Welcome to MaWSIG

We are the IATEFL Materials Writing Special Interest Group. We provide support for materials writers of all levels of experience, whether you've been publishing for years, are taking the first steps in sharing your materials with a wider audience, or want to improve what you use in your classroom every day. We're an active SIG, with lots going on. Take a look at our blog, Twitter, Instagram and facebook, keep up with our webinars, or join one of our face-to-face events. What are you waiting for? Join MaWSIG!

MaWSIG PCE: Bring your ideas to life using mood boards – Colin Morton

This is the fifth of our summaries from the IATEFL MaWSIG Pre-Conference Event, which was held online on Friday, 18 June 2021. In his talk, Colin Morton looked at a key aspect of ELT publishing which is not often discussed: the role of mood boards in materials design. Thanks to Sandy Millin for providing the summary.  What […]

MaWSIG PCE: Scope and sequence design – A top-down or grassroots approach?

This is the second of our summaries from the MaWSIG IATEFL Pre-Conference Event, which was held online on Friday, 18 June 2021. In her talk, Frances Amrani weighed up the pros and cons of a top-down versus a grassroots approach to scope and sequence design. This presentation was designed to raise more questions than it […]

Meet MaWSIG webinars: From general to specific – Materials for EAP vocabulary teaching

In this post, MaWSIG Joint Events Coordinator Clare Maas follows up on some of the questions that were raised in the Q&A session at her Meet MaWSIG webinar. The recording of the webinar is available here. The first few minutes of my talk are not included in the recording, so I’ll summarise my introduction briefly before […]

Meet MaWSIG webinars: To be or not to be (tokenistic)

In this post, MaWSIG Coordinator Aleksandra Popowski summarises the talk she gave at the first in the series of our Meet MaWSIG webinars. According to the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary, tokenism refers to ‘actions that are the result of pretending to give advantage to those groups in society who are often treated unfairly, in order to […]

Meet MaWSIG: Behind the scenes – Deputy Publications Coordinator

Next in our Meet MaWSIG series, Penny Hands, Deputy Publications Coordinator, tells us how she came to join the SIG.  My MaWSIG story started back in 2013, when the SIG was founded. Our first get-together was at a drinks reception at the Liverpool IATEFL conference. The whole thing felt very exciting. Until then, meeting other […]

Meet MaWSIG: Behind the scenes – Technology and Social Media

In our latest post in the Meet MaWSIG series, Jen Dobson, the Technology and Social Media Coordinator of MaWSIG, tells how she came to join the SIG. It’s an honour to be a volunteer as part of the MaWSIG team. From university days, I’ve always been active on committees and then in teachers’ associations, finding them […]

Dealing with distractions

In this guest post, Rachael Roberts looks at the reasons why it’s so easy to get distracted, and offers some possible solutions. How easy do you find it to focus on your writing work? The answer to that question probably depends on two main factors: first, what external distractions there are. Particularly at the moment […]

IATEFL Global Get-together 2020 – Inclusive ELT materials: Q&A

As part of the recent IATEFL Global Get-together held on 18–19 April, five SIGs came together to discuss the issue of inclusion in materials writing. The five SIGs were IPSEN SIG, represented by Dr Anne Margaret Smith, YLT SIG, represented by David Valente (also moderator), Global Issues SIG, represented by Linda Ruas, LIT SIG, represented […]

MaWSIG Panel webinar: Making materials that reflect the realities of marginalised groups

On 23 February, 2020, we held the last webinar in the MaWSIG meets series. Our three speakers, Heloisa Duarte, Varinder Unlu and Adam Scott, analysed a range of ELT materials to highlight ways of making diverse learners and their realities more visible. They focused particularly on older learners, learners who identify as being of colour […]

Making good materials for everyone, everywhere, no matter how much money they have: Q&A

In this blog post, Margarita Kosior and Linda Ruas answer questions that were raised in the Q&A section at the end of the MaWSIG meets Global Issues SIG webinar. The webinar was held on 25 January, 2020. You can find a recording of the webinar here.   Linda Ruas 1 How powerful do you find […]

Making Business English materials that reflect learner realities: Summary and Q&A

In this post, John Hughes shares a summary of his MaWSIG meets BESIG webinar, Making Business English materials that reflect learner realities, and follows up on some of the questions that were raised in the Q&A section at the end. The webinar was held on 6 December 2019. You can find a recording. of the […]

Making materials on topics that are excluded from mainstream coursebooks: Q&A

In this blog post, Ilá Coimbra and James Taylor follow up on some of the questions that were raised in the Q&A section at the end of the MaWSIG meets TDSIG webinar: Making materials on topics that are excluded from mainstream coursebooks, which was held on 11 October 2019. You can find a recording of […]

MaWSIG in Malta: This post will make you gay (or your materials anyway)

In the second of our mini-series of blog posts following the 8th Malta ELT conference, Tyson Seburn explores the representation (or lack of representation) of LGBTQIA2 themes in published ELT materials. This post was first published on Tyson’s blog, 4C in ELT, on 31 July, 2019. The Malta ELT conference was held over the weekend […]

IATEFL MaWSIG PCE 2020 – Practical tools and tricks of the trade: sharing our expertise

We are delighted to announce our line-up of expert authors, syllabus-creators, designers and editors for the 2020 pre-conference event at IATEFL in Manchester. We’ve organised a day packed with practical advice from experts in all areas of ELT materials writing. There really is something for everyone.    Most materials writers, whether new or experienced, writing […]

An evidence-based re-evaluation of second language listening pedagogy

Our posts this week all come from the Forum on Research informing materials writing at the MaWSIG Showcase at IATEFL in Liverpool 2019. In today’s post, Dr Jane Ward and Associate Professor Colin Campbell discuss a new approach to teaching and materials design for L2 listening. Experts in the field of L2 listening pedagogy (e.g. […]

Materials design in English teacher education: a neglected and dumbed-down craft

Every year, the Special Interest Groups within IATEFL are invited to curate a day of talks related to their area of special interest. At MaWSIG’s Showcase on 4 April in Liverpool this year, our choices included four talks that formed part of a Forum on Research informing materials writing. This week’s posts on our website […]

IMAGINE

In our second post written by speakers at the MaWSIG Showcase at the annual IATEFL Conference on 4 April in Liverpool, Rob Howard encourages us to put dreams into practice by becoming successful independent authors. Using the old philosophical question of ‘If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear […]

The MaWSIG-LITSIG PCE 2019: Creative Arts and Materials Writing  

For those unable to attend the MaWSIG-LitSIG joint Pre-Conference Event in Liverpool on 1 April 2019, and to refresh the memories of the 95 people who did, MaWSIG is publishing several posts over the next fortnight recapping each session. To outline what’s in store for you, Christien van Gool, the Social Media Co-ordinator for LitSIG, […]

The ‘What about …’ webinars Q&A: Leo Selivan

In the last webinar Q&A post in the ‘What about …’ series, Leo Selivan follows up on some of the questions that participants asked during his recent webinar, What about writing vocabulary activities? You can watch a recording of his webinar here. If you attended Leo Selivan’s webinar, or any of the other webinars by Brian Tomlinson, Vicky Saumell, Prof. […]

The ‘What about …’ webinars Q&A: Dr Elaine Hodgson

In the penultimate webinar Q&A post in the ‘What about …’ series, Dr Elaine Hodgson follows up on some of the questions that participants asked during her recent webinar, What about writing Teachers’ Guides? You can watch a recording of her webinar here. Look out for the last webinar in the series: on Sunday 10 February at 14.00 GMT Leo […]

The ‘What about …’ webinars Q&A: Dr Catherine Walter

In the last ‘What about …’ webinars Q&A post of the year, Dr Catherine Walter follows up on some of the questions that participants asked during her recent webinar, What about writing grammar activities? You can watch a recording of her webinar here and you can download Dr Walter’s handout for participants here. This handout is licensed […]

The ‘What about …’ webinars Q&A: Henning Rossa and Karoline Wirbatz

In this post, Henning Rossa and Karoline Wirbatz follow up on some of the questions that participants asked during their recent webinar, What about creating CLIL materials? You can watch a recording of their webinar here. In their answers, Henning and Karoline discuss the focus of CLIL assessment in Germany, adapting authentic materials using the ‘4S’ approach, and the teaching […]

The ‘What about …’ webinars Q&A: Vicky Saumell

In this post, Vicky Saumell follows up on some of the questions that participants asked during her recent webinar, What about creating technology-enhanced materials? You can watch a recording at http://iatefl.adobeconnect.com/pilne01kpmil/. In her answers, Vicky links to a wealth of resources for those keen to learn more about the areas touched on in her webinar.

The ‘What about …’ webinars Q&A: Brian Tomlinson

In this post, Brian Tomlinson follows up on some of the questions that participants asked during his recent webinar, What about principles in materials development? You can watch a recording of the webinar here. The questions and answers are thought-provoking and relevant, even if you missed the webinar itself. The full list of upcoming MaWSIG webinars […]

ELT publishing: Can the UK learn from the Canadian example?

This is the first of a series of blog posts in which ELT materials writers around the world share their thoughts on writing in specific countries. Here, Tania Pattison describes her experiences writing for a major publisher in Canada. The MaWSIG blog has recently featured two posts that expressed concern about the state of ELT publishing […]

Materials writing for social justice: Mary and Max (2009) in the EFL classroom

This is the latest in our series of previews of talks to be given at the upcoming ELTAM conference in Skopje, Macedonia, on 30 September, 2017. Here, Elena Ončevska Ager discusses film as an inspiration for materials writing. For more details about the event, click here. In this talk I will discuss the process of […]

Designing teaching materials to confront modern-day slavery

This is the next of several previews of talks to be given at the upcoming ELTAM−MaWSIG conference in Skopje, Macedonia, on 30 September, 2017. Here, Margarita Kosior and Despoina Sarantidou introduce their talk. For more details about the event, click here. According to the Global Slavery Index 2016 report, 45.8 million people are enslaved in […]

More than a bit of fun: creating engaging and useful video-based materials

This is the second of several previews of talks to be given at the upcoming ELTAM−MaWSIG conference in Skopje, Macedonia, on 30 September, 2017. Here, MaWSIG Coordinator Rachael Roberts introduces her talk. For more details about the event, click here. You’ve probably all heard of Generation X, Y and Z? But what about Generation V, […]

Upcoming webinar: How to publish your own materials − from writing to publishing to marketing

In this post, Nik Peachey introduces his upcoming webinar with MaWSIG. I had been thinking about writing a book for years. A few times I put together proposals for books and expectantly sent them off to publishers, only to be disappointed. Even more times I started to write my book and then just lost momentum […]

Writing for a specific sociocultural context

Rhiannon Sarah Ball describes her approach to writing materials for NGOs. At a time when ELT is dominated by learning technologies, solutions, outcomes and meta-tables, it’s easy to forget that sometimes education can’t be measured. Working with ELT in non-governmental organisations (NGOs) is harder to quantify, but it is no less impactful. However, finding suitable materials […]

Writing Business English materials to promote gender equality

Following last week’s blog post on Writing to promote gender equality, we turn our attention this week specifically to writing Business English materials. Claire Hart shares her experiences working with Business English materials and outlines the shortcomings she found. The MaWSIG blog features guest posts by members – please get in touch if you would like to […]

Meet the panelists

The online event on 18th February at 1600 GMT is a chance for you to ask a panel your materials development questions. You can add your questions here. Here are details of the four panelists: Vanessa Reis Esteves Vanessa Reis Esteves has been teaching EFL in Portugal for the past 20 years and has been involved […]

The MaWSIG PCE, Glasgow, Monday 3rd April 2017

We’re pleased to announce the speakers and sessions for our pre-conference event in Glasgow in April. You can register for the PCE and conference here: http://conference.iatefl.org/my_conference.html Nuts and bolts: practical considerations for the ELT materials professional 10.00 Introduction and Opening Daniel Barber: How to become a lean, mean writing machine I wasn’t always such a staggeringly prolific […]

How to get started making awesome YouTube videos for your students

In preparation for the MaWSIG strand of talks at the next BESIG conference (click here for full details and registration), we’ve invited each of the speakers to give us a preview of their session. These previews will be appearing here until the Conference. Christina Rebuffet-Broadus is speaking at the BESIG Munich conference on Sunday 6th at 9.30. YouTube is […]

New Journal

MaWSIG is planning to publish an annual peer-reviewed academic journal entitled ELT Materials Review. The journal will seek to publish fair, well-researched, pedagogically informed reviews of English Language Teaching materials and empirical or theoretical articles on the development and implementation of educational materials. We are looking for volunteers to join an Advisory Board of teachers […]