Materials Development Task 10: Knowledge and the notes

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 would you rate your knowledge and skills in the following areas? Give yourself a mark between 1-10 for each category.

1 = Huh?

10 = I’m an expert!

  • Subject/content knowledge – e.g knowledge of grammar, vocab, pronunciation, language skills and strategies, etc.
  • Pedagogical knowledge – e.g. knowledge of teaching approaches, how students learn, etc.
  • Cognitive knowledge – e.g. knowledge of the science of learning; memory models, encoding, storage, retrieval, etc.
  • Technological knowledge – e.g. knowledge of how to best use technology to enhance learning.
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Materials Development Task 9: Functional language

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 would you define functional language?
  • To what extent does transactional language differ from interactional language?
  • How do you approach teaching functional language?
  • In your experience, how is teaching functional language approached in published materials such as coursebooks? How do you feel about the approach(es) used?
  • In a general sense, how might the functional language needs of YLs, teens and adults differ?
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Materials Development Task 8: Questions

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.

Read this extract then answer the questions.

Wikipedia
  1. What is the International Birdman?
  2. What does the competition involve?
  3. Why do birdmen attempt to fly off the pier?
  4. Where is West Sussex?
  5. When did the event first move to Bognor Regis?

Think…

  • What do you think of the above questions?
  • What’s wrong with Question 4?
  • How effective is each question for checking understanding?
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Materials Development Task 7: Tomlinson’s principles

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

Rank these features of materials development in order of importance. There is no correct answer, it’s just your opinion!

  • challenge
  • personalization
  • affective engagement
  • raising learners’ confidence
  • enjoyment

Do you feel that published material should address all these features as standard? Why/Why not?

Do feel that each stage of a lesson should address some if not all these features? Why/Why not?

Tomlinson                                                                   

Some of Brian Tomlinson’s key principles of materials writing (2011).

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Materials Development Task 6: Purpose and redundancy

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 much/often do you evaluate the materials you create?
  • Do you ever take a step back and consider ‘flow’ in your own resources?
  • Have you ever taught or created a resource that you felt (on reflection) included redundant stages?
  • How often do you think about the ‘why?’ and ‘what for…?’ of lesson staging?
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Materials Development Task 5: Pronunciation activities

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…

  • What are your overall views on pronunciation activities in published materials such as coursebooks?
  • How often do you write pronunciation activities for your own resources? How easy/difficult do you think these materials are to create?
  • What staging principles do you follow when writing pronunciation activities?
  • Are the stages you follow based on research, teacher experience and intuition, or both?
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Materials Development Task 4: Making connections

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…

  • What does it really mean to ‘personalise’ materials for a learner?
  • In what ways could you personalise a text?
  • How can you help young learners make connections between a text and their existing knowledge/experiences?
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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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