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What Is NCTE? - Previous Revision

The National Council of Teachers of English
A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts

1111 W. Kenyon Road, Urbana, Illinois 61801-1096
Phone: 217-328-3870, 800-369-NCTE (6283);
Fax: 217-328-0977; Website:  

NCTE is devoted to improving the teaching and learning of English and the English language arts at all levels of education. Since 1911, NCTE has provided a forum for the profession, an array of opportunities for teachers to continue their professional growth throughout their careers, and a framework for cooperation to deal with issues that affect the teaching of English.    

NCTE Publications

NCTE publishes a membership magazine, The Council Chronicle, plus the following journals:
  • College English
  • English Journal
  • Language Arts
  • College Composition and Communication
  • English Education
  • English Leadership Quarterly
  • Classroom Notes Plus
  • Voices from the Middle
  • School Talk
  • Research in the Teaching of English
  • Teaching English in the Two-Year College
  • Talking Points
NCTE also publishes newsletters, position papers, pamphlets, and other documents on professional concerns.

Each year, NCTE publishes 15 to 20 books for teachers at the elementary, middle, secondary, and college levels in such areas as writing, literature, composition and rhetoric, and research. These books address current issues related to theory and practice in English Studies, literacy, and English language arts, and provide practical ideas for the classroom. The annual catalog includes some 300 titles.

NCTE has over 50,000 members and subscribers in the United States and other countries. Individual members are teachers and supervisors of English programs in elementary, middle, and secondary schools; faculty in college and university English departments; teacher educators; local and state agency English specialists; and professionals in related fields.

Affiliated Groups:
NCTE sponsors 120 regional, state, provincial, local, and student affiliates throughout the United States and Canada.

National Relations:
NCTE represents its interests and concerns related to federal legislation and initiatives through its Washington DC office, and fosters electronic communication with and between English language arts educators through its website and numerous listservs. NCTE position statements on class size and workload are regularly used to guide policy discussions in schools, districts, colleges, and universities; the NCTE/IRA Standards for the English Language Arts has been influential in state and district standards-setting efforts across the country. NCTE works at the national and local levels to support the work of classroom teachers and to combat efforts to restrict their choices of curricular materials and teaching methods. NCTE launched its National Gallery of Writing and held its first National Day on Writing on October 20, 2009.

Professional Development:
NCTE possesses a highly qualified professional development consulting network, the members of which are prepared to offer training and direction on a national level.  NCTE has also collaborated with the International Reading Association and the Verizon Foundation's to create the highly successful ReadWriteThink website, which provides educators and students with access to the highest quality practices and resources in reading and language arts instruction, all through free, Internet-based content. NCTE-sponsored national conventions and institutes, as well as regional and local conferences, help teachers at all levels of education deepen their knowledge and enrich their professional lives by exchanging ideas, hearing experts in their fields, and participating in workshops. Additionally, NCTE offers a rich mix of online and face-to face professional development opportunities, including its Pathways and Web Seminar programs, on key topics such as supporting English language learners and adolescent literacy.

Commissions and Committees:
Commissions monitor and report on trends and issues in the teaching of language,  composition, literature, reading, and media. Nearly 20 committees and commissions carry out projects on issues and topics in the teaching of English, among them research, media, censorship, and instructional technology.

Interest Groups:
NCTE offers its members opportunities to grow professionally by interacting with colleagues in all facets of English teaching. Individuals belong to any of four broad Sections of membership: Elementary, Middle, Secondary, or College. They may also join other groups centered on various teaching specialties within the English field, each with its own journal, meetings, and projects. Major interest groups, called Conferences, serve teachers of college writing and rhetoricteacher educators in higher education and inservice posts; teachers with an interest in whole language; and English department chairs, K–12 supervisors, and other English instruction leadersAssemblies are informal special interest groups, ranging in focus from using computers in the English classroom to research.

Awards Programs:
The Achievement Awards in Writing Program and the Promising Young Writers Program honor individual students for excellent performance in writing. The Program to Recognize Excellence in Student Literary Magazines honors schools for outstanding student publications. The NCTE Literacy Award honors public figures or groups who draw attention to the issue of literacy and stimulate the development of programs to foster literacy.  The NCTE Distinguished Service Award honors an educator who has made outstanding contributions to the profession and to the Council. The NCTE/SLATE National Intellectual Freedom Award honor individuals, groups or institutions that merit recognition for advancing the cause of intellectual freedom. Other awards by NCTE’s constituent groups, committees, and journals call attention to outstanding books and articles on the teaching of English.

Support for Research:
The James R. Squire Office of Policy Studies in the English Language Arts serves as a national clearinghouse for demographic and descriptive studies of matters deemed critical to NCTE’s mission and strategic objectives. In addition to conducting primary research about English language arts teachers, teaching conditions, and student achievement, the office offers a publicly accessible database of findings from many sources. The office also creates policy summaries to advance the knowledge of teachers, researchers, curriculum leaders, professional development specialists, government officials, and others who are dedicated to advancing achievement in English language arts.

NCTE's 60-member staff in Urbana, IL, manages the Council's programs and activities; supports the work of its volunteer task groups; manages its conventions; edits and publishes its professional materials; prints some publications; handles subscriptions, ordering of publications, accounting, and mail-order shipping; and provides a range of other services to members.   NCTE’s Washington, DC, office represents English and language arts professionals through policy initiatives and federal legislation.   The West Coast office in Berkeley, CA, provides a visible presence and represents English and language arts professionals.


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1111 W. Kenyon Road, Urbana, Illinois 61801-1096 Phone: 217-328-3870 or 877-369-6283

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NCTE - The National Council of Teachers Of English

A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts