Excellent Academic Journals to Stay Up-to-Date in EL Writing

In one of my previous blog posts, I introduced five journals concerned with different issues in second language writing.  There are obviously other academic journals in the field that publish articles related both to research in second language writing and writing pedagogy.  So let me add a few more to the list introduced earlier.

The journal descriptions provided here are quoted from the journal websites.

Second Language Acquisition (SLA) Journals

Applied Linguistics

Applied Linguistics publishes research into language with relevance to real-world problems. It promotes scholarly and scientific discussion of issues that unite or divide scholars in applied linguistics. It is less interested in the ad hoc solution of particular problems and more interested in the handling of problems in a principled way by reference to theoretical studies.

“The journal welcomes contributions in such areas of current enquiry as: bilingualism and multilingualism; computer-mediated communication; conversation analysis; corpus linguistics; critical discourse analysis; deaf linguistics; discourse analysis and pragmatics; first and additional language learning, teaching, and use; forensic linguistics; language assessment; language planning and policies; language for special purposes; lexicography; literacies; multimodal communication; rhetoric and stylistics; and translation. The journal welcomes both reports of original research and conceptual articles.”

Language Learning

Language Learning is described on the website as “a scientific journal dedicated to the understanding of language learning broadly defined. It publishes research articles that systematically apply methods of inquiry from disciplines including psychology, linguistics, cognitive science, educational inquiry, neuroscience, ethnography, sociolinguistics, sociology, and anthropology. It is concerned with fundamental theoretical issues in language learning such as child, second, and foreign language acquisition, language education, bilingualism, literacy, language representation in mind and brain, culture, cognition, pragmatics, and intergroup relations”

The Modern Language Journal

The Modern Language Journal “is an international refereed journal that is dedicated to promoting scholarly exchange among researchers and teachers of all modern foreign languages and English as a second language. The journal is particularly committed to publishing high quality work in non-English languages. Its publication focus is further defined by linking the findings of research to teaching and learning in a variety of settings and on all educational levels. Article contributions are expected to meet the highest standards of scholarly excellence, advance theoretical knowledge, and explore clearly stated and well supported implications for teaching. In each of the four issues that comprise a volume, The Modern Language Journal publishes 10 – 12 research studies, a professional calendar of events and news, notices regarding matters of interest to the profession, and reviews of scholarly books, textbooks, videotapes, and software. In addition, a supplementary issue of the journal, usually published in January, offers a variety of formats, from guest edited issues to monograph-length publications.”

Second Language Research

Second Language Research is “an international peer-reviewed, quarterly journal, publishing theoretical and experimental papers concerned with second language acquisition and second language performance. In addition to providing a forum for investigators in the field of non-native language learning, it seeks to promote interdisciplinary research which links acquisition studies to related non-applied fields such as: neurolinguistics; theoretical linguistics; first language developmental psycholinguistics.”

Studies in Second Language Acquisition

Studies in Second Language Acquisition is “a refereed journal of international scope devoted to the scientific discussion of issues in second and foreign language acquisition of any language. Each volume contains four issues, one of which is generally devoted to a current topic in the field. The other three issues contain articles dealing with theoretical topics, some of which have broad pedagogical implications, and reports of quantitative and qualitative empirical research. Other rubrics include replication studies, State-of-the-Art articles, Notes and Discussion, review articles, book reviews, and book notices.”


This international journal is “devoted to the applications of educational technology and applied linguistics to problems of foreign language teaching and learning. Attention is paid to all languages and to problems associated with the study and teaching of English as a second or foreign language. The journal serves as a vehicle of expression for colleagues in developing countries. System prefers its contributors to provide articles which have a sound theoretical base with a visible practical application which can be generalized.”

English Teaching Journals

ELT Journal

ELT Journal is “a quarterly publication for all those involved in English Language Teaching (ELT), whether as a second, additional, or foreign language, or as an international Lingua Franca. The Journal links the everyday concerns of practitioners with insights gained from relevant academic disciplines such as applied linguistics, education, psychology, and sociology.

“ELT Journal aims to provide a medium for informed discussion of the principles and practice, which determine the ways in which English is taught and learnt around the world. It also provides a forum for the exchange of information and ideas among members of the profession worldwide.”

English for Specific Purposes

English For Specific Purposes is “an international peer-reviewed journal that welcomes submissions from across the world.  Articles focus on topics relevant to the teaching and learning of discourse for specific communities: academic, occupational, or otherwise specialized. Topics such as the following may be treated from the perspective of English for specific purposes: second language acquisition in specialized contexts, needs assessment, curriculum development and evaluation, materials preparation, discourse analysis, descriptions of specialized varieties of English, teaching and testing techniques, the effectiveness of various approaches to language learning and language teaching, and the training or retraining of teachers for the teaching of ESP. In addition, the journal welcomes articles and discussions that identify aspects of ESP needing development, areas into which the practice of ESP may be expanded, possible means of cooperation between ESP programs and learners’ professional or vocational interests, and implications that findings from related disciplines can have for the profession of ESP.”

Teaching English with Technology

Teaching English with Technology (TEwT) is “a free online peer-reviewed journal that seeks to disseminate cutting-edge work focused mainly on the use of technology in TESOL.

“The journal is interested in theoretical and practical articles that resonate with the international audience. TEwT occasionally publishes special issues in more specialized areas of technology use in language education or education in general. All TEwT papers are free to access.”

TESOL Journal

TESOL Journal (TJ) is “a refereed, practitioner-oriented electronic journal based on current theory and research in the field of TESOL. TJ is a forum for second and foreign language educators at all levels to engage in the ways that research and theorizing can inform, shape, and ground teaching practices and perspectives. Articles enable an active and vibrant professional dialogue about research- and theory-based practices as well as practice-oriented theorizing and research.”

TESOL Quarterly

TESOL Quarterly “encourages submission of previously unpublished articles on topics of significance to individuals concerned with English language teaching and learning and standard English as a second dialect. As a publication that represents a variety of cross-disciplinary interests, both theoretical and practical, the Quarterly invites manuscripts on a wide range of topics, especially in the following areas: psychology and sociology of language learning and teaching; issues in research and research methodology; testing and evaluation; professional preparation; curriculum design and development; instructional methods, materials, and techniques; language planning; professional standards.”


Are there other journals you read that you’d like to share with us?

About Elena Shvidko

Elena Shvidko
Elena Shvidko is an assistant professor at Utah State University. She received her doctorate in second language studies from Purdue University and her master’s degree in TESOL from Brigham Young University. Her work appears in TESOL Journal, System, Journal on Response to Writing, TESOL interest section newsletters, and TESOL's New Ways series. Her research interests include second language writing, multimodal interaction, interpersonal aspects of language teaching, and teacher professional development.
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4 Responses to Excellent Academic Journals to Stay Up-to-Date in EL Writing

  1. Umi Rokhyati says:

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Kevin Knight Kevin Knight says:

    Hi Elena,

    The following is taken from http://sisaljournal.org/. I thought that it might be of interest to some of your readers.

    SiSAL Journal

    (/si:sæl/) SiSAL Journal is a peer-reviewed, quarterly publication for those interested in the field of self-access language learning. The articles reflect the ongoing contributions to the field and are aimed at international researchers and practitioners. The scope of the journal incorporates self-access learning and skills support centres which aim to promote learner autonomy.


    The journal is published by Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS), Chiba, Japan. The journal started as a project within the English Language Institute / Self-Access Learning Centre (SALC) at KUIS in 2010.”

    All the best,

  3. Huw Jarvis says:

    Thanks for this list. Teachers who don’t have institutional access to these journals can always watch a number of authors talking about their published work on the tesolacademic YouTube channel. The database with over 50 talks is available from http://www.tesolacademic.org Finally, please consider submitting a talk to us it’s a great way to further disseminate your TESOL-based research.

  4. a very informative blog. It will benefit ELT researchers immensely.