Stay Up-to-Date in EL Writing: Five Great Journals

I truly enjoy attending professional conferences. They give me a good feel of current trends in the field and provide me with invaluable pedagogical and research ideas. However, attending a conference does not always seem feasible. Luckily, a wealth of academic journals offered in the field of applied linguistics can help me stay current. In what follows, I will briefly describe five writing journals that I frequently browse:

Assessing Writing
This journal publishes “articles, book reviews, conference reports, and academic exchanges concerning writing assessments of all kinds, including traditional (‘direct’ and standardized forms of) testing of writing, alternative performance assessments (such as portfolios), workplace sampling and classroom assessment.”

According to their website, the journal welcomes research that focuses on:

  • “Any stage of the writing assessment process
  • “Different perspectives on writing assessment
  • “Theory and practice of writing assessment
  • “Assessment of writing in different fields (i.e., composition, TESOL, writing across the curriculum)”

College Composition and Communication
This journal publishes “research and scholarship in rhetoric and composition studies that supports college teachers in reflecting on and improving their practices in teaching writing and that reflects the most current scholarship and theory in the field.”

Topics of interest may be drawn from the following subfields, outlined on their website:

  • “Technical communication
  • “Computers and composition
  • “Writing across the curriculum
  • “Research practices”

Journal of Second Language Writing
This journal publishes “theoretically grounded reports of research and discussions that represent a contribution to current understandings of central issues in second and foreign language writing and writing instruction.”

According to their website, possible areas of interest include:

  • “Personal characteristics and attitudes of L2 writers
  • “L2 writers’ composing processes
  • “Features of L2 writers’ texts
  • “Readers’ responses to L2 writing
  • “Assessment/evaluation of L2 writing
  • “Contexts (cultural, social, political, institutional) for L2 writing”

WPA: Writing Program Administration
This journal publishes “articles and essays concerning the organization, administration, practices, and aims of college and university writing programs.”

Possible areas of interest, provided on their website, include:

  • “Writing Faculty Education, Training and Professional Development
  • “Writing Program Creation and Design
  • “The Development of Rhetoric and Writing Curricula
  • “Writing Assessment within Programmatic Contexts
  • “Advocacy and Institutional Critique and Change
  • “Writing Programs and Their Extra-Institutional Relationships with Writing’s Publics
  • “Technology and the Delivery of Writing Instruction within Programmatic Contexts
  • “WPA and Writing Program Histories and Contexts
  • “WAC / ECAC / WID and their Intersections with Writing Programs
  • “The Theory and Philosophy of Writing Program Administration
  • “Issues of Professional Advancement and WPA Work
  • “Projects that Enhance WPA Work with Diverse Stakeholders”

Written Communication
This journal publishes “theory and research in writing from fields including anthropology, English, education, history, journalism, linguistics, psychology, and rhetoric.”

According to their website, possible areas of interest include:

  • “The nature of writing ability
  • “The assessment of writing
  • “The impact of technology on writing (and the impact of writing on technology)
  • “The social and political consequences of writing and writing instruction
  • “Nonacademic writing
  • “Literacy (including workplace and emergent literacy and the effects of classroom processes on literacy development)
  • “The social construction of knowledge
  • “The nature of writing in disciplinary and professional domains
  • “Cognition and composing
  • “The structure of written text and written communication
  • “Relationships among gender, race, class and writing
  • “Connections among writing, reading, speaking, and listening”

Happy reading!

What journals or other publications do you find yourself reading regularly to stay current in EL writing?

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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