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June 2022 - Year 24 - Issue 3

ISSN 1755-9715

Call for stories on ‘Language Teacher Authenticity’

Guidelines for Writers of Stories on Teacher Authenticity

Submit stories for possible inclusion in this book on teacher authenticity. We are especially keen to have preschool, primary and secondary teachers.These submission guidelines have five parts.

  1. An explanation of why we want to do this book.
  2. An explanation of how we will produce and distribute this book.
  3. Guidelines for writing your short chapter in this book.
  4. A list of possible topics for your chapter. You do not need to use any of those topics.
  5. A TinyURL for a sample chapter.


Why this book

Being authentic – both for teachers and for students - is part of student-centered education, and we teachers need to be role models of authenticity. Being authentic is also good for our mental health. It helps us understand ourselves better and helps everyone understand everyone else. We can cooperate better when people are more authentic.

Language teachers – and actually all teachers are language teachers – need to be language users. Publicly sharing our thoughts and experiences via a book offers one way of using language that allows us to model authenticity for our students and colleagues. And, it can be fun to cooperate on a project, just as our students do. Too much of the writing in Education is written. By people at universities for other people at universities. We want this book to be different.


How this book will be produced and distributed

Another problem in Education is that the books we need to read for inspiration and learning are often expensive and difficult to find. That is why this book will be available free and online. Perhaps, we will also have a hard copy version of the book. That is being discussed. To distribute the book, we will rely on our fellow teachers in teachers’ organizations around the world. Plus, teachers have creatively used the internet to share ideas, such as the Facebook group “Teachers Voices” founded in Southeast Asia and now with members worldwide.

To edit the book, we have a team of three people who are very experienced with teaching and with editing: Adelina binte Asmawi, Willy A Renandya, and George M Jacobs. Our email addresses are,, and We very much look forward to working with you. Don’t worry if you think you’re not a brilliant author, especially in English. We aren’t so brilliant either. We all just do our best, and we realize that editing is a form of cooperation in which writers and editors help each other.


Guidelines for writing your short chapter in this book

Step 1 is to send the editors a synopsis of about 200 words telling us where you teach and what you intend to write about:,, and

The idea is to have about 35 short chapters. Chapters can be written by individual teachers or by groups of two-three teachers. We want to stress that each chapter is based on stories, because stories are easier to understand and more fun to read and write than the typical writing in academic journals and books.

Below these guidelines are suggestions for possible chapter topics. We can have more than one chapter on the same topic. After you choose a topic, please check with us before you start writing your draft chapter.

Here are some guidelines to help you write.

  1. Use mostly first person.
  2. Informal language is fine, such as contractions and lots of instead of many.
  3. In the title of your chapter, please state the area of teacher authenticity you will be writing about. After the title, please state your name and the name of the place(s) you teach now, even if that was not where your story took place.
  4. Write at least 1000 words and no more than 2500.
  5. Start your chapter with enough background information about your teaching situation so that people in other countries can understand your stories. Also, background information about yourself can help readers understand and empathize with you.
  6. Talk about feelings. We want to know what happened, but we also want to know how you and other people felt.
  7. We all have our flaws. Writing about our flaws makes our stories more believable, and flaws make it easy for readers to relate to us.
  8. Show difficulties, not only successes.
  9. Examples increase understanding and make your writing more memorable.
  10. It is fine to use education jargon, such as intrinsic motivation, but please explain all terms. If you’re not sure whether a term needs to be explained, use the “fellow bus passenger” test, i.e., ask yourself if you were riding on a bus, would the person sitting next to you understand the term. If the answer to that question is “maybe not,” please explain it.
  11. Be careful with pronouns. Ask yourself if readers will clearly know to what/who the pronouns refer.
  12. Remember the advice to writers: show rather than tell. For example, instead of writing that you felt happy, write that you had a big smile on your face.
  13. Use lots of details to help readers visualize your stories.
  14. Please use subheads to help readers understand the chapter structure.
  15. Use a variety of sentence lengths. No need for lots of long sentences. Even one, two, or three words can form a legitimate sentence.
  16. References are not needed. However, if you do decide to have references, please use no more than three references per 1000 words. For example, if your chapter is approximately 1000 words, you can have no more than three references.
  17. Feel free to check with us editors if you have questions, suggestions, or any other ideas. Our email addresses are,, and Please submit your drafts by email also. We hope to use many of the drafts that we receive.
  18. We editors reserve the right to make minor changes in your chapter without informing you, but we will definitely consult you about any major changes. The sooner you submit your chapter, the more time there will be for editing and making your chapter even better. Deadline: 3 July 2022. We hope to reply within three weeks as to whether we will be able to use your submission.


Possible chapter topics

Here are some topic suggestions for your story of teacher authenticity. More than one of you can use the same topic, but please inform us of your topic choice before you start to  write, as we want to have a wide range of topics. Plus, you can change your topic choice after you start writing, but again, please let us know before you start with your new topic. 

Also, as you write, please refer to the sample story and the writing guidelines. We wrote those to have some uniformity. At the same time, if you want to be slightly different, such as writing your story with a fellow teacher or a student, or very different, such as writing a poem or doing a video, we are happy to discuss, but please do discuss. 

  1. Being cooperative
  2. Being self-reliant
  3. Being compassionate
  4. Caring about the environment
  5. Learning new languages
  6. Respecting students’ other language
  7. Respecting diversity
  8. Caring about mental health
  9. Exercising regularly
  10. Maintaining a healthy diet
  11. Caring about social issues, such as poverty
  12. Being inclusive
  13. Valuing multiple intelligences
  14. Implementing positive psychology
  15. Believing in low achievers
  16. Valuing senior citizens
  17. Being reflective
  18. Being resilient
  19. Living simply
  20. Being a lifelong learner
  21. Being a lifewide learner
  22. Being a lifedeep learner
  23. Being an active citizen of one’s school and community
  24. Promoting friendship with people of other cultures, religions, races and countries
  25. Respecting elders and family ties
  26. Loving learning
  27. Loving to help others learn
  28. Not being controlled by my emotions, e.g., anger management
  29. Admitting mistakes and ignorance
  30. Being smart in the social media
  31. Embracing digital tools 
  32. Working in a community of practice
  33. Going beyond the classroom
  34. Being creative, innovative and original
  35. Knowing when to not be 100% authentic


TinyURL of sample chapter

Tagged  Publications 
  • Tune Into English: New Downloadable Worksheets
    Fergal Kavanagh, Italy

  • Call for stories on ‘Language Teacher Authenticity’
    George Jacobs, Singapore

  • Innovations and Challenges in Language Learning and Motivation
    reviewed by Brian Welter, Taiwan