaching and learning.
Literacy and Literature: Making Meanings in English Classrooms
Deadline: July 15, 2013
Publication Date: March 2014
Manuscripts should be submitted to Julie A. Gorlewski and David A. Gorlewski at http://www.editorialmanager.com/ncteej. According to Mark Twain, “the man who does not read books has no advantage over the man that cannot read them.' The field of English teaching, like language itself, is undergoing constant change. Most recently, the term literacy has saturated classrooms and, in some cases, created concern about how this focus may affect teachers’ ability to engage students with literature. In this issue, we hope to explore your experiences (both successes and frustrations) in connecting and disconnecting the concepts of literacy and literature in the field of English. We seek articles that explore the complexities of these words, in theory and in action. What does it mean to be “literate” in today’s world? Are English teachers also literacy experts? How does literacy education fit into the work of English teachers? How do literature and literacy interact? Are these ideas mutually supportive or mutually exclusive? How do you and your
colleagues interpret these terms and apply them in the classroom? And does literacy matter if students do not learn to love literature? Do nonfiction or “informational texts” count as literature? How do you teach literacy and literature in your classroom? What classroom practices support the skills and dispositions students need to be successful in academics and beyond? What kinds of instructional activities and assessment strategies work well in helping students read Freire’s “the word and the world”? We seek articles that investigate and consider the multiple meanings that teachers and students make as they interact with each other and multiple forms of texts. Additional topics also include new literacy, classic literature in contemporary classrooms, and reinterpreting literature in a digital world.
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 EJ. 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. Current questions:
--How has English class made you more gutsy? (Deadline: November 15, 2012)
--What kinds of traditional assessments (tests, quizzes, projects, etc.) and nontraditional assessments (artwork, multi-genre pieces, electronic submissions) are the best measures of what you have learned? (Deadline: January 15, 2013)
Teacher to Teacher: This is a forum for teachers to share ideas, materials, and activities in short pieces of 300 words. Current questions:
--What is something you've done as an English teacher that took guts, and was it worth the risk? (Deadline: November 15, 2012)
--In your own practice, what are the most important lessons you have learned about assessment? (Deadline: January 15, 2013)
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.
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 information on writing for the EJ columns, see the Columns and Column Editors page.
For EJ Submission Guidelines, click here.
For more information, contact English_Journal@notes.cc.sunysb.edu.