The first issue of English Language Teaching, subtitled 'A Periodical Devoted to the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language', was published in October 1946. Originally issued by the British Council and now published by Oxford University Press, the journal has continuously served as a focal point for the profession.

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Indeed, its title, abbreviated to ‘ELT’, began to be adopted as an umbrella term for the whole enterprise of teaching English as a second or foreign language. The term ‘ELT’ gained even wider currency after English Language Teaching was renamed English Language Teaching Journal (ELTJ) in 1973, and then simply ELT Journal in 1981. The journal’s founder and first editor was AS Hornby (1808–1978), and he contributed many articles in the journal’s early years, including articles on 'Linguistic pedagogy' and 'Sentence patterns and substitution tables' in this first issue.

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