ESL Journal
About ESL Journal


TEACHER: Do you want to publish your own ESL journal? Follow the link below for information on how to get started. It's easy and inexpensive; in fact it has built in revenue options that can make it easy for you to get local sponsorship. [More Information]
photo of ESL Journal co-founder Susan Clark.
Susan Clark


ESL Journal has grown from a classroom project that began in 1998, when Community College ESL teacher Susan Clark of Seattle put about a dozen student essays and poems into an earlier version of the magazine.

Mrs. Clark has observed, "My ESL Journal site supports several ESL courses I teach in the Seattle area. My first classroom project on the WWW began in 1998, when I put about a dozen student essays and poems into an earlier version of the magazine. We soon had nearly 40,000 page views and lost count of comments on those few original articles. The visitors and comments came from dozens of countries. Some of the comments were from students; others were from teachers. Nearly all were positive and encouraging.

"I find that peer review and the knowledge that the world will read the result are sufficient incentive to pursue the project as far as the student's current skills allow, while accepting that this is indeed the second language and that a desire to communicate, not spelling or grammatical perfection, is the key to effective use of English in the home and workplace. Besides, there's always next semester."

The ESL Journal system has been used successfully in intermediate and advanced writing courses. Each student prepares a written work in English, which is submitted via the class web log. The student can add a photograph and link to external resources. The final product is not corrected by the teacher; the student decides when the work is finished. Some work is part of the grading process for a course, but mainly the resource is available to encourage continuous writing.

In the future as keyboard time becomes easier to obtain and as more students acquire typing skills, an entire course might migrate to the web, with students actually composing their work on line and receiving peer comments through the Web.

Many students have expressed pleasure at the opportunity to experiment with this new medium, and some have said that their friends and relatives have indeed seen their work in their home countries.

This simple concept lets students who are occasionally bewildered by big changes in their social geography feel that their English learning is well connected to skills that will help them as they enter careers in the USA, other English-speaking regions and the global marketplace.

(UPDATE: In the years since this page was created hundreds of great ESL sites and thousands of others have appeared. Participation in multiple sites is the best way to test your English skills. Our approach is simply to give you an relatively unstructured place to practice and to receive feedback.)


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