TESOL Journal Editor Search: Call for Applications

Deadline: 1 October 201​7

​The TESOL Board of Directors invites applications and nominations for the position of editor of TESOL Journal (TJ). The editor serves a four-year term: one year as associate to the current editor and the following three years as editor. The new editor’s associate year begins in January 2018, and concludes with the December 2021 issue. Although the editorship has traditionally been held by one person, the Board also welcomes applications from two editors to function as co-editors. In the latter case, the two potential co-editors need to submit their joint application. The new editor must be a TESOL member in good standing throughout his or her term.

About TESOL Journal

TJ is a refereed, practitioner-oriented electronic journal based on current theory and research in the field of TESOL. It is a forum for second and foreign language educators at all levels to engage in the ways that research and theorizing can inform, shape, and ground teaching practices and perspectives. Articles enable an active and vibrant professional dialogue about research- and theory-based practices as well as practice-oriented theorizing and research.

About ​the Position

The TJ editor will implement journal policy within the mission and financial parameters established by the TESOL Board of Directors. The editor is responsible for acquiring and publishing material that meets the needs and interests of the TESOL membership. TESOL, through Wiley, will provide the editor with a managing editor, who will manage copy editing and production. For this position, the editor receives an honorarium of US$8,000 per year (US$2000 per issue, split if co-editors are chosen) during the three-year term (excluding the first year as associate editor for which he or she is unpaid), along with reimbursement of some expenses to attend the TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo. The editor’s institution will be required to sign a Statement of Institutional Support providing, at a minimum, release time, some travel expenses, office expenses (usually for communication, mailing, office supplies), and graduate student assistance.

The Search Process

The search process has three phases:

  • Phase 1: Applicants submit a letter of application, curriculum vitae, and the names, titles, and contact information (including e-mail) of three references who can evaluate the applicant’s editorial abilities. The application deadline is 1 October 2017, though earlier applications are strongly encouraged. All applications must be submitted via e-mail to Andy Gao, Search Team Chair, at xuesong.gao@unsw.edu.au.

  • Phase 2: Short-listed applicants will be notified by 1 November 2017 to respond to a questionnaire concerning their editorial experience.

  • Phase 3: The search team interviews finalists, who will complete brief editorial tasks.
TESOL seeks individuals with a broad perspective on the profession, proven organizational abilities, and a deep understanding of the possible intersections of TESOL research and classroom practice.  Applicants should ensure that they have adequate time to handle the work of the journal without compromising their responsibilities in their salaried positions.

The search team is particularly interested in receiving applications from TESOL members in good standing who
  • have a recognized teaching and publication record
  • have an established record of editorial work
  • have basic proficiency with word-processing applications (e.g., MS Word) and online submission systems, such as Scholar One
  • are committed to the further development of the mission of the association and the publication
  • can reconceptualize aspects of the publication in response to membership survey information, and
  • can demonstrate potential for institutional support.
For more information, please contact Andy Gao.

TESOL Journal Editor Responsibilities


  • to fulfill the vision and mandate set by the Board of Directors
  • to oversee the acquisition of manuscripts as appropriate
  • to review and maintain guidelines for contributors that are specific enough to invite quality manuscripts that address TJ’s mission
  • to appoint an Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) and departmental/section editors as needed
  • to direct the Editorial Advisory Board and departmental/section editors regarding the review and selection of quality manuscripts
  • to oversee the work of the departmental/section editors, ensuring they stay on mission and on schedule, and to be the final arbiter for selecting and rejecting manuscripts
  • to maintain a field office with appropriate staff and equipment to use the online manuscript system for each stage of manuscript review and revision
  • to edit manuscripts for content or delegate such responsibilities as necessary
  • to query authors or delegate such responsibility as necessary


  • to maintain liaison with the Board of Directors through the TESOL staff liaison
  • to guide the mission of the TJ (e.g., expand readership, increase contributor pool)
  • to report on the progress of the TJ annually
  • to establish, promote, and maintain contact with the TESOL affiliates, interest sections, and general membership

Desirable Qualities in a TESOL Journal Editor

Editing TJ is demanding in intellectual, emotional, and practical ways. The person who assumes the post should possess the following qualities (not listed in rank order):
  • Excellent—and demonstrated—writing skills: The job requires evaluating and editing the writing of others. The editor must be able to write clearly and gracefully: An editor who does not write well will have difficulty assessing other writers’ contributions, and his or her editorial judgments will not be respected.
  • A track record of published articles in well-respected journals and magazines: The editor needs to have published widely in highly regarded publications to demonstrate the requisite knowledge of the field. The editor also needs to know how it feels to have his or her work reviewed and edited to understand how contributors are likely to respond to the editor’s ministrations.
  • Ability to work with the Board of Directors and TESOL staff without compromising TJ’s mission and integrity: The editor has to be willing to cooperate with the Board (in terms of vision) and with TESOL staff (in terms of money, scheduling, and production) while advocating for TJ, its mission, and its authors.
  • An understanding of the importance of scheduling: The association can't afford delays in publication. Our subscribers, including more than 1,500 libraries, and our advertisers expect the journal to appear on time.
  • Financial common sense: The journal operates within a fixed budget. To meet that budget, the editor sometimes has to live with a degree of imperfection.
  • A reasonable knowledge of editing principles and APA style: Although an experienced professional copy editor will provide support, the editor still needs to have a basic sense of how to mark up a manuscript, how to interpret a copy editor's marks, how to instruct a printer, how to communicate with a contributor, and how long a given editorial process might take.
  • A reasonable level of comfort with technology:The editor will be expected to familiarize him- or herself with the online submission system ScholarOne and work with Wiley for all electronic editing and production processes. The editor should also be familiar with Microsoft Word editing tools.
  • Tact: The editor must be able to work cordially with his or her institutional staff and funding sources, TESOL staff, contributors, fellow editors, and the Editorial Advisory Board. The editor must exercise tact and even charm when dealing with the numerous people necessary to making the journal a success.
  • The ability to say “no” to interesting projects: The editorship is time consuming and schedule driven. The editor won’t have much time for other projects.
  • The ability to handle sometimes unfair criticism: Contributors may not take kindly to rejection and may resort to ad hominem attacks. Also, with a readership of over 12,000, each with an opinion of what TJ should include, the editor needs the grace and fortitude to withstand intermittent barrages of criticism.
  • A good sense of humor: The editor must focus simultaneously on large intellectual issues and minute administrative details every day for three years. Past editors have remarked that people only comment on your mistakes, not your achievements. A good sense of humor helps to alleviate stress.