Nexus: A Journal for Teachers in Development
November 2002 Issue
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Editor's Message

By Susan L. Schwartz

This is the fifth year that this journal has been published and when I started it back in 1998, I really had no idea if it would be successful.  I did not know if many people would be interested in reading a journal that only contained articles about teacher-training, nor did I know if it would be possible to attract enough submissions to sustain publication year after year.  I am, therefore, very gratified and pleased that after five years, the number of submissions keeps increasing and the list of subscribers keeps growing.  Thank you!

Since “Nexus” is now well-established, I am looking to see how I can improve future issues of the journal.  I am exploring the possibility of making the journal peer-reviewed.  I know that for many people, publishing an article in a peer-reviewed journal is very important for their careers but for others, it does not matter if the journal is peer-reviewed.  Since one of my original goals in starting the journal was to provide people with an opportunity to get published, I wonder if making “Nexus” a peer-reviewed journal would encourage people to submit articles for consideration.  I am very interested to hear readers’ opinions on this matter and would appreciate it if you would take the time to respond to this question: Would you be more inclined or less inclined to submit an article to “Nexus” if it were peer-reviewed, or would it make no difference to you?  Please email me at <> with your replies, and thank you in advance.

Now that I have digressed on the past and future of “Nexus,” let me come back to the present.  The articles in this issue are a little different from those in previous editions.  While they describe different training situations, they all deal with the element of reflection and how that can improve one’s teaching practice.  In “Making a ‘Theories of Second Language Acquisition’ Course Real,” Judith Coppock Gex describes some activities she includes in her first class at a university in New York City and explains how they encourage the students to start thinking about the processes of teaching and learning a second language.  Nancy Keranen, in “Promoting Awareness and Professional Growth through Teacher Training in Classroom Observation Techniques,” not only shows how learning techniques for conducting observations in Mexican classrooms helps teachers reflect on their own practice, she also provides insight into how and why a teacher educator may modify a course after reflecting on its positive and negative aspects.  Lia Plakans describes how teaching assistants at a U.S. university in Iowa reflect on their own practice and develop their skills in her article, “Reflective Teachers in Training.”  Continuing this thread on reflection, Ruth Wajnryb reviews “Diary of a Language Teacher” by Joachim Appel, who writes about his experience as a German teacher of English to secondary students in Germany.  And I am very pleased to announce that Kirsten Schaetzel, who contributed a book review in the fourth issue of “Nexus,” returns as a regular contributor with a review of “Parent to Parent: Our Children, Their Literacy,” which offers examples of activities the parents of younger students can do at home to develop their children’s reading skills.  The book also includes a theoretical discussion of how young children become literate—something for teacher trainers who work with teachers of young learners to reflect on.

Finally, a few reminders:  If your email address changes, please let me know because every year several copies of the journal bounce back because some addresses are no longer active.  The deadline for submissions to the next issue, to be published in November 2003, is June 25, 2003.  Subscription information and instructions for obtaining the guidelines for submission can be found at the end of the journal.  As always, I welcome your feedback. 

Table of Contents

1)  Making a “Theories of Second Language Acquisition” Course Real, by Judith Coppock Gex

2)  Promoting Awareness and Professional Growth through Teacher Training in Classroom Observation Techniques, by Nancy Keranen

3)  Reflective Teachers in Training, by Lia Plakans

4)  Book Review: Diary of a Language Teacher, by Joachim Appel; reviewed by Ruth Wajnryb

5)  Book Review: Parent to Parent: Our Children, Their Literacy, by Gerald R. Oglan and Averil Elcombe; reviewed by Kirsten Schaetzel

Click here to read the articles

Volume 5, Issue 1, November 2002 

                                            NEXUS   ISSN 1521-1894
                                            Copyright 2007