materials writing

Blogging tips for new ELT writers

I recently shared a tip on LinkedIn for materials writers who blog:

Here are a few more suggestions for using your blog to good effect as a newbie materials writer. 

Note: these tips are mostly about finding work, interacting with publishers, and adding value to ‘your brand’. I’ve chosen to focus on these things because lots of us teachers aren’t good at self-promo, don’t feel comfortable doing it, and don’t feel comfortable even talking about it sometimes! There are also a few tips on how to help other writers, which I think is really important.

So… using your blog as a writer, part 1.1

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Get published! Working with Peachey Publications

It’s about time I did more than just praise Nik Peachey on LinkedIn and in Twitter posts!

Another six months has passed, the royalties from ‘30 Role Plays for TEFL’ are in. They’ve covered a dentist bill, a crate of beer, and one month’s life insurance premium. Blimey, that last bit makes me feel old.

‘30 Role Plays…’ was great fun to write. See here for details of how it came about. It reminds me of some fun times at the British Council, when the crew at our tiny centre in Bangkok were alive with ideas!

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Review: Eduland Writing Project

Eduland is a short story project for the China ELT market. You write short fiction texts for young learners, add a few comprehension questions (guidance given), do one round of edits (typically), and get paid!

Currently, the short stories are part of a series involving a fictional family called the Jollys. Full road maps and character profiles are provided along with writing templates, topics to avoid, and plenty of other guidance.

Stories should be between 400-2500 words. Submissions are paid at 7 US cents per word.

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Materials writing news and views, March 2021

Mostly new releases, plus references to Premier League sticker albums…

New releases

  • English Code – Mary Roulston. Dinosaur on the front cover, win.
  • Cambridge Primary World English teacher’s guides – saw on Melissa Bryant’s Linkedin. Hodder Education.
  • Language Fuel have another new course and some kinda revamp coming up. Teaching EAP, Tania Pattison. Incidentally, the Language Fuel ‘Who’s who’ of authors is a bit like a Merlin/Panini sticker album of ELT Writers. They only need Rachael Roberts for complete coverage. If you ever collected EPL stickers then you’ll know all about ‘the shiny’, which in this case I guess is Jill Hadfield. I wonder who would be ‘Peter Fear’. I swear, this guy was in EVERY pack I ever bought.
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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…)

Materials writing news and views, August 2020

*Opens hands expressively* Hello everyone, and welcome to this month’s update.

*Does cup holding/triangle hand thingy in front near belly* My name’s Pete, and today …

Ahhh you’ll get what I’m going on about in a minute.

New releases

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