This issue finishes our eleventh volume of TESL-EJ. We would like to thank all the reviewers, contributors, and publishers who help keep this publication going. It takes a lot of people to keep a quarterly publication going, so we would like to invite new reviewers to join us. In addition, we need a copyeditor! If you have copyediting skills and would like to become of the TESL-EJ team, please contact us with a list of your qualifications and experience. (All positions at TESL-EJ are non-paying ones.)
We have just one feature article this issue, "Teachers' Sense of Self-Efficacy, English Proficiency, and Instructional Strategies: A Study of Nonnative EFL Teachers in Iran," by Zohreh R. Eslami & Azizullah Fatahi, but there's more—we also have several articles which make up the proceedings of the Webheads Online Convergence from 2007.
We include a note from the editors of this special part of the journal:
The Webheads in Action, a group of innovative online educators founded by Vance Stevens in 2002, has twice produced a biennial Online Convergence, a meeting of minds and ideas involving a locus of communities including (alphabetically) Alado, APACALL, Knowplace, Learningtimes, Opensource for Educators, Tappedin, Webheads, Webheadsinaction, Worldbridges, and a spectrum of Yahoo Groups and Ning communities and others, many of whose members consider themselves to be Webheads. Selected papers from the 2007 proceedings of the WiA Online Convergence are presented in this special issue of TESL-EJ.
The themes of this issue reflect the many and varied interests of the Webheads at large: blogging, use of wikis, online games, student-student and teacher-teacher collaborations of various kinds. What ties them together is the belief in computers and the Internet as an optimal means of expanding the scope of the classrom for teaching and learning languages.
We hope the reader will keep in mind the interactive and spontaneous nature of each of these papers, and will take time to view the recordings of the original presentations. (Links to the recordings are found at the end of each article.)
We invite all to join us next year for the upcoming WiA Online Convergence in 2009.
Finally, we would like to announce the next special issue is still open for contributions.
TESL-EJ Special Issue
There is a rich and complex history of teaching English in India. In Learning and Teaching English in India, by Ravi Sheorey (Sage Publications, 2006), points out that in spite of India's being the third-largest English-using country after the U.S. and Great Britain, "the mechanisms for the retention and continued use of English in India are still, by and large, based on pre-independence administrative and educational traditions" (p. 15). However, as he goes on to say:
For the new generation of computer-literate middle- and upper-class young Indians, English is no longer associated with colonial overtones; they see it as a necessary vehicle for upward and onward mobility, not just within India but also overseas. (Sheorey, 2006, p. 24)
Given the confluence of these conditions—widespread use of and need for English set against a colonial history of English teaching—the current situation of English teaching in India provides a wealth of opportunity for learning and understanding in the field of ELT.
We therefore request original research in English language education from researchers in India. Research topics may include language acquisition in formal and informal settings, effects of innovative teaching methodologies on language learning, language testing, technology in language learning, communicative approach, local language influence, impact of colonial history on English education in India, instructional change, processes and politics of developing locally appropriate textbooks and educational materials, language teacher problem solving, program evaluation, or other topics related to the special issue theme. We welcome proposals from both native and non-native speakers of English. We also invite research on how new scholars are introduced to research and apprenticed into the Indian research community in language education.
Proposals in the form of a 200-500 word abstract are due no later than April 17, 2008. Successful proposals will describe original research, either quantitative or qualitative, with a rationale for the research and with specific research questions posed and a clearly described design for data collection and analysis. Authors must address how they plan to describe influences of their contexts and circumstances on their proposed research.
Proposals should be sent no later than April 17, 2008 to both:
Best wishes,Maggie Sokolik, Editor
Thomas Robb, Co-Editor