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As the end of 2017 approaches, change is afoot at ELT Journal. From
January 2018, the Journal will have a new editor as my five-year tenure
in the role draws to a close. Throughout that time, I have worked with a
wide range of people who have contributed a great deal to the continued
success of the Journal, and the publication of each issue has very much
been the result of successful teamwork. It is impossible to thank everyone
individually in the limited space of an editorial column, but a few
names must be mentioned. As Reviews Editor, Alessia Cogo has been a
wonderful colleague throughout my time editing the Journal, selecting
key publications for review, finding a range of internationally-based
expert reviewers, developing the ‘Review Forum’ feature, and ensuring
each issue of ELT Journal has a range of interesting and informative
reviews. Richard Smith and David Baker, as editors of the regular
features ‘Key concepts in ELT’ and ‘Changing English’, have also made
tremendous contributions to the Journal, as has Nicky Hockly, through
her ‘Technology for the language teacher’ series.
The names of those working behind the scenes to make ELT Journal a success
may be less familiar to some readers. Jane Magrane, who coincidentally is
also stepping down from her role with the Journal and will be a great loss,
has managed the Journal’s wide range of front office processes and duties,
working tirelessly to interpret my editorial scribblings, to ensure articles and
reviews are free from typos and in the best possible shape for publication,
and that issues are published punctually in hard copy and online, with the
help of Hilary Lamb and, latterly, Alice James, Katie Kent, Sarah Baetens, and
Mary Jo Beaman. Meanwhile, Paul Ralph and Alex Birtles, who have chaired
the Advisory Board, and have worked at Oxford University Press with Sarah
Scutts and Victoria Smith, have been enormously supportive.
Throughout my time as editor, I have been very grateful for the support
Cristina Whitecross has provided as Consultant to the Editors; stepping
into the role following my predecessor Keith Morrow’s very successful
editorship was more than a little daunting, and Cristina’s advice as
I learnt the ropes five years ago was enormously helpful. Similarly, more
than 50 people from around the world have served as members of the
Journal’s Editorial Panel over the last five years, generously giving up
their time to help review over 2,000 submissions during my time as
editor; thanks also to members of the Journal’s very supportive and wise
Advisory Board (the names of the current members of both boards can be
found inside the front cover of this issue, and on the website at:
ELT Journal Volume 71/4 October 2017; doi:10.1093/elt/ccx050 © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press; all rights reserved.
Finally, and most importantly, thank you to all those who have submitted
articles, reviews, and feature papers to the Journal, and to you, our
readers, without whom the Journal would cease! I hope you have found
ELT Journal interesting and perhaps at times provocative, and that it has,
as its aims state, provided ‘a medium for informed discussion of the
principles and practice which determine the ways in which English is
taught and learnt around the world’.
But an editorial should not just be an exercise in looking backwards! What
of this, the fourth and final issue of 2017? It includes eight articles which
examine topics ranging from the use of songs in the classroom to CLIL
leadership, from learning with new technologies to the use of vocabulary
notebooks, and from the way teachers might ‘reinvent’ the innovations
which they encounter to the way they may deploy their own ‘wisdom
of practice’ in the classroom. There are also a number of feature items in
this issue, including a Key Concept exploring what is meant by ‘Activity’;
a Comment series discussion of EFL, ELF, and language norms; and the
second Point and Counterpoint feature of the year, which focuses on the
relevance (or otherwise!) of academic research for language teachers.
Meanwhile, in our Reviews section, you will find discussions ranging from
the role of literature in language education to materials evaluation and
design, and from insights into language learning from psychology to the
teaching of students with Special Educational Needs.
I hope you enjoy this issue.
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