Getting Published Online: A Guide for Language Teachers

by Hall Houston

(Articles for ESL/EFL Teachers)

In the past years, there has been an increase in the number of websites for language teachers, including online journals, magazines, and webzines. The content of these websites varies to some degree, ranging from second language research to simple teaching activities. These sites give teachers a valuable opportunity to share ideas and expertise with others. As the websites' content is available on the Internet, the readership is often much broader than with a print-based periodical. Writing for one of these sites is an effective means of developing as a teacher. In this article, I will show you how to get published in four easy steps.

Step One - Starting Off

There are a number of different types of articles that appear on language teaching websites: games and activities, lesson plans, opinion pieces, book reviews, personal stories, research, and accounts of teaching in a particular country. Do you have an idea for an article that might fit into one of these categories? Try one of these strategies to get started:
  • Remember the last conversation you had with a colleague about teaching.
  • Look over some of the handouts and worksheets that you created recently. Are they worth sharing with other teachers, or could you develop them further into a lesson plan or activity?
  • Focus on some area of language teaching you would like to research. Read others?research and determine if you could do a related study applying that area of research to your own students, who may live in a different area of the world, or be a part of a very different demographic group.
  • Think of a moment in your classes where you had a strong response to something going on in the classroom.
  • Read over some of the articles contained on the websites mentioned in this article.
  • Next time you are at a conference, make a note of "hot topics" that come up with other teachers during the sessions or in hallway conversations. Think about what information or experience you have to share about those topics, or what related research project you would be interested in doing.
Once you have got a basic idea for an article, do some brainstorming. Create a mind map, or just jot a few notes down.

Step Two - Writing the First Draft

Now it's time to find a quiet corner, and produce the first draft. Just try to write as much as you can without judging it. Refer back to your notes or mind map when you feel like you are running out of ideas.

Step Three - Revising

Put the article away for a few days, so that you can approach it with a fresh eye. Remember that the way your article looks makes an impression on your reader. Look for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Also, check how the article flows and look for anything you want to edit out. You might think of something you want to add, as well. Read the article out loud.

Draw the reader's attention by adding a personal anecdote, a series of questions, or sensory detail. Spend some time thinking of an attractive title. If the article is to be published online, you should give each section of your article a subheading, and use short paragraphs. This makes it much easier to read on a computer screen.

Show the article to a colleague or two, and encourage them to share some constructive criticism. Look for an article on a similar subject, not to plagiarize, but to suggest areas for improvement.

Step Four - Submitting the Article

If you're sure the article is in perfect shape, now you can find a proper home for it. Find a website from the list below that is likely to publish what you have written. Check if your article is a good match for the website before sending it in. (You wouldn't want to send a highly technical piece of second language acquisition research in to a site that contains mostly children's games!)

Some sites have submission guidelines. Read them carefully and follow them. If the website doesn't have any guidelines, it's a good idea to send a friendly e-mail over to the editor, introducing yourself and the article. Ask the editor if he/she prefers to have the article as a file or just included in the text of an e-mail.

If you don't get an answer after a few days, it's OK to write again, but keep in mind that editors are busy people and may not have time to answer you right away.

Places to Get Published

Here is a partial list of websites for language teaching. The first section is a list of websites. The second list is of journals and magazines that exist mostly in print, but have some content online.

Online Journals and Websites

Asian EFL Journal
Submission Guidelines:

CALL-EJ Online
Publication Guidelines:

English Teaching Forum

ELT News
Submit articles to:

ELT Weekly

Humanising Language Teaching
Submit articles to:

IATEFL Poland - Teaching English With Technology
Call for submissions:

Internet TESL Journal
Submission Policy:

Journal of the Imagination in Language Learning
Submit articles to:

Journal of Language and Learning
Notes for contributors:

Language Learning and Technology
Information for Contributors:

One Stop English
Lesson Share rules:
Submit warmers to:

Reading in a Foreign Language
Information for contributors:

Teaching English (British Council/BBC)
Send articles to:


Partially Online Magazines and Journals (These publish some contents of the magazine online, but the majority exists only in print.)

Annual Review of Applied Linguistics
Does not accept unsolicited submissions.

Applied Linguistics
Instructions to Authors:

Asian Journal of English Language Teaching
Submission Guidelines:

Guidelines for Submission:

Submission Guidelines:

The English Connection

English Teaching Professional
Writing Guidelines:

ESL Magazine
Submission Guidelines:

Essential Teacher
Submission Guidelines:

Guidelines for Authors:

Hands-On English



Issues in Applied Linguistics

JALT Journal
Submission Guidelines:

Korea TESOL Journal

Language Magazine
Send articles to:

The Language Teacher

Call for Articles:

Modern English Teacher
Writing Guidelines:

Notes for Authors:

The Teacher Trainer

TESL Canada Journal

TESOL Quarterly
Submission Guidelines:

ThaiTESOL Bulletin

ThaiTESOL Focus

This article originally appeared in ESL Magazine.
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