How Authors Can Cope With the Burden of English as an International Language: Take-Home Messages
In order for the revision process to move beyond the simple goal of “fixing” a text to a process in which EIL authors are developing their writing skills on the way toward becoming independent writers, input from both a language professional and an experienced peer is important. The language professional should ideally be a schooled and experienced applied linguist, and the peer a specialist in the subject matter of the manuscript. This ideal is difficult to achieve, in part because EIL authors may only have access to native English-speaking “amateurs.” Also, peers who are specialists in the discrete subject matter may be difficult to find. However, making the ideal available to a significant number of EIL authors is a realistic goal for the future. In the meantime, the following is our “take-home message.” other
1. Contributions from EIL authors in English are welcomed and sought by the best peer-reviewed journals.
2. EIL authors should not compromise achieving full expression of their thoughts.
3. EIL authors should carefully evaluate the credentials and experience of any language professional they might retain. They must not assume that any well-educated native English speaker merits their trust and payment.
4. EIL authors should seek the assistance of a peer with good English-writing skills, if at all possible.
5. The review of EIL manuscripts by a qualified language professional should precede review by a qualified peer.
6. EIL authors are encouraged to create regular opportunities in their own communities to use English at least once a month.
7. The goal of creating an ideal budget-neutral authors editorial service for EIL authors is realistic if startup funding to work in that direction could be found.
We close with the recognition that our recommendations constitute a difficult challenge for most EIL authors, and with appreciation for the extra effort and hard work EIL authors expend to report good science. Those of us who have editorial experience and responsibilities take off our hats to you!