English Teaching Forum

English Teaching Forum is an international, refereed journal published by the U.S. Department of State for teachers of English as a foreign language (EFL). The mission of English Teaching Forum is to contribute to the professional development of its readers around the world by offering articles that reflect current theory and practice in English language teaching.

English Teaching Forum accepts submissions of previously unpublished articles from English teachers, teacher trainers, and program administrators on a wide variety of topics in second/foreign language education, including principles and methods of language teaching; activities and techniques for teaching the language skills and subskills; classroom-based studies and action research; needs analysis, curriculum and syllabus design; assessment, testing, and evaluation; teacher training and development; materials writing; and English for Specific Purposes. Most of the articles published in English Teaching Forum are submitted by its readers.

English Teaching Forum Guidelines for Authors

Article Submissions

Submissions are always welcome; there is no deadline. Authors should follow these guidelines in preparing articles for submission:

  1. English Teaching Forum does not accept previously published articles (print or online).
  2. Maximum length is 6000 words (an abstract is not necessary).
  3. All pages should be double-spaced and have margins of about 3 centimeters (1 inch).
  4. Use of first person is acceptable, especially when discussing your own teaching context.
  5. Only sources cited in the article should be listed in the references at the end of the article.
  6. The article should comply with The Chicago Manual of Style, in particular the citations of other authors and references. English Teaching Forum uses the author-date format for citations and references, which has also been called the "scientific style." See examples in the next section.
  7. English Teaching Forum does not publish footnotes. We suggest you include information in parentheses as appropriate.
  8. English Teaching Forum does not publish photos, artwork, screen grabs, colored charts, or graphics with articles.
  9. English Teaching Forum does not publish acknowledgments. We rely on our authors to thank the appropriate people themselves.
  10. English Teaching Forum does not publish email addresses of its contributors.

The following criteria are used to evaluate a submission's suitability for publication:

  1. Does the topic reflect up-to-date principles, methods, and techniques in English language teaching?
  2. Will the article appeal to the worldwide readership of English Teaching Forum?
  3. Is the article well written and organized, with sufficient explanation to enable readers to apply the insights and recommendations in their classes with their own students?
  4. Does the article contribute new ideas and information to the field of English language teaching?
  5. Are the ideas and information in the article contextualized; that is, has the author cited other authors whose work is related to the topic?
  6. Is the writing clear, concise, and easy to read?
  7. Does the article comply, in particular the citations and references, with The Chicago Manual of Style?

English Teaching Forum focuses primarily on the teaching of English. Submissions that focus exclusively on linguistic theory or rely primarily on statistics and quantitative research may not be suitable for this journal. Also, articles that require knowledge of a language other than English or focus exclusively on teaching in a specific country may not be appropriate for the global readership of English Teaching Forum. Read past issues to see what topics have been included in recent issues and to see the length and scope of published articles.

Here are some specific details about the Chicago author-date system of citing sources.

  1. A citation with the author's last name and the date of publication in parentheses, for example (Johnson 1999), is placed in the text at the end of a quotation or after a specific mention of that author's work. When the page number is necessary (for example, with a quoted passage), it follows the date, separated by a comma, for example (Johnson 1999, 87). Include all last names for a work by two or three authors, for example (Anderson, Jackson, and Jenson 1997). For a work by four or more authors, include only the last name of the first author followed by et al. in the text citation, for example (Robinson et al. 1992), but include all authors' names in the list of references.
  2. A list of all the references cited in the text is given at the end of the article. In each reference, only the author's last name and initials are provided. The date is placed after the author's name. Only the first word of the title or subtitle (after a colon) is capitalized, along with proper nouns and adjectives. Titles of books and journals are given in italics. Quotation marks are not used.
  3. Here are some examples of Chicago author-date text citations and references:
    • Book by one author
      (McKay 2002)
      McKay, S. L. 2002. Teaching English as an international language: Rethinking goals and approaches. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    • Book by two authors (second edition)
      (Richards and Rodgers 2001)
      Richards, J. C., and T. S. Rodgers. 2001. Approaches and methods in language teaching. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    • Edited book
      (Rose and Kasper 2001)
      Rose, K. R., and G. Kasper, eds. 2001. Pragmatics in language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    • Chapter in an edited book (only book title in italics)
      (Lynch and Hudson 1991)
      Lynch, B., and T. Hudson. 1991. EST reading. In Teaching English as a second or foreign language. 2nd ed. ed. M. Celce-Murcia, 216-232. Boston: Heinle and Heinle.
    • Journal article (only journal title in italics, followed by volume number, issue number in parentheses, and page numbers)
      (Savignon 2003)
      Savignon, S. J. 2003. Teaching English as communication: A global perspective. World Englishes 22 (1): 55-66.
    • Electronic journal article
      (Sharifian 2002)
      Sharifian, F. 2002. Memory enhancement in language pedagogy: Implications from cognitive research. TESL-EJ 6 (2, September):1-9. http://www.cc.kyoto-su.ac.jp/information/tesl-ej/ej22/a2.html (accessed November 17, 2003).
    • Electronic book (two editors)
      (Bardovi-Harlig and Mahan-Taylor 2003)
      Bardovi-Harlig, K. and R. Mahan-Taylor, eds. 2003. Teaching pragmatics. Washington, DC: US Department of State Office of English Language Programs. http://americanenglish.state.gov/resources/teaching-pragmatics (accessed November 17, 2003).
    • Unpublished manuscript
      (Abu Rass 1997)
      Abu Rass, R. 1997. Integrating language and content in teaching English as a second language: A case study on a precourse. PhD dissertation. University of Arizona.
    • Conference paper
      (Snarski and Tumposky 2002)
      Snarski, M., and N. Tumposky. 2002. Teacher training challenges in emerging democracies. Paper presented at the 37th international convention of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Salt Lake City, USA.
    • Book published in another language (title translated into English)
      (Suzuki 1999)
      Suzuki, T. 1999. Nihonjin wa naze Eigo ga dekinai ka [Why the Japanese people are no good at English]. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten.
    • ERIC document
      (Tannenbaum 1996)
      Tannenbaum, J. 1996. Practical ideas on alternative assessment for ESL Students. Washington DC: ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics. ERIC Digest ED395500.
  4. For more information about the Chicago style manual, consult these websites:

"Teaching Techniques" Submissions


The audience for the Teaching Techniques section is the diverse worldwide audience of FORUM, which is (primarily) teachers of English as a foreign language in about 125 different countries. FORUM readers teach students of all ages (from young learners to university level) and all types of classes (EFL, ESL, EAP, ESP, EYL, etc.). The teachers themselves have varying levels of English abilities. And they do not all have the same access to resources (photocopiers, Internet, etc.).


Each Teaching Techniques article should highlight one example of an original practice the author has used successfully. Topics can range from warm-up activities to long-term projects and can deal with any area of language teaching; there are few restrictions on the type of English teaching techniques that might be acceptable. However, the technique should be applicable in a wide variety of countries.

Authors should provide a brief description of the context in which the technique has been used (possibly including location, description of the learners or the course, reasons for implementing the technique) in order to provide basic background information and a point of reference for readers.

While authors can report on their own use of the technique, the purpose of the article should be to provide guidance and direction so that other teachers can implement the technique in their own classrooms.

Techniques can target a specific group of learners (of a certain age, skill level, etc., or with specific needs or purposes for studying English). But a technique that has been used with, for example, young learners in the author’s country should be transferrable to young-learner classrooms in other places around the world.


The Teaching Technique should be written in the form of a short article. In some cases, the author might break down the technique itself into separate steps presented within the article. Articles should be approximately 500 to 2,000 words.


Text citations and references are not required, but credit must be given if the technique is a derivative of another. Any citations and references should be written according to the Chicago Manual of Style.

Handouts and Graphics

Any handouts should be made as generic as possible and should not include context-specific details (e.g., terms in the L1 of the author’s students, names of places or people in the author’s school or town). Also, many FORUM readers are not able to photocopy materials, so it is helpful to suggest options (such as drawing a simple handout on the board) for those teachers. Any graphics, figures, textboxes, etc. must be original work.

General Pointers

1. Submissions must not have been published anywhere else.

2. Techniques should not resemble too closely the Lesson Plans, Classroom Activities, and Teaching Techniques in previous issues of FORUM. Check “Past Issues” on the FORUM website (http://americanenglish.state.gov/english-teaching-forum) to review activities that have been published.

3. In general, a simple, straightforward technique is better than a complex, elaborate one.

4. Provide the estimated amount of time needed for the technique.

5. Most FORUM readers won’t have time for extensive preparation. If materials need to be prepared, try to suggest ways for teachers to involve students in the preparations.

6. Techniques should be of maximum assistance to lesser-experienced teachers. This means procedures need to be spelled out clearly. It may work best to write instructions in the imperative.

7. Provide a title for the article.

8. Provide a short bio statement (usually one sentence) about each of the authors(s).

9. Send submissions as email attachments to etforum@state.gov. Put “Teaching Techniques” in the subject line. In the body of the email, include a statement saying that the work is unpublished.


Submitting Your Work

We prefer to receive submissions as email attachments in Word document format. Please do not send an article as the text of an email message. If you do not have access to email, you may send your article by post.

  • Email: etforum@state.gov
  • Post: English Teaching Forum
    US Department of State, SA-5, 4th Floor
    2200 C St. NW
    Washington, DC 20037 USA

You will receive an acknowledgment message when we receive your submission. Reviews are usually completed within four months of receipt of the submission. You will receive another message with the results of the review.