Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Submission Guidelines

The L2 Journal is seeking submissions of previously unpublished manuscripts on any topic related to the area of language learning and teaching at all levels of instruction. Articles should be written so that they are accessible to a broad audience of language educators, including those individuals who may not be familiar with the particular subject matter addressed in the article. All submissions must be written in English. As of 2018, the journal publishes 2 general issues per year. Once published, all articles are directly downloadable for free from the L2 Journal website. There are no article processing charges and no publication fees.

On occasion the L2 Journal also publishes special issues on a broad range topics of relevance to language educators. Please see the Call for Papers section of the journal website for further information on any upcoming special issues.

Each issue of the L2 Journal contains two primary sections: General Articles and the Teachers' Forum. The Editor-in-Chief is Claire Kramsch and the Teachers' Forum editor is Rick Kern.

General Articles

Articles should report on original empirical research or present an original theoretical framework that links previous research, educational theory, and language teaching practices. The authors of these submissions are expected to explicitly comment on how the article submitted makes a new contribution to previous applied linguistic research. As an electronic journal, page limits are not strictly limited however we do suggest that full-length articles be approximately 8,000 words, including references; they should include an abstract of no more than 200 words; and they should follow the APA style sheet. Appendices should be limited to no more than 1,500 words. We encourage articles to take advantage of the electronic format by including hypermedia links to multimedia material both within and outside the article when appropriate.

Please refer to the Final Manuscript Preparation Guidelines.

Teachers' Forum

The primary aim of articles submitted to Teachers’ Forum should be to enhance student learning through contributions to pedagogy. This section of L2 Journal invites articles that focus on second and foreign language pedagogic activities and research specifically related to curriculum design and teaching innovation. In contrast to general articles, Teachers’ Forum articles are primarily meant to contribute to pedagogic practice rather than to theory. While they are expected to contain a literature review, this review is meant to provide a larger theoretical framework that will justify the use of a given pedagogy, and to link the article to other work (teaching methods, activities, ideas) that is similar in nature. During the peer-review process particular attention will be paid to originality, clear rationale, linkage between the theoretical framework and the pedagogy in question, thorough description and documentation, quality of writing, and ideally some evaluative dimension of pedagogical activities (i.e., were the teaching objectives attained and how was this assessed?).

Instructors' Perspectives

This sub-section of Teachers’ Forum invites reflections on the theory and practice of language teaching as well as language instructors’ identities and trajectories. These reflections should take the form of personal essays, so rather than follow the traditional format of research articles (introduction, literature review, methods, etc.), contributors should aim at describing how personal experiences and/or books have influenced their teaching. Essays will be peer-reviewed by language lecturers and will be evaluated with particular attention to their general interest, relevance and value to a broad readership of language educators, style, and quality of writing. Both kinds of submissions to Teachers’ Forum should be no longer than 4,500 words, not including bibliography, appendices, and supplementary materials, and should follow the APA style sheet.

Please refer to the Final Manuscript Preparation Guidelines.

Special Issues

Please contact the managing editor for more details on special issue proposals.

All Manuscripts

Manuscripts must be submitted electronically through the “Submit article” link. Once received, there is a two-step review process.

Step 1: Internal Review. The editors of the journal first review each manuscript to ensure that it meets the basic requirements for articles published in the journal. In the case of articles, the basic criteria include considerations of the originality of the research or framework that links previous research, applied linguistics, and teaching practices, and that it is of sufficient quality to merit external review. In the case of manuscripts for the Teachers' Forum, the basic criteria include considerations of the originality of the curricula innovation or pedagogical reflections and the thoroughness of the description. Manuscripts which do not meet these requirements are not sent out for further review, and authors of these manuscripts are encouraged to submit their work elsewhere. This internal review takes about 1-2 weeks. Following the internal review, authors are notified if their manuscript will not be sent out for external review with an explanation for the decision.

Step 2: External Review. Submissions that meet the basic requirements are then sent out for double-blind peer review from 2-3 experts in the field, either from the journal's editorial board or from our larger list of reviewers. This second review process takes 2-3 months. Following the external review, the authors are sent copies of the external reviewers' comments and are notified as to the decision (accept as is or with minor revisions, accept with major revisions, revise and resubmit, or reject). Most manuscripts fall under the "Revise and resubmit" category. Revisions may take a few months and final acceptance may require that the revised manuscript be sent out to one or the other of the original reviewers. But all in all, the editorial process is faster than with paper journals.