materials writing

Materials Development Task 3: Images

This is a new series of blog posts for teachers looking to become materials writers. It aims to help future writers explore topics and issues in writing, encourage deeper insight into the content of published materials, and promote a principled approach to materials development.

Think…

As a writer you might need to provide artwork briefs. These are descriptions of an image you’d like an editor to source or commission. Describing images in detail can be part of the writing process. Let’s practice.

Describe the image below in as much detail as you can. I’ll start you off:

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Materials Development Task 2: Deficiency vs difference

This is a new series of blog posts for teachers looking to become materials writers. It aims to help future writers explore topics and issues in writing, encourage deeper insight into the content of published materials, and promote a principled approach to materials development.

Think…

How often do you share the materials you create with other teachers?

How accessible are the materials you share with others?

  • Could another teacher just ‘pick up and go’ with the resources?
  • Do you provide any support for teachers – e.g. notes, or a quick ‘walkthrough’ chat?
  • What is your rationale behind offering such support? [note – I am asking a leading Q here so don’t look ahead AHHHH YOU DID!]

How do you feel if teachers adapt the ideas you share? Would you expect this? Does it offend you sometimes?!

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Materials Development Task 1: absence and presence

This is a new series of blog posts for teachers looking to become materials writers. It aims to help future writers explore topics and issues in writing, encourage deeper insight into the content of published materials, and promote a principled approach to materials development.

Think…

To what extent do you agree with these statements?

  • The coursebooks I use/know reflect the realities of my learners.
  • The coursebooks I use/know include topics that may be considered controversial.
  • The images and stories in the coursebooks I use/know include members of underrepresented groups.

Think of a clear example to support each of your responses.

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Materials Writing news and views, January 2021

Hi all.

Short one. Diversity features quite a bit.

New releases

Another offering from the George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley of ELT, this time via Waygooze Press.

Other than that, I’ve haven’t seen much released. I’ve been reading some of the John Catt publication books. All quite new and a pretty good range, lacking in criticality at times though. Reviewed one here if interested.

Groups and chats

(If you say ‘groups and chats’ fast enough you can get a good beat going)

There are lots of Facebook groups for ELT writers. These are the main ones I’m in:

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Materials writing and pub quizzes

Before lockdown I was an avid pub quizzer. It’s the perfect hobby for a materials writer because we accumulate tons of useless facts when researching articles. Here’s a list of some random topics I’ve written texts on in the last, pfff, 18 months maybe? I’ve discussed this with Clare Maas before – I’d love to see your updated list of writes, Clare!

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Materials writing conversations #7: circles

This is a completely imaginary conversation. No characters in the convo are based on real people – I’m just bored and imagining conversations I might have with editors…

Lead-in

Work with a partner. Perform a dialogue based on the following roles:

Student A: You’re a shop assistant. You are working behind the counter at a high street clothes shop (probably not Topshop as that wouldn’t make this resource future-proof). A customer (Student B) has a request. Deal with the customer’s request appropriately. (more…)

Writing and full-time teaching

I wrote this in 2019. Just came across it again. My loose thoughts on a random post-writing, pre-COVID evening…

Balancing writing alongside teaching (and other) commitments isn’t always easy. I try to be realistic about the amount of time I can give to writing. My general rule is that I never take on writing projects which require over 20 hours a week – that’s when things start to get stressful. Having said that, sometimes you just can’t turn the work down, especially when it’s a gamechanger for your career.

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Materials Writing news and views, October 2020

Just a few things this time. I’m out the loop at the moment, enjoying my teaching too much!

Facebook groups for writers

There are a lot of Facebook groups for ELT writers these days. If you would like to share a link to your group then please let me know (or do so yourself in the comments). I don’t know which groups are open to new members/restricted/etc.

ELTon results

Congrats to all ELTons winners, which you can find here.

ELT Footprint – probably the most odds-on victory since the awards started I’d imagine.

Taking nothing away from winners past/present with this comment: I think there are aspects of the ELTons nomination process that could be tightened – BC please get in touch if you’d like to hear my suggestions 🙂

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Free lessons on Onestopenglish

Onestopenglish is still free at the moment. This is a great opportunity to make the most of their awesome resources. There’s so much available on the site: lesson plans, articles related to methodology, resources created by the Onestopenglish community… they’ve also been teaming up with institutions like NILE recently to provide tips for teachers.

I’ve written a few resources for site over the past year which I hope you will find interesting and useful. Most of them are for the Everyday Life series. They’re print-and-go adult General English resources, complete with teacher notes and student worksheets. These are often task-led and typically suit 1 – 1.5 hour lessons.

Everyday Life Lesson Topics:

Exercise

Minor illnesses

Typical dishes

Fake news

Superstitions

Star signs

Getting to work

Describing your neighbourhood

Article /resource for the Online Education series:

Parents as Temporary Teachers

Lesson Share Winning Resource:

Instant Coffee, a Black Mirror inspired short story with resources (for approximately three hours of class time)

Feedback on any of these resources is most welcome! I hope they come in handy for your own lessons.

Teacher development and coursebooks

Prompted by a tweet from @michaelegriffin, here are some thoughts on how coursebooks/published materials/in-house resources can aid teacher development.

Michael asked this:

I shared some examples of how I provide development tips in published resources, such as these two from One Stop English: (more…)