PARSNIP

Materials writing conversations #1: Pork

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…

Editor: I think your ideas for the ‘British food’ lesson are great. The listening works well. It’s just…

Me: Just…

Editor: …you mention a fried breakfast. I probably wouldn’t.

Me: Why? Oh… wait. The sausages, right?

Editor: Yeah. And the bacon…

Me: Right.

Editor: …and the black pudding.

Me: Okay… Can’t we just say sausages and bacon, but not mention they are pork? I mean, you can get chicken sausages, turkey bacon… there are veggie or vegan substitutes for both too. I’ve had them. (more…)

Materials writing news and views, Feb 2019

Thought I’d start sharing a semi-regular post on materials writing for those (semi-)interested. Just news, views, jobs I see and stuff. Whatever, don’t know yet!

9 ways to get noticed by an ELT publisher

This is a new blog post from Atena Juszko, ELT Editor. It has some really useful ideas and some good links. The ones for publisher blogs might be of interest to some. I do/have done most of the stuff on the list, but I shy away from presenting at conferences. I might do more in the future, who knows. Anyway, useful post. Atena mentioned an old post of mine about writing for ELT magazines – I saw a tweeter share this recent post from Tim Thompson on the same topic, which may be useful for those looking to build their presence in the industry.

Digital Learning Associates

I have an article coming up in ETPro about the benefits of having a LinkedIn account for materials writers. While that won’t sound particularly riveting to most, I had a useful ‘LinkedInteraction’ (see what I did there…?) last week. A new contact had some work with ‘Digital Learning Associates’ listed on their work history. I did some research on these guys and some speculative emailing. Turns out…

  • they are keen to hear from video narrators/editors in the industry, so get in touch if this is your thing
  • they have an online platform of video-based resources, which sounds good. They’re going to let me review it, so watch this space if interested
  • they produce quite a bit of video-based content for big publishers. I wondered where a lot of that came from…

Anyway, they look like a company worth checking out. (more…)

Review: Fluentize video lessons

I do love a good video-based lesson. Jamie Keddie at lessonstream does them really well. Kieran Donaghy’s lessons on Film English are good for focusing on certain themes. Vocabulary in Chunks and AllatC are two great blogs sharing video lesson ideas – the latter isn’t updated much now though. There are lot more video related content around (like the ISL Collective video quizzes or the listening tasks on TubeQuizard), but there’s always room for more.

Fluentize (formerly known as Veslio) offers ‘modern English language lesson plans based on real-world videos for teachers with teenage or adult students’. Nik Peachey recently endorsed it on his LinkedIn feed so I blagged a promo code off the creators to check it out. (more…)

I clearly love coursebooks

I always feel embarrassed when I speak up for coursebooks. I think I’m supposed to hate them. Everybody else seems to, so I guess that’s the right thing to do. According to Steve Brown’s latest post (well worth a read), even coursebook writers themselves are getting bold enough to criticise the practices of big publishers. Steve reckons that, in the grand scheme of things, such criticism is pointless. I say that the writers should keep doing it. The more they bite the hand that feeds, the more likely that publishers get annoyed and look for writers elsewhere. I’d love to get a message in my LinkedIn mailbox one day that reads: (more…)