2024 Idiom editions

2024 Idiom No 1: 'The sustainability of the English teaching profession/al'

The first edition of Idiom for 2024 aims to tell the stories of English teachers about the challenges they’ve faced over the last few years.

Prompted by the VATE research project ‘The sustainability of the English teaching profession/al’, this Idiom presents the stories and experiences of English teachers who have stayed in the profession, those who are on the edge, and those who have left. Through these stories the issue explores: English teaching during COVID-19 lockdowns and their aftermath, responses to curriculum change, the challenge of engaging students as readers, writers and meaning makers, the building of faculty cultures, severe teacher shortages and what it might mean for developing professionally in such an environment. Through these and other challenges, English teachers in Victoria have had to dig deep and extend themselves – sometimes to breaking point. This Idiom explores key findings from the research project and asks:

  • What new practices have English teachers devised to respond to these challenges?
  • How have English teachers collaborated and supported each other?
  • What obstacles are there to English teaching being a sustainable profession?
  • What might need to change to enable this?

Submissions for this edition have now closed. This edition of Idiom will be published in Term 2. Please email any queries to Josephine Smith, Managing editor of Idiom: idiom@vate.org.au

2024 Idiom No 2: 'Tales from Beyond Suburbia'

The second edition of Idiom for 2024 aims to highlight and amplify the voices and experiences of Victorian English teachers and students working and living in rural and regional areas of the state. The theme of this Idiom draws inspiration from Shaun Tan’s exploration of Perth’s outer suburbs in his text Tales from Outer Suburbia. It offers an opportunity for teachers and students in rural and regional areas to share stories of their experience of teaching and learning English that might be unique to these areas of Victoria and offer a broader perspective of English education beyond that experienced in metropolitan Melbourne. If you are an English educator living and working in a rural or regional setting, we want to hear from you and your students! We invite you to consider contributing to this edition of Idiom; in responding to this theme, you may wish to explore the following:

Your lived experience of working in rural and regional communities across Victoria:

  • What you love about working in rural and regional areas. What draws you to and keeps you in your region?
  • The challenges associated with teaching in a rural or regional setting.
  • The connections you have formed with other schools in your area. What factors support or limit these networks?
  • The ways in which your local ecological landscape informs your teaching practice and curriculum design, and also impacts on your students’ participation and engagement in their schooling. Have there been any natural disasters that you have had to navigate as a school community and how has this influenced your teaching?

The ways in which living in rural and regional areas have helped to shape your identity as an English teacher:

  • What does English teaching look like in your school, for example, units of work, text selection, connections with the local community or setting?
  • What interesting things have happened or take place in your school’s English program?
  • How does your school manage the transition between the primary and secondary years?
  • What opportunities has living in a rural or regional area offered you for your career as an English teacher?
  • What would help you and your English teaching colleagues to more effectively develop and teach your English curriculum programs?

What do we want?
We welcome a range of submissions for this edition of Idiom, including multimodal responses. We invite different forms of contributing including written articles, reflective journaling, photographs of your classroom or school, artwork, collage, and creative writing; anywhere between 200-2000 words. To discuss your ideas for a possible submission, please email idiom@vate.org.au.

Date for submission
Please email your abstract by Wednesday 12 June 2024: idiom@vate.org.au. You can find more information about writing your abstract here.
Full submissions are due by Thursday 12 September 2024 to: idiom@vate.org.au. Advice about writing and formatting your article for Idiom is available here.

Share with others
Please share this information with your colleagues and invite them to consider contributing to this edition of Idiom. Download theme.

For general queries about Idiom, and to discuss your possible contribution, please get in touch by emailing Josephine Smith, Managing Editor of Idiom: idiom@vate.org.au.