Inspired by Darren Elliot’s recent piece on free on-line ELT journals over at livesofteachers we thought we would add some resources ourselves.
Firstly, however, we would like to point out how iniquitous this whole journal by subscription business is and why we, along with Darren, are so keen to make them available free to all rank and file teachers. And what better place to start than ARL’s (Association of Research Libraries) figures that demonstrate that whilst in 1986, libraries spent 44% of their budgets on books compared with 56% on journals; twelve years later, the ratio had skewed to 28% and 72%. Today that difference is even greater. This is due to two pressures, the increasing costs of journals and books and lack of resources in libraries(journals increasingly representing “better value for money”) on the one hand, and the super-exploitation by publishers of authors on the other; you have to remember that the authors provide free articles to the journals. With this in mind, we demand open access to the ideas that are given freely and oppose the super-profits of parasitic publishers.
Having made our case, we would like to recommend the free on-line journal, Critical Literacy. This is a fantastic journal which attempts to apply critical pedagogy to the teaching of literacy. A little over academic at times but then again, as the bourgoise tell us, “you can’t have everything”. Unfortunately, you will find little of this critical pedagogy in ELT journals (at least not critial pedagogy worthy of the name), with its obsession on techniques and annecdotes. One exception in our industry is the work of Sara Hannam at Critical Mass ELT, and we highly recommend that you read her debate with Scott Thornbury.
On an equally, if not more, important note, we remind readers to keep abreast/particpate in the debates hosted by the indefatigable Alex Case (a big word yes- but Alex is deserving of it) at TEFL.net. We particularly recommend Part Three of his interview with the indomitable (for she is equally deserving of such big word) Karenne Sylvester.
Finally, we welcome Dolphin Hotel to our blogroll. Not only is there some great wrting about Micheal’s experiences in Japan, interspersed with his obsession for Newcastle United football club (you have been warned), there is also an uncomprimising commitment to socialist politics.