Benefits of Writing Short Papers for TESOL Educators

Benefits of Writing Short Papers for TESOL Educators

Benefits of Writing Short Papers for TESOL Educators

Willy A Renandya, 2 Jan 2024

Writing short academic papers is an important part of your professional development. You may occasionally write longer and complex academic papers for promotion purposes (some universities require that you publish in high impact journals), but as a TESOL teacher educators or TESOL practitioners, the bulk of your academic activities should be directed towards writing shorter practice-oriented papers.

I outline below 8 benefits of writing short academic papers.

Efficient Expression of Pedagogical Thoughts

Crafting short academic papers allows you to swiftly articulate your teaching ideas. It serves as a quick way to document your instructional strategies without spending excessive time on the writing process. One obvious benefit is that you now have a written record of good teaching strategies that you can share with your colleagues.

Professional Development in TESOL

Regularly writing short academic papers is akin to a professional milestone in the field of TESOL. Each completed paper represents a step forward in refining your teaching methods and contributing to the ongoing conversation within the TESOL community. Once completed, you can turn your paper into a blog post and share it in social media such as Facebook.

Seedbed for teaching ideas

Short papers act as a seedbed for lesson ideas. They provide a space to outline initial teaching concepts, which can later be cultivated into more comprehensive lesson plans. This iterative process aids in the evolution of effective teaching strategies. Can lesson detailed lessons plans be published? Yes, you can have it published in ELT magazines (e.g., EL Gazette, Modern English Teachers, English Teaching Forum).

Enhancement of Teaching Fluency

Frequent composition of brief academic papers enhances your ability to articulate teaching methodologies clearly and concisely. This heightened fluency in describing pedagogical approaches is invaluable in the dynamic and ever-changing field of TESOL. As we all know, we develop fluency via repeated practice. So frequent writing of short papers is likely to help you develop your teaching skills.

Reduced Cognitive Load

Crafting short papers requires less cognitive load, mirroring the streamlined approach often needed in lesson planning, a task that you are very familiar with. It allows you to focus on essential teaching components without being overwhelmed by excessive details. Once the paper is written, you can always return to it and add additional details. The key thing here is for you to experience the joy of writing short papers. As we all know, writing a full-fledged academic paper can be cognitively taxing and emotionally draining as well. But once we have had enough practice writing short papers, writing a longer piece should be more manageable.

Addressing the needs of TESOL practitioners

 TESOL instructors appreciate reading short academic papers, especially those that contain practical teaching ideas that they can immediately apply. If you are more of a TESOL teacher educator than a TESOL researcher, you might want to write pedagogically oriented shorter papers that address the needs of busy TESOL practitioners. While you may occasionally write theoretical papers and get them published in high impact journals, the majority of your academic publications should be of the shorter and practical types. The latter is more manageable and your publications have a higher chance of being read by TESOL practitioners.

Increased Professional Engagement

Shorter papers are more likely to capture the attention of fellow TESOL students and educators. Their brevity encourages engagement and discussion, making them an effective tool for sharing teaching insights within academic circles.

Publication Opportunities

Journals specializing in TESOL education often welcome shorter contributions. Short papers find a suitable space in publications relevant to the field, such as the ELT Journal (OUP), Modern English Teacher, Humanizing Language Teaching, English Teaching Professional, EL Gazette, etc), providing aspiring TESOL educators with opportunities to share their innovative teaching practices.


In summary, the practice of writing short academic papers in TESOL not only streamlines the documentation of teaching strategies but also contributes to professional development, fostering engagement within the TESOL community and potentially opening avenues for publication in practice-oriented journals.

More reading

Can reading lead to better writing?

Bridging the Reading-Writing Gap in Second Language Learning

Feedback in L2 Writing Classes

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