Materials Writing News and Views, May 2021

Busy, busy! Will breeze through some happenings since the last update in March.

New releases

  • This from Afshin Vatandoost – a new general English coursebook series from Pearson.
  • Susannah Reed mentioned this new coursebook series for VYLs. More info here.
  • Catherine Zgouras has been writing teacher guides for Connect (Primary, Egypt market I think)
  • Billie Jago posted up a couple of teacher guides she worked on too. One through Pearson.
  • Ethan Mansur seems prolific. Here’s another project he’s been working on. I like this post as it gives a bit more detail about Ethan’s role…
  • Pearson and BBC launch ‘Speakout for Sustainability’. More info here. Intro vid from Harry Waters.

Er.. What else has there been?


Two more episodes from the ELTCPD podcast. One on sustaining your freelance career, the other on mental health and wellbeing. Click here.

John Hughes / Development course

More tips from John on his YouTube channel. He’s been adding some longer takes than before (still under 10 mins so easy to digest). Here’s one on writing audio scripts…

John is also tutoring on a course from the Dept for Continuing Education (Oxford Uni) titled ‘Creating and writing your own ELT materials’. See here for details.

Text analysis tools

Hughes has also just added a vid about text analysis tools to his channel. You may have seen a listicle from me recently on online level checkers (see here). Hughes’ vid goes into more detail on these. Julie Moore wrote a really useful post on this topic this month which is an awesome read. See here.

Zemach, self-publishing

A reminder that the course on self-publishing, through (tutor: D Zemach), starts soon. Still time to sign up. Click here for details.

Environmental issues in the classroom

Daniel Barber hosted a Facebook Live webinar on normalising environmental issues in the classroom. This was through TEFL Development Hub, which you can join on FB here (then you’ll be able to watch webinar). ‘Greenwashing’ was a new term for me.

Jason Anderson, lesson frameworks

A very interesting webinar last week from Jason Anderson on lesson frameworks. I’ve summarised it here. He mentioned some of his previous research into ELT coursebooks with some interesting findings. Snapshots…

Watch to find out more – it’s an hour well spent IMHO.

Clubhouse chats

There have been some good Clubhouse chats recently in R Roberts’ ELT Entrepreneurs Club. The latest was on using LinkedIn as a freelancer, co-hosted by Atena Juszko. Watch this space for a summary on Atena’s blog.

Straight after Rachael’s room on a Friday, Hugh Dellar hosts ‘English Questions Answered’. You can ask him literally anything about ELT and he’ll give advice or simply his take on things. Really interesting, and usually a great listen. His grammar/vocab explanations off-the-cuff are pretty impressive IMHO.


These chats happen on Twitter at 5pm every Tuesday. Moderated by Fiona Mauchline. They can be a nice check-in for freelancers, there are usually a few people around to chat materials writing with.

General materials related blog posts

  • Materials for EAP vocabulary teaching (Clare Maas, MaWSIG). Here.
  • Inclusion in ready-made handouts (Cintia Rodrigues, Raise Up). Here.
  • Authors’ views on diversity and representation in materials (Raise Up). Here.
  • A lesson on loneliness, some solid writing from Silvina Mascitti. Here.
  • Robin Walker has now finished his A-Z of pronunciation blogs. Here. (drop down list bit fiddly on a laptop)
  • The effects of multimodal input on second language learning (G Jordan). Here.
  • My experience of writing for Peachey Publications if interested. Here.

New independent publisher

I’m sure these guys have been adding most of us on social media. New Way Press, Irish ELT Publications. Not much on the site at the moment but worth knowing about, lots of resources upcoming. Here.

Conversation Strategies and Communicative Competence

I imagine there were some others here who volunteered to help Christian Jones out with his research. Well, the book is launched. Here’s some promo. I picked up my copy, interesting read. It includes teacher evaluations of materials for teaching conversation skills. The materials were based on principles of Illustration, Interaction, Induction – see book for more!

This month I’ve mostly been…

  • teaching rather than writing. New intensive classes at my school, online learning, LOTS of planning. Using Loom a lot, love it (see other posts if interested).
  • writing teacher’s notes/guide for a primary book. That was cool work. Actually, that’s the second time in last year I’ve really enjoyed writing Primary teacher guides, maybe I should look for more stuff like that.
  • Latest Onestop lesson: Dress codes.

Views: Freaky images

I love a funny image in ELT resources. Remember that Nuttall book?


This image freaks me out. Why is it, like, half illustration and half real? My mind just can’t process this, I have to decide one way or the other. So now, in my head, there are real people who look like that. The dog has a really tortured expression. Not enjoying that petting at all.

Both these characters are far too happy to be around a rottweiler. It would have been fine if it was an illustrated one, but this definitely looks real. There used to be a rottweiler on my paper round that would try and bite my legs off through a cat flap. I fed it the Mail on Sunday and it abated. There’s no Mail on Sunday in this image so I fear for both characters.

Also, the dog looks like it’s wearing a blindfold. This could be a scene from Bird Box.

If you only read one ELT materials writing related thing this month…

An old album cover from Ken Wilson. Check it out! What a classic 😊

Categories: General, materials writing

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