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RELC Journal

RELC Journal

Published in Association with SEAMEO Regional Language Centre
A Journal of Language Teaching and Research

eISSN: 1745526X | ISSN: 00336882 | Current volume: 55 | Current issue: 1 Frequency: 3 Times/Year

The RELC Journal, established in 1970, is a triannual peer-reviewed international publication of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO) Regional Language Centre (RELC), located in Singapore. It publishes original research and review articles on topics pertinent to language teaching and learning.

The journal focuses on studies that advance theoretical and practical knowledge and report findings with clear pedagogical implications for language teaching and learning, especially, although not exclusively, in the Southeast Asian context.


The RELC Journal is a scholarly platform that bridges theory and practice in language teaching and learning with integration of insights from relevant disciplines. It welcomes contributions in the following areas where practical implications and applications are evident.

  • Language teaching and learning
  • Language testing and assessment
  • Language curriculum and materials development
  • Technology-enabled language teaching and learning
  • Language teacher professional development
  • Language policy and planning
  • Global Englishes and intercultural language education
Roby Marlina SEAMEO RELC, Singapore
Joel Meniado SEAMEO RELC, Singapore
Dr Zhang Weiyu SEAMEO RELC, Singapore
Marie Alina Yeo SEAMEO RELC, Singapore
Book Review Editors
Alvin Pang SEAMEO RELC, Singapore
Editorial Board
Mahmood Reza Atai Kharazmi University, Iran
Jessie Barrot National University, Philippines
Katherine Cao University of Melbourne, Australia
Anna Ching-Shyang Chang Hsing Wu University, Taiwan
Peter I. De Costa Michigan State University, USA
Irina Elgort Victoria University Wellington, New Zealand
Fan Fang Shantou University, China
Joseph Foley Assumption University, Thailand
Nicola Galloway University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
Ram Ashish Giri Monash College, Australia
Yo Hamada Akita University, Japan
Jette G. Hansen Edwards The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Channarith Keuk University of Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Ricky Lam Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
Shaofeng Li Florida State University, USA
Beng Soon Lim Singapore Institute of Management, Singapore
Christine Manara Atma Jaya Catholic University, Indonesia
Lindsay Miller City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Benjamin Luke Moorhouse Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
Jonathan Newton Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Willy Renandya NIE, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Heath Rose University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Karim Sadeghi Urmia University, Iran
Zia Tajeddin Tarbiat Modares University, Iran
Peter Tan National University of  Singapore, Singapore
Art Tsang The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Kevin Wong Pepperdine University, USA
Bedrettin Yazan The University of Texas, USA
Peter Yonggi Gu Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Henny Zacharias-Lim Penn State Abington, USA
Lawrence Jun Zhang University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Academic Search Premier
  • Advanced Placement Source (EBSCO)
  • Clarivate Analytics: Current Contents - Social & Behavioral Sciences
  • Clarivate Analytics: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI)
  • Contents Pages in Education
  • Current Abstracts (EBSCO)
  • ERIC - Institute of Education Sciences
  • Educational Research Abstracts Online - e-Psyche
  • Language Teaching
  • Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts
  • MLA International Bibliography
  • Scopus
  • The Modern Language Journal
  • Manuscript Submission Guidelines: RELC Journal

    This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics

    Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

    Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of RELC Journal will be reviewed.

    There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this Journal. Open Access options are available - see section 3.3 below.

    As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you.

    Please note that RELC Journal does not accept submissions of papers that have been posted on preprint servers.

    1. What do we publish?
      1.1 Aims & Scope
      1.2 Article types
      1.3 Writing your paper
    2. Editorial policies
      2.1 Peer review policy
      2.2 Authorship
      2.3 Acknowledgements
      2.4 Funding
      2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
    3. Publishing policies
      3.1 Publication ethics
      3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
      3.3 Open access and author archiving
    4. Preparing your manuscript
      4.1 Formatting
      4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
      4.3 Supplementary material
      4.4 Reference style
      4.5 English language editing services
    5. Submitting your manuscript
      5.1 ORCID
      5.2 Information required for completing your submission
      5.3 Permissions
    6. On acceptance and publication
      6.1 Sage Production
      6.2 Online First publication
      6.3 Access to your published article
      6.4 Promoting your article
    7. Further information

    1. What do we publish?

    1.1 Aims & Scope

    Before submitting your manuscript to RELC Journal, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope.

    RELC Journal is published on behalf of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO) Regional Language Centre (RELC), located in Singapore. It presents information and ideas on theories, research, methods and materials related to language learning and teaching. The Journal welcomes contributions that have in mind the common professional concerns of both the practitioner and the researcher, providing a bridge between theory and practice.

    1.2 Article Types

    RELC Journal publishes a range of article types on the topic of language education:

    1. Research Articles (6000 words)
      Research articles present an empirical project on language education or related areas that consists of original data the author has obtained using appropriate and well-justified methodological approaches and strategies of inquiry. The articles should also provide implications for language teaching and learning in intra/international contexts.

      Example of a Research Article:

    2. Review Articles "by invitation only" (3000 words)
      Review articles present a review of recent research in the Applied Linguistics and/or TESOL disciplines. These articles may include summaries of the key research findings, critical overviews of the area of inquiry, and future research and/or pedagogical directions.

      Example of Thematic Review:

    3. Innovations in Practice (3000 words)
      RELC invites contributions focussing on innovations in classroom practice. The manuscript should include the following:
      a)The teaching context: Provide a short description of the institution and context where the innovative practices occurred. This could include information about the course, course objectives, learners' profile, and any other relevant information.
      b) Reason for the innovation: Explain what prompted the change in practice, e.g. What problems or issues did it seek to address? How is it supported by related theory or research?
      c) Description of the innovation: Describe the innovation and its effects.
      d) Reflection: Reflect on and critically evaluate the innovation and what can be learned from it.
      e) Future pedagogical directions: Discuss what can be done differently in the future to improve the innovative practices and/or to overcome any potential or already identified challenges.

      Example of Innovations in Practice:

    4. Book Reviews "by invitation only" (1000 words)
      This article type provides reviews on current books related to the journal's aims and scope. The principal aim of this column is to make the readers aware of recently published books of significance to the field.

      Example of Book Review:

      Hints on Writing a Book Review :

    5. ICT Reviews (1000 words)
      This article type provides reviews of apps, websites, or other ICT based tools for language teaching and learning. The reviews may include a description of the tool and its effectiveness in enhancing language learning and teaching.

      Example of ICT Review:

      Hints of Writing a Tech Review:

    6. Viewpoints – by invitation

      These articles are by prominent figures in the field and/or emergent scholars with strong record of publications who are invited by the Editors to present their view on currents issues or new developments within their areas of expertise.

    7. Conversations with Experts – by invitation

      This section features an interview with a renowned scholar. Experts featured in this section are invited by the Editors to respond to questions that provide a more personal glimpse of their views in their areas of expertise.


    1.3 Writing your paper

    The Sage Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources. Sage Author Services also offers authors a variety of ways to improve and enhance their article including English language editing, plagiarism detection, and video abstract and infographic preparation.

    1.3.1 Make your article discoverable

    When writing up your paper, think about how you can make it discoverable. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article through search engines such as Google. For information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords, have a look at this page on the Gateway: How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online

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    2. Editorial policies

    2.1 Peer review policy

    Sage does not permit the use of author-suggested (recommended) reviewers at any stage of the submission process, be that through the web-based submission system or other communication. Reviewers should be experts in their fields and should be able to provide an objective assessment of the manuscript. Our policy is that reviewers should not be assigned to a paper if:

    •  The reviewer is based at the same institution as any of the co-authors

    •  The reviewer is based at the funding body of the paper

    •  The author has recommended the reviewer

    •  The reviewer has provided a personal (e.g. Gmail/Yahoo/Hotmail) email account and an institutional email account cannot be found after performing a basic Google search (name, department and institution). 

    2.2 Authorship

    All parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.

             Please note that AI chatbots, for example ChatGPT, should not be listed as authors. For more information see the policy on Use of ChatGPT and generative AI tools.

    2.3 Acknowledgements

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.

    Please supply any personal acknowledgements separately to the main text to facilitate anonymous peer review.

    2.3.1 Third party submissions

    Where an individual who is not listed as an author submits a manuscript on behalf of the author(s), a statement must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript and in the accompanying cover letter. The statements must:

    • Disclose this type of editorial assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input
    • Identify any entities that paid for this assistance
    • Confirm that the listed authors have authorized the submission of their manuscript via third party and approved any statements or declarations, e.g. conflicting interests, funding, etc.

    Where appropriate, Sage reserves the right to deny consideration to manuscripts submitted by a third party rather than by the authors themselves.

    2.4 Funding

    RELC Journal requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading.  Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the Sage Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. 

    2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests

    RELC Journal encourages authors to include a declaration of any conflicting interests and recommends you review the good practice guidelines on the Sage Journal Author Gateway.

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    3. Publishing Policies

    3.1 Publication ethics

    Sage is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the Sage Author Gateway

    3.1.1 Plagiarism

    RELC Journal and Sage take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

    3.1.2 Prior publication

    If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a Sage journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the Sage Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.

    3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement

    Before publication, Sage requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. Sage’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants Sage the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than Sage. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the Sage Author Gateway.

    3.3 Open access and author archiving

    RELC Journal offers optional open access publishing via the Sage Choice programme and Open Access agreements, where authors can publish open access either discounted or free of charge depending on the agreement with Sage. Find out if your institution is participating by visiting Open Access Agreements at Sage. For more information on Open Access publishing options at Sage please visit Sage Open Access. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit Sage’s Author Archiving and Re-Use Guidelines and Publishing Policies.

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    4. Preparing your manuscript for submission

    4.1 Formatting

    The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. LaTeX files are also accepted. Word and (La)Tex templates are available on the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of our Author Gateway.

    4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics

    For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit Sage’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines  

    Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from Sage after receipt of your accepted article.

    4.3 Supplementary material

    RELC Journal does not currently accept supplemental files.

    4.4 Reference style

    RELC Journal adheres to the Sage Harvard reference style. View the Sage Harvard guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

    If you use EndNote to manage references, you can download the Sage Harvard EndNote output file.

    4.5 English language editing services

    Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using Sage Language Services. Visit Sage Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.

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    5. Submitting your manuscript

    RELC Journal is hosted on Sage Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit to login and submit your article online.

    If you are a new user, you will first need to create an account. Submissions should be made by logging in and selecting the Author Center and the 'Click here to Submit a New Manuscript' option. Follow the instructions on each page, clicking the 'Next' button on each screen to save your work and advance to the next screen. If at any stage you have any questions or require the user guide, please use the 'Online Help' button at the top right of every screen.

    IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created.  For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.

    5.1 ORCID

    As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process Sage is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities ensuring that their work is recognised.

    The collection of ORCID IDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID ID you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID ID will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID ID is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.

    If you do not already have an ORCID ID please follow this link to create one or visit our ORCID homepage to learn more.

    5.2 Information required for completing your submission

    You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).

    5.3 Permissions

    Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the Sage Author Gateway

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    6. On acceptance and publication

    6.1 Sage Production

    Your Sage Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be sent by PDF to the corresponding author and should be returned promptly.  Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate.

    6.2 Online First publication

    Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the Sage Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.

    6.3 Access to your published article

    Sage provides authors with online access to their final article.

    6.4 Promoting your article

    Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The Sage Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice. 

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    7. Further information

    Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the RELC Journal editorial office as follows:

    RELC Journal Editor, 
    SEAMEO Regional Language Centre, 
    30 Orange Grove Road, 
    Singapore 258352 

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