Over the next few months we plan to create a list of links and resources which materials writers have recommended for use in their work. They will be categorised under a main heading and contain comments on how they can be used.
ELTpics is an image website created by teachers for other teachers to use in their materials and lessons.
Unsplash provides free-to-use images which are eye-catching.
Compfight allows you to search for Creative Commons pictures and gives you what you need to paste directly into a worksheet.
Pixabay is another good option with free images.
Online tools for analysing texts
The Oxford Text Checker will tell you which words in the text are outside of the 3000 and 2000 most commonly used words.
Vocabkitchen is also useful for profiling the words in a text by the CEFR level.
Lextutor provides a variety of tools for analysing texts.
The English Vocabulary Profile page from Cambridge allows you to check vocabulary by CEFR level.
The Sketch Engine is designed for anyone wanting to research how words behave.
Online tools for creating original listening material
There is plenty of recorded material you can use in your listening lessons but what if you want to create your own listenings? Here are some tools you can use.
Vocaroo is a very simple voice record tool. Just record yourself speaking, save it, and share with your students.
Text-to-speech lets you cut and paste a text into the screen and an animated character automatically reads the text aloud. Students can also speed up and slow down the speech. The speech quality isn’t 100% natural but for a quick way to students listen to a text, it’s a useful tool.
Like Text-to-speech above, Iwona TTS software https://www.ivona.com allows you to add a short text which is read in the gender, nationality and accent of your choice.
Starting out as a new writer
Here are some links to resources which will help you get started in ELT writing and get published.
The No-nonsense guide to writing is a free-to-download book on how to get published in the ELT industry. Each chapter is written by an experienced ELT author based on their own experience.
A webinar on how to become an ELT writer recorded by the British Council.
To try and get paid writing work with ELT publishers you could join the ELT Teacher 2 Writer database. And click here for details of their How to write…’ ebooks for ELT writers.
A recording of a talk by Rachael Roberts on the basics of writing a worksheet.
Self publishing your materials
If you’ve written some materials or even a whole book that you’d like to share with the world, then self-publishing is one alternative.
Phil Wade, who is an ELT author and self publishes his own materials, has written a useful introductory guide on writing ebooks.
theround is a collective of ELT writers who provide peer support and self publish their own work.
Organisations for materials writers
Other than MaWSIG itself which supports ELT materials writers, there are other organisations for writers which are worth knowing more about.
If you are a published author, you can join The Society of Authors. Its members include famous novelists like Philip Pullman through to self-published ebook authors. It also has a special ELT writers group with separate meetings and events. One of the society’s most useful functions is to give free advice writers on contracts and legal issues – the membership fee is worth it just for that!
The Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society collects money from around the world from language schools and people using published materials who pay license fees. They then pass a percentage of this money to each author who is a member of ALCS. So for anyone with published work (either royalty-based or fee-based) you are eligible to receive extra money twice a year! Just register with them and list all your publications.