Materials writing news and views, May 2019

Some news from this month…

New materials

Nice post on LinkedIn the other day from Kate Foufouti. A new resource from Macmillan.

Macmillan have also been promoting a new Pre-primary series called Mimi’s Wheel – series editor is Carol Read I think. Follow that link for samples (note, the Mimi puppet looks a bit freaky).

Lexical Lab have been blogging again about Outcomes Beginner, explaining a bit about the syllabus and approach. It’s interesting to hear how the writers tried to recycle vocabulary from earlier units throughout the book – a rarity in coursebooks.

Haven’t seen many other promo posts for materials this month tbh…

Update on Peachey Publications

I’m sure many of us have been on the mailing list for Peachey Publications, the new publishing company from Nik Peachey (mentioned in an earlier update). Well, it’s officially happened. You can have your work published through Nik, getting some support with editing and promotion, with profits shared proportionately. Nik has decided to make this a subscription service for writers ($35 a month). That rules me out – the last e-book I wrote hasn’t made much more than that in total!

Long’s views on coursebook writers

I’m re-reading Mike Long’s book on task-based… sorry, Task-Based Language Teaching. I didn’t realise just how much he disliked coursebook writers when I read it the first time around. I thought he just disliked publishers, but looks like it’s the writers too…

‘Mass-marketing of off-the-peg courses suitable for everyone, but for no one in particular, benefit authors’ and publishers’ bank balances, but they do little for the end user’.

On the benefits of TBLT…

‘To begin with, course content in not determined by a multi-million dollar textbook writer sipping martinis a thousand miles away on a beach in the Cayman Islands…’

On changes in the industry…

‘…little is likely to change as long as authors and large publishers continue to make vast sums of money from selling millions of copies annually that are based on grammatical syllabi and thinly disguised variants of drill and kill.’

Wow. I wonder which writers Long fell out with down the line, and which decade he’s living in! How many of us writers could afford to be on a beach in the Cayman Islands sipping martinis? Long’s views on writers are out of touch, although his views on how/what we should teach certainly aren’t.

 

Publisher merger

Anyway, back to large publishers with big bank balances.

There’s a brief summary of what’s prompted the merger here.

 

Jobs

There’s been quite a bit around this month. Highlights include….

Integra

Saw this on LinkedIn, can’t see a deadline for applications though.

Pearson

Various Content Developer roles. Two in UK (adults and primary) plus one in Poland.

York Press Freelancers

This appeared on their Facebook page last month (since last update).

You never know, might be some work still there, or you could just get in touch for future reference.

Other possibilities…

I’ve been asked where you can find writing possibilities. Answer is: everywhere. I’ll share an idea each month for general interest. Here’s one I don’t think I’ve mentioned…

RedNova

It’s well worth sending a speculative message to this publisher. They have a write for us and a freelance work section on their site.

Also, keep your eye on updates from ELT Publishing Professionals, as they’ve started sharing job spots.

 

LinkedIn and jobs

Atena Juszko’s latest blog post offers some tips for finding publishing jobs on LinkedIn. If you’re still thinking that LinkedIn might not be for you, see my recent article for ETP

 

Evaluating Digital Materials

The itdi course on Evaluating Digital Materials finished last week. It was a brilliant course and I can see the content being useful for teachers and perhaps publishers who are looking to take a more principled approach to digital innovation. I’ll review the course in full at some point, but for now, I thoroughly recommend it. Great job Pete Sharma!

 

Materials writing compendium

Well, actually you’re too late for this one! There was a post-IATEFL discount available on this materials writing compendium published by ELT Teacher 2 Writer. I picked up a copy, but shipping to Thailand kind of negated the discount anyway! Even now, it’s under 20 quid on Amazon – I’d say it is well worth that. Full of useful tips and great to dip in and out of when you’re writing. I found the ‘comprehension questions bank’ in one section very useful the other day when I was lacking inspiration! Full review likely to follow.

 

Remember ELT-resourceful?

There are some gems in the elt-resourceful blog archive by Rachael Roberts. The ones on reading are particularly useful. I’ve been using some of the techniques mentioned in recent materials, such as SQ3R. It might be familiar to you guys but was new to me!

If you only read one materials related thing this month…

Well, watch rather than read…

Tyson Seburn’s talk at BC TEAL Conference: Our Materials Oxymoron and the Inclusion of LGBTQIA Narratives.

Some take home points were…

  • Include activities that don’t force learners to speak for or make decisions about LGBTQIA groups
  • Include/consult voices from LGBTQIA where possible and inform yourself
  • Independent publishing may be the way forward for LGBTQIA inclusive materials for the time being.

Link to Tyson’s blog if interested.

Of related interest, link to this LinkedIn post from Derek Philip-Xu back in Sept 2018, Gatekeeping in ELT publishing and its effect on identity

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