Tag Archives: journals

The Ten Journals of NCTE

journalcoversAs a teacher, I often spend the summer getting caught up on things I set aside during the school year. When I am busy teaching, I might skim my professional journals but not read them deeply. But in summer, I enjoy spending time immersing myself in professional publications.

Did you know that NCTE publishes ten peer-reviewed journals? They offer the latest in research, classroom strategies, and fresh ideas for educators at all levels.

  1. College Composition and Communication
  2. College English
  3. English Education
  4. English Journal
  5. English Leadership Quarterly
  6. Language Arts
  7. Research in the Teaching of English
  8. Talking Points
  9. Teaching English in the Two-Year College
  10. Voices from the Middle

Journals are available in print and online, along with an extensive archive of past issues. To access back issues, click on the “Individual Issues” link in the left menu of each journal. Make sure to dig into the additional online content that many of these journals have to offer!

Interested in submitting to a journal? Check out these calls.

What are you reading professionally this summer?

Poetry and English Journal

During National Poetry Month, we will be posting poems that originally ran in one of the ten journals published by NCTE. This poem “Poetry Out Loud” by Jonathan S. Loper comes from English Journal:

Poetry Out Loud
(for Nicole Louw, 2015 Poetry Out Loud Alabama Champion)

A skinny Puerto Rican boy,
proud of his country (ashamed of his country),
confidently performs the naked buttocks of William
Carlos Williams’s “Danse Russe,”
looks in his mirror, and finds
a skinny Puerto Rican poet.
An imaginative South African American girl from
Alabama agrees (but disagrees) with a first-generation
American immigrant who remarks—sharing
his corrupted vision of politicians, businessmen,
and lovers—that Alabama is the most racist
place on earth. She voices Tony Hoagland’s
ageless speaker: “This is not a test / and everybody passes.”
The Puerto Rican boy and South African Alabamian girl
redefine American, finding a shared language to teach each other
a new way to speak—to discover on stage the voices
of poems
and Puerto Rico
and Alabama—
and unfurl in the rhythms of
poetry out loud.

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The Importance of Talking Points in Literacy Education

This post is by long-time members Deborah MacPhee and Sally Brown, editors of Talking Points. 

tpoctober16coverAs we were scrolling through the Literacy & NCTE blog in preparation for introducing Talking Points, the journal of the Whole Language Umbrella, and ourselves as editors, to blog readers, we found post after post addressing literacy as a tool for understanding and responding to the local and global issues of our time. In addition to being inspired by bloggers thinking and writing about “September 11”, “Writing through Conflict”, and “Reflecting on Democracy”, we were struck by the mismatch between how literacy is positioned in the official blog of the NCTE and how literacy is positioned in the schools we visit and teach in every day.

Prior to becoming teaching educators, we were both elementary classroom teachers in public school settings. We earned our doctoral degrees from the University of South Carolina. It was at USC where we engaged in academic challenges and inquiries supported by a whole language philosophy. We had mentors who inspired us to think deeply about the sociocultural, political, and economic issues impacting literacy instruction. It is from this background that we continue to move forward in our whole language practices.

As whole language educators, we believe that the potential for learning literacy, and anything really, is highest when learners inquire about topics of interest in authentic contexts, practicing and mastering skills and strategies as needed to communicate within these contexts. We find this to be reinforced by NCTE’s views about literacy education. This belief, however, is not in alignment with how we experienced school or how we see students experiencing school today. When we enter schools, as teacher educators and researchers, what we often observe is quite the opposite: learners practicing discrete skills in contrived contexts in hopes that they will be able to draw on these skills and strategies sometime later, when there is an authentic need to do so.

The world, and how we come to understand it, has changed drastically in recent years, yet the institution of school has remained relatively consistent in its policies and procedures for educating the citizenry. As literacy learners and educators, how can we bridge the gap between literacy in the world and literacy in schools? How can we engage all students, authentically, in learning and using literacy as a tool for meaning-making in schools, which have historically focused on the acquisition of knowledge and skills (Cambourne, 2017)¹, often in meaningless contexts?

Even though we know teaching today is challenging, we believe there is hope. We are inspired by educators who find space in the system for authentic literacy instruction. Each and every day these educators engage students in social justice projects, inquiries into real world questions, and important discussions that arise from quality literature, all the time explicitly teaching the skills and strategies needed to communicate. These are the stories we share in Talking Points.

 If you recognize yourself as one of these educators, we invite you to write for Talking Points, a forum where you can engage colleagues who are whole language practitioners and researchers in dialogue about how, in schools, we can prepare students to use literacy to understand and shape a rapidly changing world.

 ¹Cambourne, B. (2017). Reclaiming or reframing? Getting the right conceptual metaphor for thinking about early literacy learning. In R. Meyer & K. Whitmore (Eds.), Reclaiming early childhood literacies: Narratives of hope, power, and vision (pp. 17–29). New York, NY: Routledge.

macphee_professional_photoDeborah MacPhee is an Associate Professor of elementary education and literacy at Illinois State University. She learns, teaches, and conducts research in Professional Development Schools.


sallybrownSally Brown is an associate professor of literacy at Georgia Southern University where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in reading and language development.

Getting to Know Your Journal: A Quick Hello from College Composition and Communication

The following post is by NCTE member Jonathan Alexander and editor of College Composition and Communication.

cccsep2016coverWhile many of you are likely already familiar with College Composition and Communication, you may be less familiar with the journal’s objectives and the sort of work that we publish. CCC prides itself on collecting and amplifying voices from across the field: from two-year and four-year colleges and universities, from writing studies outside of the traditional university, and from quantitative and qualitative studies. Our journal focuses on publishing research and scholarship in composition studies that supports college teachers as they reflect on and improve their practices in teaching writing. Because composition studies often draws from a broad range of humanistic disciplines, our pages reflect the great diversity of work that contributes to that project. We regularly publish work related to technical communication, computers and writing, writing across the curriculum, research practices, the history of composition, assessment, the politics of writing and of teaching writing, and writing center work.

By publishing in CCC, scholars are able to reach a diverse readership that includes teachers of college-level writing at various types of institutions and literacy centers, administrators, undergraduate and graduate students, legislators, corporate employers, parents of college-aged children, and undergraduate and graduate alumni. As you can imagine, the articles we publish are therefore unique in their accessibility; though complex and sophisticated, scholarship printed in CCC shows great rhetorical flexibility in considering the interests and perspectives of this wide range of readers. The articles and review essays which appear in CCC undergo a rigorous and anonymous peer review process, ensuring that the work that we publish—approximately 15 percent of the submissions we receive—are of the highest quality and of the highest interest to our readers.

If you would like to learn more about subscribing to or submitting to CCC, I encourage you to check out our Web presence at www.ncte.org/cccc/ccc. You can also email me directly at ccceditors@gmail.com.

jalexanderJonathan Alexander is Chancellor’s Professor of English at the University of California, Irvine, where he is also the Director of the Center for Excellence in Writing & Communication.  He is the editor of College Composition and Communication.

Grounding Our Teaching in Research

When we ground ourselves in the research of teaching our practice begins to grow.The following excerpts come from an article entitled Grounding Our Teaching in Research: Implications from Research in the Teaching of English, 2009–12 in the July issue of English Journal. The article was written by Jessica A. West and Cheri Williams and features their synthesis of the findings of research published in RTE between 2009 and 2012 to support the professional development of preservice and inservice English educators.

The best teachers never stop being students themselves and, in particular, they are students of their field. Knowing the field of English education is essential to being a strong English educator. We cannot hope to transform the discipline without considering what we presently know, and do not yet know, about the teaching and learning of the English language arts…

As part of our efforts to support the professional development of preservice and inservice English educators, we recently examined current research published in RTE. Our goal was to synthesize the findings of that research to help practitioners develop a clearer “reading” of the current state of the field, which could inform their pedagogy and practice…

We organized the major findings into five categories that reflected the most commonly examined topics: identity, writing pedagogy, new literacies, English language learners, and the teaching of literature.

(These are some of the findings West and Williams explore in each topic. Click on the author links to read the full articles that informed these findings. You will need to use your NCTE member login.)

  • Identity: Classroom literacy activities can engage students in reflection related to their social and cultural position and identity in the world and foster compassion for peers’ unique experiences (Camangian; Wilson and Boatright; Wissman).
  • Writing Pedagogy: The ways in which high school students’ talk about model essays that are used to prepare for high-stakes testing takes on a performative function as the students discuss aspects of the essays that they consider to be most important given the ideological context, and that these comments were often clichés. This finding suggests that teachers need to more consciously look at the use of language in writing instruction and not assume that students hold a shared vocabulary for talking about writing (Samuelson).
  • New Literacies: [Participants in social media are using] multimodal composition forms, such as social networking sites, fan-based sites, video production, and Instant Messenger (IM), to create nontraditional compositions to represent ideas in ways not possible with traditional print-based compositions (Black; Bruce; Buck; Haas and Takayoshi; Roozen).
  • English Language Learners: Knowledge of ELL writers’ extra-textual identities, informed by watching a short video of the writer, affected raters’ assessment of their writing, suggesting that knowledge of and interactions with students are likely powerful influences on classroom teachers’ assessments of students’ voice in their writing (Tardy).
  • The Teaching of Literature: Eurocentric and Anglo-centric literature and texts of US origin dominated the curriculums of both US and Canadian schools and did not equally represent the historical and contemporary backgrounds of the students in the schools (Skerrett).

To be strong English educators, we must be engaged in continuous improvement of our craft. Good teaching is dynamic, as is our profession, and we are responsible for staying abreast of current developments in our field. Being aware of current research findings, such as those presented in this article, and the implications of those findings for one’s pedagogy and practice is essential to learning to teach well and to meeting the needs of our students.