An interview with the new Editor of English Today
The new Editor of English Today, Emeritus Professor Clive Upton of Leeds University, answers a few questions about the future direction of the journal as it takes on a new editorial team and introduces new features.
Please tell us about editorial changes at English Today.
This year sees a new editorial team taking over the journal. In my role as Editor I’m supported by Associate Editors Nicholas Groom and Justyna Robinson. We are also now accepting book and multimedia reviews, which are handled by Reviews Editor Jonathan Robinson. In addition, while the look and ‘feel’ of the journal will remain essentially unaltered, new features are planned, and there will now be an additional option for external peer-review of articles, alongside the normal editorial review.
How will the two-tier peer-review process work?
As signalled in the Notes for contributors, authors can now tell us whether they would like their submissions to go forward for external peer review, instead of the current system of editorial review. Peer-reviewed articles should be up to c.6,000 words long (as distinct from those up to c.4,000 words which has long been the norm for the journal), and should be the result of detailed research which will stand up to the highest levels of scrutiny.
Please tell us about the journal’s proposed new features.
As mentioned above, English Today is now publishing book and multimedia reviews. We are happy to have readers’ suggestions for items to be reviewed, and offers from colleagues willing to act as reviewers.
We are also keen to feature ‘English Language Initiatives’ (ELIs), which will give anyone who is promoting the English language in a new way (for example through an unusual educational or commercial activity) a chance, in around 2000 words, to inform a wide readership about their work.
Finally, with the ever-growing popularity of English Language studies as a university subject, ‘English Language Bachelor of Arts’ (ELBAs) will give colleagues worldwide an opportunity to outline a particular undergraduate degree programme with which they are involved, again in around 2000 words.
We invite suggestions from readers for both ELIs and ELBAs.
What content can be found in the most recent English Today?
In this issue, we feature articles with the usual wide global and subject spread. Contributions come fromColumbia, Hong Kong, Kenya, India, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, the USA, and the UK, and cover such diverse subjects as popular music lyrics, spelling pronunciation, attitudes to accents, and the language of cookery.
Stephen writes on how English is regarded in Malaysia, Zhang considers Hong Kong speakers’ views of accents, and Sung investigates who provides useful role models for pronunciation.
Readers interested in connections between spellings and pronunciation should find Huber’s argument on French loans telling, while Waitiki sets out evidence of spelling-speaking interaction fromKenya, and Shipley’s book review continues the spellings theme. Kazim speculates on the place of Tamil-English code mixing following its use in a spectacularly successful song, and Dunnett’s article also follows the thread of foreign influences on English with observations on the ever-interesting matter of food.
ELT issues also feature: Martinez focuses on English for Academic Purposes in Columbia; Abe presents the fruits of a specifically Japan-oriented investigation into Communicative language teaching; Kun considers the influence of different mediums of instruction in the acquisition of English.