Media Review Policy

TESL-EJ welcomes reviews of software, websites, videos, and other non-print media designed for or useful in language learning or teaching. Reviews of development tools (e.g., web design applications), management tools (e.g., course management systems), research tools (e.g., data gathering and analysis tools), and authoring tools (e.g., test development systems) useful to those working in the fields of language education or applied linguistics are also welcome. We are also interested in reviews that compare and contrast similar products and reviews that include a “how-to” component (how a product could be used by teachers or researchers).

Those interested in reviewing a media product for TESL-EJ may do so in one of the following ways:

  • Choose a software package, website, or other media product, and contact the Media Review Editors about its suitability. If approved, write a review of it, following the Media Review Guidelines.
  • Choose a product from the list of Media Available for Review and contact the Media Review Editors to obtain a review copy. Then write the review and submit it to the Media Review Editors.
  • Send a copy of your CV to the Media Review Editors, along with a list of areas in which you would be willing to write reviews. When we receive an appropriate product that we would like to have reviewed, we will contact you.

All potential reviewers should first submit their CV to the Media Review Editors, along with a short summary of their qualifications. Reviews will be considered for publication on the basis of the quality of the evaluation and description of the product, and the relevance and importance of the product to the field.

Please refer to the guidelines below, as well as the text specifications outlined in Submission Procedures and APA Formatting. Reviewers may keep their copies of the software. We are sorry that no other compensation can be provided.

Media Review Guidelines (updated 1 February, 2007)

Please note that due to the wide variety of language learning media that are available, the following guidelines should not be looked upon as strict rules, but rather as a set of general suggestions. Some of these points may not apply to a given product and media review authors are encouraged to use their own judgment about what to include and how to format it. If in doubt, please contact the Media Review Editors to discuss the issue. It is always recommended that you read previous reviews for proper examples. Note that in the Guidelines, the term “product” is used for software, websites, tools and other media for consistency reasons.

In general, media reviews should be from 900-2,000 words in length, and should include the following:

  1. A table of basic information at the beginning of the review (keeping in mind that not all of these categories may apply, while others that are not listed might).
    Title include version number if applicable
    Author If applicable/ascertainable
    Contact information If the product is commercially available software, provide the publisher’s contact information; if it is a website, provide the URL
    Type of product e.g., “Grammar practice website,” “Pronunciation CD-ROM,” etc.
    Platform Mac, Windows, Linux, cross-platform, other? (May be omitted for websites)
    Minimum hardware requirements OS Version, memory, processor speed, etc.
    Supplementary software Other software used with the product; for websites include necessary plug-ins
    Price If applicable, including type of currency accepted
    ISBN If applicable
  2. A general description of the product: What is it? What does it try to do?Things that could be addressed: target users, language level and skill, main features, technical characteristics (installation, operation)
  3. An evaluation of the product: What is the purpose of the product? How well does it achieve its purpose?Things that could be addressed: content (activities, media), design (interface, interactivity, feedback, control), use (pedagogical soundness, appropriateness, suggestions for use with learners)
  4. A summary of the review: What are the overall conclusions?Things that could be addressed: positive qualities and potential shortcoming, summary of description and evaluation
  5. References (using APA format) to appropriate CALL, SLA, or pedagogical literature as appropriate. For suggestions on APA formatting, please see the TESL-EJ link to APA Formatting.
  6. A paragraph about the reviewer: The reviewer’s name, contact information, and institutional affiliation as well as a brief 2-3 sentence bio demonstrating the writer’s skills and background regarding ability to review the product.
  7. The reviewer should include approximately 8 screenshots (titled “[Figure 1 - Student Survey]“, etc.) that help to illustrate points within the article. For examples of how other reviewers have used graphics in an article, please look at previous media reviews. If you need help with screenshots, please see the page on Inserting Screenshots.
  8. When sending your review, please send the Word document with graphics (screenshots) included AND the graphics as separate, numbered files (“graphic 1,” “graphic 2,” and so on). This allows the webmaster to see how the reviewer intended the document to look while also enabling him to individually manipulate the graphics files to fit the needs of the website.

The Media Review Editors reserve the right to edit submissions for style, length, and format, and may also reject reviews which are not of an acceptable standard. Products that are not reviewed within a reasonable time frame must be returned, at the reviewer’s expense, to the Media Review Editors.

Contact Information

Questions, comments, submissions of materials for review, and any other inquiries regarding TESL-EJ Media Reviews should be directed to:

Thomas Delaney
Media Review Editor, TESL-EJ
S-mail: American English Institute, 107 Pacific Hall, 5212 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-5212, USA
E-mail: <ejmediatesl-ej.org>

Sara Huffman
Media Review Editor, TESL-EJ
S-mail: Department of English, Iowa State University, 206 Ross Hall, Ames, IA 50011, USA
E-mail: <ejmediatesl-ej.org>