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Information for Authors


ELT Journal is truly international, with subscribers in almost every country in the world. Readers of ELT Journal teach EFL, ESL, EAP, and ESP in a range of local contexts and conditions. They work in primary and secondary schools, in colleges and universities, in the state and private sectors. Some are teacher trainers and others are teachers in training. Many hold posts of responsibility and manage ELT programmes and projects.

General information concerning submissions

We have now set up a web-based online submission system for articles, letters to the editor, and contributions to the ‘Comment’ and ‘Readers respond’ features. We can now only accept contributions through this system.

Full details of how to make online submissions can be found here.

Authors are requested not to make multiple submissions of the same article to different journals at the same time. We hope that you will have written a submission especially for the specific readership of ELT Journal, so please do not send it to other journals until you have heard back from us. Articles must not contain libellous or defamatory material.

Please do not send more than one submission at a time. ELT Journal will only publish one article per author in each volume of the printed journal.

All submissions received are blind reviewed by members of the Editorial Advisory Panel. In order to maintain anonymity during the peer review process, please avoid stating your name when making a reference to your own work, either in the text or References, and use ‘Author’ instead.

Before you consider submitting your article to ELT Journal, please familiarize yourself with the Journal and the type of article we publish. If you do not have access to recent copies, you may view a sample issue on our website.

ELT Journal invites submissions in a number of categories:

We welcome articles that draw on experience with new methods, techniques, materials, syllabuses, means of assessment, approaches to teacher training, and other areas of professional interest.

Articles focusing on aspects of the English language (grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, discourse features, etc.) are also welcome, so long as they do not require specialist knowledge of linguistics, and so long as they are not purely descriptive or analytical. Readers are interested in the practical applications of language description or analysis.

We are interested in receiving articles that describe carefully planned and executed experiments, provided that the experiment is designed to throw light on a topic which is itself of interest to our readers.

We are also glad to receive articles which deal with the issues implicit in English language teaching in context, e.g. the effects of educational policy, aspects of management, the planning and development of projects, review and evaluation procedures, cultural aspects of ELT, and so on.

Contributors are asked to take into account the following important factors when writing their articles:

  • Articles should be of interest and relevance to the readers of ELT Journal.
  • They should be clearly and coherently written so that the contents are internally consistent and accessible to the readership.
  • ELT Journal is not a journal of primary research. There should be a balance between theory and practice in all submissions. Descriptions of practice should be related to underlying theoretical principles; theoretical concepts should be clarified by reference to their practical applications.
  • Articles that deal with a particular teaching or learning context should have clear implications for people working in a wide variety of different situations.
  • Articles must demonstrate an awareness of other and recent work carried out in the area on which they report.
  • The presentation and discussion of data must not pre-suppose more than a basic knowledge of statistics or of specialized terminology.
  • Care must be taken not to over-reference articles by supplying lists of sources which contain more than the key references. Articles should contain no more than 15 references. Of these, no more than two should relate to the author’s own work.

Unsolicited reviews cannot be accepted for publication. If you are interested in writing a review for ELT Journal, please contact the Reviews Editor at the address given in the Journal or on our website. The website address is given at the end of this guide.

Key concepts in ELT
Key Concepts’ is a feature of the Journal that provides clear and concise accounts of important concepts in the field of ELT. It aims to assist readers in developing an appreciation of central ideas in ELT from a perspective informed by current debate. If there is a key concept you would like to see treated in ELT Journal please fill in the form here.

Personal Details


This is a feature in which individuals are invited to express their personal, and sometimes controversial, views on professional issues. These views are not necessarily those of the Editor, the Editorial Panel, or the Publisher. The maximum length of contributions is 1,000 words.

Readers respond
This is a forum for readers to contribute their own reactions, perspectives, or experiences in relation to a specific article published in a recent issue. Submissions, which must be a maximum of 1,250 words, will be considered by the Editorial Panel before being accepted for publication.

We welcome letters from readers in response to published articles, features, and reviews. Letters must be a maximum of 500 words and may be edited for length or content.

Preparing an article

In preparing your article, please pay close attention to the following:

Because of space and layout constraints, we cannot list more than two authors for an article on the contents page. However, all authors will be listed on the first page of the article. In the case of multiple authorship, names will appear in the order in which contributors give them, even if that order is not alphabetical. For purposes of online tagging, please ensure author names are supplied with the first name first, followed by the surname or family name.

Articles of around 3,500 words in length are preferred. It is not possible for us to accept articles over 4,000 words long. Please give a word count at the end of your article. Word counts should include tables and appendices, but may exclude the abstract and the list of references.

Please try to make your article as easy to read as possible. Use short headings and subheadings to make the structure of your article clear. If appropriate, illustrate your article with examples, diagrams, tables, etc. If you introduce a term which you think may not be familiar to some readers, give a short definition in a note at the end of the article. The use of 'he' and 'his', 'she' and 'her' is acceptable only when a definite person is being referred to. Please use ‘he or she’, ‘his or hers’; ‘they’ or ‘them’; or plural nouns, e.g. ‘students’, ‘teachers’, etc.

Please use standard British English spelling of words such as ‘centre’ or ‘colour’. Where British English has alternative spellings of words such as ‘recognize’/‘recognise’, please use the ‘z’ form, e.g. ‘summarize’. But note that in British English ‘analyse’ is spelt with ‘s’. Please use ‘for example’ in the text and ‘e.g.’ in lists of tables/figures. There should be no comma after ‘e.g.’ or ‘i.e.’.

Please use:
cooperative, email (no hyphen); internet (capital letter not necessary, but please be consistent); online (no hyphen); per cent (two words – only use % in tables/figures); sociocultural (no hyphen); website (no hyphen); learnt (not learned); focus, focuses, etc. (one ‘s’); none the less (three words); on to (two words).

One to ten (in words), 11, 12, and so on in figures, unless these appear at the beginning of a sentence or when both a small and large number appear in the same sentence, e.g. … ‘5 classes of 28 …’. When using thousands, please use a comma separator, e.g. 2,500. Fractions should be written in words and hyphenated. Percentages in the text are normally given as whole numbers, e.g. 27 per cent, but can be given with decimal points in tables/figures where necessary.

First level lists should be numbered first, with lower-level lists being alphabetized.

Numbered and alphabetized lists should have no full points or brackets around the initial number / letter, e.g.
1 The house they lived in was green.
a It used to be blue before it was green.
b It used to be red before it was blue.
2 The building they worked in was blue.

Alphabetized lists:
a The house they lived in was green.
b The building they worked in was blue.

Bulletted lists should have no punctuation at the end except for the final point:
• houses were green
• buildings were blue
• garages were red.

Commonly used abbreviations
The following do not need to be spelt out in either the abstract or text:
EAP, EFL, ESP, ELT, ESOL, TESOL, NS (native speaker), NNS (non-native speaker), IATEFL, L1, L2, IT, CELTA

Countries and organizations: United States of America (USA, or US for descriptive purposes); United Kingdom (UK). (No full points.)

Foreign characters
These appear most commonly in names, and should be marked up for the typesetters. Foreign language words should appear in italics without single quote marks, e.g. ‘… the word platano means ‘banana’ in English’.

Title and abstract
Please give your article a brief, clear, and informative title. Titles should preferably be no more than 50 characters long, with an absolute maximum of 70, including spaces. Begin your article with an abstract of no more than 150 words summarizing your main points. Please do not make reference to other publications in the abstract; any abbreviations defined in the abstract (other than those listed above) should be spelt out again on first mention in the text.

See the separate file ELTJ template for guidance on formatting your article with the correct layout. It is not necessary to format first submissions.

Headings and subheadings
Headings and subheadings should be on a separate line, ranged left. Underline main headings, but do not underline subheadings. Do not use a numbering or lettering system for headings. Do not try to format your submission in the style of a published article.

Page numbers
Please make sure that pages are numbered.

References in the text
If you wish to make references in the text to other publications please do so clearly and in the following way: author’s surname, date, and page number in parentheses, e.g. (Kramsch 1993: 35). If the reference is to a general argument or topic covered by the author, you may omit the page number. However, a quotation or a specific point made by an author must be supported by a page number reference. If you refer to the same publication twice (or more) in quick succession, please use the following form on the second or subsequent occasion, e.g. (Kramsch ibid.: 156). If you refer to the same publication more than once, but not on the same page, then please use the following form on the second or subsequent occasion, e.g. (Kramsch op.cit.). Please remember not to over-reference your article either in relation to specific points you make in the text (maximum of two references to support any specific point), or overall (maximum of 15 references overall). In your article, please make sure you refer to no more than two of your own previous publications.

As previously stated, in order to maintain anonymity during the peer review process, please avoid stating your name when making a reference to your own work, either in the text or References, and use ‘Author’ instead. If a publication has two or more authors/editors, please list all names in the References and in the first instance in the text (then use et al. thereafter); if referring to two or more publications, please list these chronologically rather than alphabetically, e.g (Waters 1998; Seedhouse 2004).

List of references
Please give full bibliographical details of references and list them in alphabetical order of author, following the style of the examples given below. Page numbers for journal articles should be truncated where possible (e.g. ELT Journal 63/1: 25–9; ELT Journal 60/3: 213–21). However, no page ranges are required for books.

British Council. 2006. Future Perfect-English Language Policy for Global Transition Conference Report. Available at http:// (accessed 18 December 2007). [Note that for internet/web references, a full web address is required together with a date accessed.]

Donato, R. and F. Brooks. 1994.'Looking across collaborative tasks: capturing L2 discourse development’. Paper presented at AAAL Conference, Baltimore, Maryland.

Johnson, K. 2008. An Introduction to Foreign Language Learning and Teaching (Second edition). Harlow: Pearson Longman.

Littlejohn, A. 1992. 'Why are ELT materials the way they are?'. Unpublished PhD thesis, Lancaster University, UK.

Nunan, D. 1990. 'Action research in the language classroom' in J.C. Richards and D. Nunan (eds.).

Pennington, M.C. 1990 'A professional development focus for the language teaching practicum' in J. C. Richards and D. Nunan (eds.). [Note this format when your list of references contains two or more mentions of an edited collection.]

Richards, J. C. and D. Nunan (eds.). 1990. Second Language Teacher Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Swales, J. 1989. 'Service English programme design and opportunity cost' in R.K. Johnson (ed.). The Second Language Curriculum. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [Note this format when your list of references contains only one mention of an edited collection.]

Wenden, A. 1986a. 'Helping language learners think about learning'. ELT Journal 40/1: 3-12.

Wenden, A. 1986b. 'What do second language learners know about their language learning?' Applied Linguistics 7/2: 186-201.

Short notes can appear in the text within brackets; longer ones should be collected together at the end of the article. There will be no footnotes on individual pages. Please number your notes consecutively, giving clear superscript numbers in the appropriate places. You should not include more footnotes than are absolutely necessary.

Please do not include acknowledgements to colleagues or students who may have helped you during the writing of the article. It is often difficult to find space to credit all those who might be credited and we have therefore decided to leave it to authors to express their thanks personally.

If your article is to contain essential illustrations (including diagrams, tables, charts, etc.), please supply them in electronic form in a separate file from the main document, labelled Figure 1, Figure 2, etc. References to illustrations should be clearly indicated in parentheses in the text, e.g. (Insert Figure 1 here). Any accompanying photographs should be in black and white.

Please indicate clearly the holders of copyright in any illustrations, extracts, diagrams, etc., which accompany your contribution. It will be your responsibility to approach them to gain permission for copyright material to be used, and you will have to pay any costs involved.

Biographical note
It is not necessary to include biographical details with a first submission.

Data collection materials
ELTJ encourages authors to consider uploading their data collection materials to the IRIS database which is an online repository for data collection materials used for second language research. This includes data elicitation instruments such as interview and observation schedules, language tests, pictures, questionnaires, software scripts, url links, word lists, teaching intervention activities, amongst many other types of materials used to elicit data. Please see for more information and to upload. Any questions may be addressed to

Pre-submission language editing

If your first language is not English, to ensure that the academic content of your paper is fully understood by journal editors and reviewers is optional. Language editing does not guarantee that your manuscript will be accepted for publication. For further information on this service, please click here. Several specialist language editing companies offer similar services and you can also use any of these. Authors are liable for all costs associated with such services.

Terms of acceptance

  1. The Editor does not undertake to return any copies of the manuscript. Contributors are advised to retain at least one copy for themselves.
  2. Contributions to ELT Journal are sent to members of the Editorial Advisory Panel and acceptance is dependent upon their recommendation for publication. Within approximately three months of receiving it, the Editor will try to let you know whether, and if possible when, your contribution will be published.
  3. The Editor reserves the right to ask for reformatting of articles not submitted in the way indicated in this guide.
  4. The Editor reserves the right to make editorial changes in any manuscript accepted for publication to enhance style or clarity. A copy-edited version of the article will be sent to authors for approval, and should be returned with comments and/or corrections by the given date. Please, therefore, give your full address, fax number, and email address (if available).
  5. The cost of all fees payable for permission to use copyright material shall, unless otherwise agreed, be borne by the author.
  6. The Editor will assume that an article submitted for consideration has not been previously published, and is not being considered for publication elsewhere, either in the submitted form or in a modified version. Upon receipt of accepted manuscripts at Oxford Journals, authors will be invited to complete an online copyright licence to publish form. It is a condition of publication in ELT Journal that licence is assigned to Oxford University Press, subject to the following conditions:
    1. In assigning licence, you may use the article in subsequent publications written or edited by yourself, provided that acknowledgement is made of ELT Journal as the place of original publication, and that permission is obtained from the Publisher.
    2. The Publisher will normally give permission to a third party to reproduce your work in whole or in part, provided that your consent is also obtained. You are asked to refer to OUP all enquiries from third parties to reproduce your work.
    3. Please note that by submitting an article for publication you confirm that you are the corresponding/submitting author and that Oxford University Press ("OUP") may retain your email address for the purpose of communicating with you about the article. Please notify OUP immediately if your details change. If your article is accepted for publication OUP will contact you using the email address you have used in the registration process. Please note that OUP does not retain copies of rejected articles.
  7. If your contribution is published, you will receive two gratis copies of the issue in which it appears.

Open access options for authors

ELT Journal authors have the option to publish their paper under the Oxford Open initiative; whereby, for a charge, their paper will be made freely available online immediately upon publication. After your manuscript is accepted the corresponding author will be required to accept a mandatory licence to publish agreement. As part of the licensing process you will be asked to indicate whether or not you wish to pay for open access. If you do not select the open access option, your paper will be published with standard subscription-based access and you will not be charged.

Oxford Open articles are published under Creative Commons licences. Authors publishing in ELT Journal can use the following Creative Commons licences for their articles:
• Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY)
• Creative Commons Non-Commercial licence (CC-BY-NC)
• Creative Commons non-Commercial No Derivatives licence (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Please click here for more information about the Creative Commons licences.

Charges information

You can pay Open Access charges using our Author Services site. This will enable you to pay online with a credit/debit card, or request an invoice by email or post. The open access charges applicable are:

Regular charge - £2500/ $4000 / €3250
List B Developing country charge* - £1250 / $2000 / €1625
List A Developing country charge* - £0 /$0 / €0
*Visit our Developing Countries page for a list of qualifying countries

Orders from the UK will be subject to the current UK VAT charge. For orders from the rest of the European Union, OUP will assume that the service is provided for business purposes. Please provide a VAT number for yourself or your institution, and ensure you account for your own local VAT correctly.

Third-party content in open access papers

If you will be publishing your paper under an Open Access licence but it contains material for which you do not have Open Access re-use permissions, please state this clearly by supplying the following credit line alongside the material:

Title of content
Author, Original publication, year of original publication, by permission of [rights holder]

This image/content is not covered by the terms of the Creative Commons licence of this publication. For permission to reuse, please contact the rights holder.


On publication of your article, details of free online access to your paper will be sent to the corresponding author, who may then circulate them to co-authors. Offprints and additional single issues can be ordered using the Oxford Journals Author Services site.



Graham Hall
ELT Journal
Department of Humanities
Lipman Building
Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 8ST, UK.


Book Reviews Editor:

Alessia Cogo
ELT Journal
PO Box 71304
SE17 9DD, UK.


ELT Journal website: