Materials writing news and views, January 2022

Not much to report at the start of the year, but a few bits and bobs.

New releases

I haven’t really been on the lookout for these recently tbh, but I did see Michelle Worgan’s book Move! For A1 Movers (ELI).


I’ve managed to at least skim-read a chunk of open access research from 2021. Let’s have a goo…

Freda Mishan’s summary of the current state of ELT coursebooks is probably the most newsworthy thing in this update. It’s a balanced critique which leads us again to the importance of localization and makes good points along the way about methodology in these resources.

Sergio Durand’s critical reading style approach to coursebook analysis draws attention to embedded under-representation of certain ethnicities in ELT coursebooks. Worth a goo for sure.

This critique of coursebooks for Vietnamese learners is well worth a read. It highlights how the resources are not aligned with the long-term communicative needs of secondary learners as they focus too much on preparing learners for communication with ‘non-Asian English users’. It suggests more autonomy for teachers in selecting appropriate (alternative) resources.

Based on recent experiences, I’d say there’s already been changes in this area and more flexibility for teachers regarding their choice of endorsed resources in Vietnam, so would be good to read a follow up of this one down the line.

Upcoming webinar

A free webinar by Rachael Roberts and IATEFL on getting into writing, click here.

Blog posts

Interesting review of the Words and Monsters vocab app from Philip Kerr

Self-publishing in ELT: ensuring quality through the editorial process. Via MAWSIG and Penny Hands.

An interesting series of lessons/resources on Labour English via TEFL Workers Union and Hugh Dellar.

New course

Renewable English have a new course called Creating a Greener Mindset. It’s being piloted at a cheap price and cheaper still with an exclusive 20% discount for ELT Planning readers. Click here, then mention ELT Planning at sign up for money off.

Payment for writing samples

Some samples I write are paid, some I do for free. But this was a first for me: in return for hard work on a sample I was offered a Global Gift Giving Card to donate to charity. Anyone had that before? I love it.

In class I’ve mostly been using…

Two tools that may interest writers as there will undoubtedly be more writing opportunities to follow from them (especially for subject specialists): Seneca Learning and Kognity.

The latter is more of an ‘I’ve been exploring…’ as they don’t have their ESL course up yet, but they’ve been hiring IGCSE ESL item writers recently.

CPD for materials development

Someone asked me about courses/resources for those looking to become paid professional ELT writers.

Recommended: There’s the NILE module on Materials Development which I love and promote quite a bit.

Others I know about:

There was a course that ran last year on creating your own ELT materials via OUP. I remember John Hughes running it and lots of ELTers doing it.

Other unis like Oxford Brookes run courses like this one. Maybe the tutor is Fiona Mauchline? Not sure but think she’s there in some capacity at least.


I mentioned the ‘How to write…’ range from ELT Teacher2Writer which are good resources.

I have some development tasks for developing writers on this blog which might be useful too. The only one people read regularly is this one.

Emily Bryson

Good chat between Emily Bryson and Rachael Roberts on LinkedIn Live. Catch up here.

Nergiz Kern, metaverse

There’s a webinar coming up on the TEFL Development Hub about VR in education. Check on the Hub fb page if interested.

I was writing some ELT texts on the metaverse last week so this is topical for me. Looking forward to it. I dabbled a bit with some augmented reality apps for learning when I was at the BC but that was then… Be good to learn the latest on XR in language classrooms.

Avallain Author training and certificate

I looked into that Avallain training. I think I’ll do it down the line. I was surprised at the price though, £300. I thought it would be more affordable tbh, and I’m now waiting until I can dedicate some proper time to it.


This is a great initiative – graphic summaries of secondary research in ELT. Check it out, very useful.


As usual, follow ELTcpd for good job spots. It was their one year anniversary last week, congrats.

Mildly interesting for writers…

Education Rickshaw. This is a well-written blog sharing insight into current trends in mainstream/international education. How useful is this for materials writers? Plenty of posts suggest there’s a lot of pushback in edu research regarding inquiry-based approaches, more promo of direct instruction, greater interest in cogsci and its importance in instructional design, etc. Worth knowing, especially if you’re writing IGCSE or IB resources, and especially for those writing CLIL resources.

If you only read/watch one materials-related thing this month…

John Hughes on SpongeELT. Has digitization brought us back to gap-fills?

Categories: General, materials writing

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2 replies

  1. This is an amazing newsletter to subscribe to! There is a wealth of diverse information on almost any aspect of material writing!

    Best regards Muhammad

    Liked by 2 people

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