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, you’re taking the first steps in sharing your materials with a wider audience, or you 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?

I’m delighted to have been a founding member of the MaWSIG committee. It was so exciting to hold our first events and find our tribe coming together. And as time’s gone by, it’s great to see more and more teachers with a passion for writing good quality materials for use in class or for wider publication coming together and sharing their knowledge and expertise. Keep up the good work!
Karen White

Upcoming events

MaWSIG Pre-Conference Event (PCE) 2023:

Materials creation: More than just the student’s book

Monday 17th April 2023, Harrogate, UK, 10:00-17:00 UK time

Latest posts

MaWSIG PCE 2022: Bridging a 30-year gap in materials writing

MaWSIG PCE 2022: Bridging a 30-year gap in materials writing

In our first post in the series Looking back at the MaWSIG PCE, Belfast 2022, Sue Kay writes about her presentation in which she shared an insightful account of her thoughts and experiences as she prepares to update and self-publish materials that she originally wrote...

Joining the MaWSIG Committee

Joining the MaWSIG Committee

In this series of three posts, we ask our new committee members to share their thoughts about why they chose to join the MaWSIG committee. The second post comes in the form of an interview with Heather Buchanan, Joint Events Coordinator (and soon-to-be MaWSIG...

Joining the MaWSIG Committee

Joining the MaWSIG Committee

In this series of three posts, we ask our new committee members to share their thoughts about why they chose to join the MaWSIG committee. The first post comes from Sandy Millin, Deputy Tech Coordinator. I've been a member of MaWSIG on and off since it first started...

Self-publishing in ELT: ensuring quality through the editorial process

Self-publishing in ELT: ensuring quality through the editorial process

The last decade has seen an explosion of self-publishing in the ELT world, which has created a multitude of exciting opportunities for teachers to become content creators and to produce more relevant, niche or localised materials. In a survey I conducted a few years...

MaWSIG PCE: 50 ways to avoid gap-fill fatigue

MaWSIG PCE: 50 ways to avoid gap-fill fatigue

The second session of the day was a practical presentation by John Hughes on why we write gap-fill exercises, how we can write them more effectively, and how we can make them more interesting. Here’s a brief summary of John’s presentation with links at the end to...

MaWSIG PCE: Strategies to survive overwhelm

MaWSIG PCE: Strategies to survive overwhelm

This is the third of our summaries from the IATEFL MaWSIG Pre-Conference Event, which was held online on Friday, 18 June 2021. In her talk, Rachael Roberts gave us some tips to avoid and deal with overwhelm – that feeling you can get when you’ve taken on too much....

MaWSIG PCE: Covert syllabuses

MaWSIG PCE: Covert syllabuses

On Friday, 18 June 2021, MaWSIG held its 2021 IATEFL Pre-Conference Event online. We were very happy to be able to offer a great line-up of presentations and networking events, and to welcome participants from around the world. The first session of the day was a...

Meet MaWSIG webinars: Re-inventing the green wheel

Katherine Bilsborough and Ceri Jones report back on one of the areas that provoked discussion in their webinar, Re-inventing the Green Wheel, which they presented as part of the Meet MaWSIG webinar series.  On 15 January 2021, we led a webinar on the topic of writing...

Understanding sources and permissions – a simple guide

Understanding sources and permissions – a simple guide

In this post, Lottie Galpin shares her knowledge and experience as a writer and editor on the tricky area of sources and permissions. Something that often comes up when I’m working on ELT materials is the issue of sources and permissions. The ins and outs of what you...

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

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...

Meet MaWSIG: Behind the scenes – Deputy Publications Coordinator

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....

Meet MaWSIG: Behind the scenes – Events Coordinator

Meet MaWSIG: Behind the scenes – Events Coordinator

In our latest post in the Meet MaWSIG series, Katherine Bilsborough, one of the three Joint Events Coordinators, tells us how she came to join the SIG. Why did you take the plunge? I joined the MaWSIG committee as one of three Joint Events Coordinators in May, 2018....

Meet MaWSIG: Behind the scenes – Technology and Social Media

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...

Dealing with distractions

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...

Meet MaWSIG: Behind the scenes – Publications Coordinator

Meet MaWSIG: Behind the scenes – Publications Coordinator

As the newest member of the MaWSIG committee, I still feel I’m very much a newbie – and really enjoying it. I joined the committee in September last year, when James Styring stood down from the role of Publications Coordinator, and I joined Penny Hands and Nick Tims...

Meet MaWSIG: Behind the scenes – SIG Coordinator

Meet MaWSIG: Behind the scenes – SIG Coordinator

In our second post in the Meet MaWSIG series, Aleksandra Popovski, the coordinator of MaWSIG, tells how she came to join the SIG. When I first joined MaWSIG in 2016, it never occurred to me that I would one day be the Coordinator. I decided to join MaWSIG after...

Meet MaWSIG: Behind the scenes – Online Events

Meet MaWSIG: Behind the scenes – Online Events

This is the first post in a new series of blog posts, Meet MaWSIG, where members of our committee will introduce themselves and talk about their work and experiences on the committee. We start with Clare Maas, Joint Events Coordinator.   Our MaWSIG coordinator,...

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

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...

Taking control of your workload instead of letting it control you

Taking control of your workload instead of letting it control you

In our third and last post of three reporting on sessions at the ELT Freelancers’ Awayday conference held in Oxford in January, Claire Hart talks about how freelance writers and editors can take control of their workload. The theme of the conference was ‘Raising our...

Ideas for ‘Raising our Game’

Ideas for ‘Raising our Game’

In our second post of three reporting on sessions at the ELT Freelancers' Awayday conference held in Oxford in January, David Baker and Fiona MacKenzie share some insights from a survey they recently conducted. The theme of the conference was ‘Raising our Game’, and...

Reconnecting with your inner teacher

Reconnecting with your inner teacher

In this post, James Styring summarises a talk he gave at the ELT Freelancers’ Awayday, an annual conference for editors of ELT materials held in Oxford, UK, on 25 January 2020. The theme of the conference was ‘Raising your Game’, and in the first of three reports from...

Moving away from exams dominance in YL materials: Q & A

Moving away from exams dominance in YL materials: Q & A

In this blog post, Wendy Arnold and Shelagh Rixon answer some of the questions that were raised at the MaWSIG meets YLT SIG webinar, Moving away from exams dominance in YL materials. The webinar was held on 15 November 2019. You can find a recording of the webinar...

MaWSIG in Malta: The Three Es of Materials Writing

MaWSIG in Malta: The Three Es of Materials Writing

In our third post from the Malta ELT conference in October 2019, Aleksandra Popovski discusses the purpose of ELT materials.     In my plenary at the 8th ELT Council Malta Conference, I talked about the purpose of ELT materials, i.e. the three Es of...

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

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...

MaWSIG in Malta:  Where do you get your ideas from?

MaWSIG in Malta: Where do you get your ideas from?

In the first of our mini-series of blog posts from the 8th Malta ELT conference, Rachael Roberts explores where materials writers find inspiration. The Malta ELT conference was held over the weekend of 18–20 October 2019. The author Neil Gaiman once said: Doctors are...

Introducing the Malta MaWSIG mini-series

Introducing the Malta MaWSIG mini-series

Over the weekend of the 18–20 October, two members of the MaWSIG committee, Aleksandra Popovski and Jen Dobson, took part in the 8th ELT Malta conference, where both the Materials Writing SIG (MaWSIG) and the Inclusive Practices and Special Educational Needs SIG...

So many Englishes webinar: Q&A

In this blog post, Karen Spiller follows up on some of the questions that were left unanswered in the Q&A section at the end of the recent joint TESOL Association MWIS and MaWSIG webinar: So many Englishes! What does this mean for writers and publishers? The...

Hidden identities and silenced voices

Hidden identities and silenced voices

Following our customary August break, David Valente kicks off the new blogging season with a thought-provoking reflection on hidden identities and silenced voices in published English materials for primary learners.     If any primary-aged child learning...

Writing in Japan

Writing in Japan

In the third and final blog in our mini-series of posts from ELT writers based in non-Anglophone countries, Marcos Benevides shares his perspective as an EFL teacher, writer and innovator based in Tokyo. As an economically developed nation that invests heavily in...

Writing in Portugal

Writing in Portugal

In the second of our mini-series of posts from ELT writers based in non-Anglophone countries, Vanessa Reis Esteves shares her perspective as an EFL coursebook writer based in Portugal. The Portuguese are generally thought to love football, ‘fado’ (a typical...

Writing in the Middle East

Writing in the Middle East

In the first of a series of posts from ELT writers based in non-Anglophone countries, Gary Pathare lifts the lid on writing for the most elusive of markets. What makes the region unique? The fact that this series of blog posts (about writing in specific regions)...

How to create interactive online tasks

How to create interactive online tasks

The last of our summaries from the MaWSIG Showcase at IATEFL in Liverpool 2019 comes from Jill Hadfield. In this post, Jill outlines the principles behind creating effective and motivating online tasks and proposes a six-step procedure for teachers to follow when...

Integrating soft skills into materials for early years

Integrating soft skills into materials for early years

This week will see the end of our run of summaries from the Forum on Research informing materials writing at the MaWSIG Showcase at IATEFL in Liverpool 2019. In this penultimate post, MaWSIG’s own Jen Dobson explains why soft skills are essential in materials for...

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

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...

Corpus and CLIL: a possible integration?

Corpus and CLIL: a possible integration?

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, Andréa Geroldo dos Santos shares her research findings about the extent to which corpora should be used in the...

Adapting museum education resources for language learning

Adapting museum education resources for language learning

In our third post written by speakers at the MaWSIG Showcase at the annual IATEFL Conference on 4 April in Liverpool, Sylvia Karastathi discusses how we can use museum resources to open new doors in materials development. Within a new communicative landscape where...

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...

What (SLA) principles are reflected in your classroom materials?

What (SLA) principles are reflected in your classroom materials?

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, we shone our spotlight on eight fascinating talks. The first four were part of...

How graded readers are commissioned

How graded readers are commissioned

To end our series of posts covering the MaWSIG-LitSIG joint Pre-Conference Event in Liverpool on 1 April 2019, and following on from yesterday’s blog about how to write graded readers, Andrew Dilger and the OUP ELT design team designed a poster showing how Oxford...

How to write graded readers (a.k.a. Get paid to write fiction)

How to write graded readers (a.k.a. Get paid to write fiction)

For the penultimate post in our series covering the sessions at the MaWSIG-LitSIG joint Pre-Conference Event in Liverpool on 1 April 2019, Christien van Gool has summarised the last talk of the day: Helen Holwill and Nicola Prentis spilling the beans on writing graded...

Five leaves from the books of great writers

Five leaves from the books of great writers

In the seventh of our posts covering the MaWSIG-LitSIG joint Pre-Conference Event Creative Arts and Materials Writing at IATEFL in Liverpool on 1 April 2019, Cheryl Palin shares five highlights from her fascinating talk about taking inspiration from past masters. If...

The art of it all: paintings to inspire your materials

The art of it all: paintings to inspire your materials

In the fifth of our posts covering the MaWSIG-LitSIG joint Pre-Conference Event Creative Arts and Materials Writing in Liverpool on 1 April 2019, Hania Krystyna Bociek discusses the importance of bringing art into the classroom and how she creates materials to make...

Ali and the Long Journey to Australia

Ali and the Long Journey to Australia

To start our second week of blogs covering the MaWSIG-LitSIG joint Pre-Conference Event in Liverpool on 1 April 2019, we’re publishing a poster designed by Michelle Worgan. Michelle was the winner of a competition organised by MaWSIG and GISIG (the Global Issues SIG)....

Teachers Doing It For Themselves

Teachers Doing It For Themselves

In the third of our posts covering the MaWSIG-LitSIG joint Pre-Conference Event in Liverpool on 1 April 2019, Alan Pulverness describes a project that enabled teachers to use literature in classrooms at all levels. BritLit was a British Council project devoted to...

Language BLANK literature: from conjunction to preposition

Language BLANK literature: from conjunction to preposition

In the second of our posts covering the MaWSIG-LitSIG joint Pre-Conference Event in Liverpool on 1 April 2019, David Crystal explains why for him, language and literature are not opposites but in fact two sides of the same coin. For me, the enjoyment and study of...

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

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...

Writing ELT material for learners with dyslexia

Writing ELT material for learners with dyslexia

Awareness of the need to provide materials that cater for students with dyslexia is growing – but how do we do that properly? One size does not fit all, as Jon Hird explains. A longer version of this is going to appear in the ETAS Journal, Summer 2019 special...

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

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...

Taking a leaf out of the books of great writers?

Taking a leaf out of the books of great writers?

Cheryl Palin gives a few clues as to what she’ll be talking about in her Pre-Conference Event talk at IATEFL, 1 April 2019, Liverpool (UK). See who else is talking at the joint MaWSIG-LitSIG Joint PCE here. Tickets are available here. Whose advice will be featured in...

How to Write Graded Readers (a.k.a. Get Paid to Write Fiction)

How to Write Graded Readers (a.k.a. Get Paid to Write Fiction)

Helen Holwill and Nicola Prentis preview their talk How to Write Graded Readers (a.k.a. Get Paid to Write Fiction), which they’ll be giving at the Pre-Conference Event at IATEFL, 1 April 2019, Liverpool (UK). See who else is talking at the MaWSIG–LitSIG Joint...

Creating theater materials for English learners

Creating theater materials for English learners

Alice Savage and Walton Burns give us a taste of what to expect from their Pre-Conference Event talk at IATEFL, 1st April 2019, Liverpool (UK). See who else is talking at the joint MaWSIG-LitSIG PCE here. Tickets are available here. In real life, people do not just...

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

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...

Listening materials: training, not testing

Listening materials: training, not testing

In our first blog of 2019, Sheila Thorn addresses the challenges of writing ELT classroom materials to accompany authentic recordings. I have been writing classroom materials to accompany authentic recordings for most of my ELT career and I am delighted to share some...

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

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...

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

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...

The art of task construction

Following Brian Tomlinson’s recent blog post about principles in materials development, Fiona Aish and Jo Tomlinson (no relation), set out the principles that they follow in designing and creating a task. Of all the myriad things that we teachers do, one is that we...

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

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...

Motivation and the freelance writer/editor

Motivation and the freelance writer/editor

In the third of a series of summer blogposts on the MaWSIG website, we have a post by writer and editor Tania Pattison about staying motivated. It’s almost 4 p.m., and I haven’t done any work yet today. I’m sitting at my computer trying to motivate myself to work on a...

Getting into materials writing

Getting into materials writing

In the second of a series of summer blogposts on the MaWSIG website, and following up on last month’s blogpost ‘Adventures in self-publishing’, teacher and writer Clare Maas outlines some ideas for getting started in writing. At our recent annual conference at Oxford...

Adventures in self-publishing

Adventures in self-publishing

In the first of a series of summer blogposts on the MaWSIG website, teachers Lucy Holmes and Sharlene Matharu describe how they identified and filled a gap in the market. Who are you? Sharlene: We’re both teachers at the Lake School of English in Oxford. I’ve worked...

MaWSIG Pre-Conference Event, IATEFL 2018: Writing for the World

MaWSIG Pre-Conference Event, IATEFL 2018: Writing for the World

At IATEFL in Brighton this year, MaWSIG invited five speakers to talk at our Pre-Conference Event: Writing for the World. Read on for summaries of their talks by Damian Williams, Lizzie Pinard and Julie Moore. The five talks were: Marek Kiczkowiak: ELF and materials...

Should ELT writers refuse to write for certain markets?

Should ELT writers refuse to write for certain markets?

There is now a greater awareness of the need to write for specific groups of learners; this is the theme of the upcoming MaWSIG PCE in Brighton. However, Paul Davies explores here the ethical dilemma writers face when asked to compromise their principles by writing...

Writing for learners with special educational needs

The MaWSIG PCE in Brighton features five talks on Writing for the World. Here, Romulo Neves introduces his talk on materials writing for learners with special educational needs. Writing for the ELT world is such a demanding task, especially if we take into account the...

Can resources meet all learner needs?

Can resources meet all learner needs?

The MaWSIG PCE, to be held on 9 April in Brighton, features five writers speaking on different aspects of Writing for the World. Here, Julie Day previews her talk on materials writing for ESOL classes. More information about the PCE is available here. The ideal of...

Writing as a non-native English speaker in Brazil

Writing as a non-native English speaker in Brazil

In this post, Luiz Otávio Barros shares his experiences of writing ELT coursebooks as a NNES based in Brazil. This blog concludes Part I of our mini-series on writing ELT materials for different markets around the world. We will return with Part II in six months’...

Living and writing in Spain

Living and writing in Spain

Our series on writing ELT materials for different markets around the world now takes us to Spain, where Amanda McLoughlin shares her experiences. I came to Spain almost 20 years ago as a recently qualified and very naïve EFL teacher and settled in the cold and rainy...

Writing ELT materials in Morocco

Writing ELT materials in Morocco

This blog post is the latest in our series of posts on ELT materials writing around the world. Here, ESP writer Moundir Al Amrani looks at the state of ELT materials writing in Morocco. After reading some of the other blog posts about writing ELT materials in...

Germany 1:0 England – ELT Publishing in Deutschland

Germany 1:0 England – ELT Publishing in Deutschland

This post is the second in our series on working in ELT materials development around the world. Here, Clare Maas describes the situation in Germany. In Germany, there are just a couple of key local publishers (e.g. Cornelsen, Klett) who dominate the market alongside...

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

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...

Making the most of distraction

Making the most of distraction

Our last post of the year is by Nick Beare, who discusses the use of distractor activities to help with problem-solving in writing. Most of us feel that getting distracted when we work is not a good thing. A quick search on Google throws up dozens of articles on the...

Pronunciation in coursebooks

In this blog post, Jonathan Marks explores the writing of materials designed to teach pronunciation. Coursebooks are a powerful influence on teachers’ professional awareness and practice – even, perhaps, for a lot of teachers, the most powerful agent of teacher...

And what about the research?

And what about the research?

Our latest blog post is by Penny Ur, who discusses the need for materials writers to pay attention to research on language learning. I’ve just read Katherine Bilsborough’s blog entry ‘ELT materials writing: More on emerging principles’. I really enjoyed it and learned...

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

In this blog post, Jill Florent details her extensive experience of the evolution of ELT publishing – from process to product and working relationships. Manuscripts, typewriters and paste-ups Since my publishing career began in the late 1970s, I’ve seen a lot of...

If you want to write a gamebook … go to paragraph 400

If you want to write a gamebook … go to paragraph 400

When I was seven years old, I came across the most amazing thing. On the cover, it said, ‘A fighting fantasy gamebook in which YOU become the hero!’ It was The Warlock of Firetop Mountain by Ian Livingston and Steve Jackson, a gamebook where you played the role of an...

In my day, things were different! An old buffer* writes …

In my day, things were different! An old buffer* writes …

Our latest blog post is by Ken Wilson, who shares his thoughts on how the ELT materials writing world has changed over the last few decades. The MaWSIG blog features guest posts by members – please get in touch if you would like to write for us. I've been involved in...

Designing undergraduate course materials collaboratively

Designing undergraduate course materials collaboratively

This is the latest of several previews of talks to be given at the upcoming ELTAM−MaWSIG conference in Skopje, Macedonia, on 30 September, 2017. Here, Mira Bekar introduces her talk. For more details about the event, click here. When I heard about the ELTAM−MaWSIG...

Designing teaching materials to confront modern-day slavery

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...

Shortcuts to effective materials writing

Shortcuts to effective materials writing

This is the first of several previews of talks to be given at the upcoming ELTAM−MaWSIG conference in Skopje, Macedonia, on 30 September, 2017. Here, MaWSIG Publications Coordinator James Styring talks to author John Hughes talks about his presentation. For more...

ELT materials writing: More on emerging principles

ELT materials writing: More on emerging principles

Here, Katherine Bilsborough offers new insights on a theme she first discussed on the MaWSIG blog last autumn – the topic of principles for materials writers. The MaWSIG blog features guest posts by members – please get in touch if you would like to write for us....

Schema raising through storytelling and anecdotes

Schema raising through storytelling and anecdotes

Our latest blog post is by Chris Mares, who shares his experiences writing short stories for use in class. The MaWSIG blog features guest posts by members – please get in touch if you would like to write for us.  Throughout my career I have always found there to be a...

The trainee material writer’s perspective

The trainee material writer’s perspective

In the previous blog post, MaWSIG interviewed Jane Spiro about training teachers on the Oxford Brookes MA module in materials development. In this follow-up post, we hear from two teachers who took the course. They talk about their experiences of learning to write...

Training teachers to write materials on an MA TESOL

Training teachers to write materials on an MA TESOL

In this post, John Hughes meets Jane Spiro, a lecturer on the MA TESOL at Oxford Brookes University and TESOL programme leader until 2016. John interviews her about the new module in ELT Materials Development. The MaWSIG blog features guest posts by members – please...

Optimising the author–editor relationship

Optimising the author–editor relationship

This week’s blog post is the second in our series of posts based on talks given at the MaWSIG PCE in Glasgow. Here, Penny Hands shares the results of her research into the relationship between authors and editors. The MaWSIG blog features guest posts by members –...

How to be a lean, mean writing machine

How to be a lean, mean writing machine

The 2017 MaWSIG Pre-Conference Event was held in Glasgow on 3 April. This post, by Daniel Barber, is the first write-up of several talks given in the PCE. Here, Dan talks about the process of writing and describes his experience of working with a coach to increase his...

The story of a reader: 16 years, 5 publishers, 1 book!

The story of a reader: 16 years, 5 publishers, 1 book!

Our latest blog post is by Richard MacAndrew, who urges readers not to lose hope if a project takes a while to find a publisher. The MaWSIG blog features guest posts by members – please get in touch if you would like to write for us.  Seventeen years ago I started...

Writing for a specific sociocultural context

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...

Writing Business English materials to promote gender equality

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...

Writing to promote gender equality

Writing to promote gender equality

This blog post is the first of two pieces on the topic of gender equality in materials writing. Here, Emily Hird discusses the need for awareness of gender issues in materials writing and gives some advice to writers. The MaWSIG blog features guest posts by members –...

Questions from the MaWSIG Meetup in Trier, Germany

Questions from the MaWSIG Meetup in Trier, Germany

Our latest blog post is a piece by Clare Maas, in which she describes the MaWSIG Meetup she hosted in Trier, Germany. The MaWSIG blog features guest posts by members – please get in touch if you would like to write for us. Please also contact us if you are interested...

How not to write … ‘really rotten materials’

How not to write … ‘really rotten materials’

This post is an abridged version of an article by Peter Viney. It first appeared in Modern English Teacher in July 2006 and was subsequently posted on Peter’s own website. It was a reply to an article in MET by Neil McBeath, ‘How to Write Really Rotten Materials’, in...

Meet the panelists

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...

Online event in February

Online event in February

To find out more about the panelists and how to put your questions to them, click here.  

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...

The MaWSIG eBook 2016 is coming soon to all members!

The MaWSIG eBook 2016 is coming soon to all members!

Members will be receiving a copy of our annual eBook compendium in the next few weeks. It brings together 2016’s guest blogs from this website in one smart volume. So you know what to expect, here’s an extract from the foreword to the book by James Styring, our...

Year-end reflections … and a few resolutions to start the New Year

Year-end reflections … and a few resolutions to start the New Year

In this final post of 2016, Tania Pattison reflects on her year as a freelance ELT writer and editor and looks ahead to 2017. The MaWSIG blog features guest posts by members – please get in touch if you would like to write for us.   For those of us who are freelance...

MaWSIG at BESIG on Storify

MaWSIG at BESIG on Storify

Whether you missed the MaWSIG strand at BESIG Munich conference, or you want to relive every moment once again, MaWSIG's events co-ordinator Rachel Daw has compiled every tweet here for you to enjoy:...

Writing teacher resource materials

Writing teacher resource materials

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. John...

How to get started making awesome YouTube videos for your students

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...

Practical writing tips for veterans and novices

Practical writing tips for veterans and novices

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 over the next three weeks. Mandy...

How to write like a lawyer or a marketer

How to write like a lawyer or a marketer

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 over the next three weeks. Jeremy...

Emerging principles for ELT materials writers

In this post, Katherine Bilsborough discusses the need for principles in materials writing and outlines some of her own principles and those of others. The MaWSIG blog features guest posts by members – please get in touch if you would like to write for us. Put your...

A massively different way of writing: making a MOOC

A massively different way of writing: making a MOOC

This post is by Genevieve White, who describes her experience writing a Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC, for the British Council. The MaWSIG blog features guest posts by members – please get in touch if you would like to write for us.  Since setting out as an ELT...

Writing for a regional market

Writing for a regional market

In this post, Canada-based writer Tania Pattison describes her experiences writing an EAP coursebook for a specific regional market. The MaWSIG blog features guest posts by members – please get in touch if you would like to write for us.   Three years ago I received...

The learners that publishers forgot

The learners that publishers forgot

This month Kathryn Aldridge-Morris outlines the specific language-learning needs of refugees and asylum seekers. The MaWSIG blog features guest posts by members – please get in touch if you would like to write for us.  Around June, online ESOL forums start buzzing...

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...

Where to start writing ELT materials

Where to start writing ELT materials

In this post, Moundir Al Amrani, a writer from Morocco and OUP/MaWSIG scholarship winner, shares his thoughts about getting started in materials writing. The MaWSIG blog features guest posts by members – please get in touch if you would like to write for us.  As a...

An authoring tool wishlist

An authoring tool wishlist

This month’s post is by Phil Bird, who imagines the perfect authoring tool for digital content. The MaWSIG blog features guest posts by members – please get in touch if you would like to write for us. An authoring tool wishlist It takes a skilful writer to produce...

Gaga’s grandma and garden clippings – or choosing themes for teens

This month Fiona Mauchline looks at writing for teenagers and the topics they prefer. The MaWSIG blog features guest posts by members – please get in touch if you would like to write for us. You have your new coursebook or project outline, or you want to design...

The voice of the teacher’s notes

The voice of the teacher’s notes

This month we're pleased to publish a second guest post from John Hughes, who looks at ways to help teachers to use your materials. The MaWSIG blog features guest posts by members – please get in touch if you would like to write for us. The voice of the teacher’s...

MaWSIG at BESIG, November 2016

MaWSIG at BESIG, November 2016

This year's BESIG Conference in Munich, Germany, will include a MaWSIG thread. Thank you for all the proposals we have received. The conference runs from Friday 4 November to Sunday 6 November and there will be a Materials Writing workshop or talk during every...