Meet the committee

Aleksandra Popovski Golubovikj, Joint SIG Coordinator

Responsibilities: Working with the MaWSIG team to set and achieve strategic objectives which meet the needs of our members.
Background: A non-published ELT materials writer (yet) and a teacher for 18 years.
Location: Struga, Republic of Macedonia
Why MaWSIG: Has been a member of IATEFL and the national teaching associations for a long time, but this is the first group that completely addresses her professional needs and interests.
Interests: Reading, travelling, writing.
Interesting fact: Rode a bobsled at the 1984 Winter Olympic Games in Sarajevo.

 

LANSFORD small

Lewis Lansford, Strategy and Finance Coordinator

Responsibilities: Budget, expenses, setting up and managing relationships with other organisations, and managing the membership list – with an eye to increasing it.
Background: MA in TESOL, taught at a US university language centre and a Japanese manufacturing company. Editor at Longman Asia ELT 1995–1997, then UK-based freelance editor and project manager. Full-time writer for most of the past decade, also doing some training.
Location: York, UK
Why MaWSIG: Likes the camaraderie of the tribe and the very practical nature of the group’s events. Best job to date came as a direct result of showing up for a MaWSIG event.
Interests: Family life, walking, guitar; took a class on the local indoor climbing wall recently.
Interesting fact: Survived the Great Kobe Earthquake of 17 January 1995, about 25 km from the epicentre; a pretty rough ride.

 

DWilliams small imageDamian Williams, Technology Coordinator

Responsibilities: Providing technological support, helping with the maintenance of the website, managing online documents and hosting webinars. Managing MaWSIG’s presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
Background: Has written for major publishers and worked on Speakout and Cutting Edge, as well as self-publishing books such as How to Pass Delta. Nowadays works on online Delta courses and runs an online group and website related to linguistic landscapes. Has worked in Russia, Indonesia, Brazil and various European countries. 
Location: North London, UK
Why MaWSIG: Working from home as a freelancer can get a bit solitary, and MaWSIG provides a great support network, as well as plenty of opportunities to meet like-minded professionals … and writing work!
Interests: Running marathons, music, cooking and travel (and any combination of those).
Interesting fact: Helped chisel down the Berlin Wall!

 

PUBLICATIONS TEAM

James Styring, Publications Coordinator

Responsibilities: Sourcing and commissioning writers for the blog, planning future MaWSIG publications, working with the Publications Team to ensure the SIG is well represented in IATEFL publications.
Background: After ten years as an ELT editor in-house, became a freelance author in 2004. Has written schoolbook series for OUP and CUP, and won an English-Speaking Union award for a series of interactive-maze reader apps published by Richmond. Teaches ESOL in Oxford and trains teachers everywhere.
Location: Charlbury, a small town in the Cotswold hills, UK
Why MaWSIG:  MaWSIG puts on the best professional development events for ELT editors and writers, bar none. Their speakers manage without fail to nail exactly what editors and writers need to be thinking about next.
Interests: Cycling, gardening, coffee, bicycles, language, travel, ale, music, gigs, and riding bikes!
Interesting fact: Founder and chair for ten years of Cyclox, Oxford’s cycling campaign.

 

Penny Hands, Deputy Publications Coordinator

Responsibilities: Working closely with the Publications Coordinator and the Website Coordinator to produce high-quality publications for MaWSIG.
Background: After five years’ teaching in France and the UK, did a master’s in Applied Linguistics and became an ELT lexicographer. Went freelance in 2000 and now writes and edits coursebooks, reference materials (senior editor for Collins COBUILD) and methodology books.
Location: Melrose, just south of Edinburgh, Scotland.
Why MaWSIG: Has been a member of IATEFL since 1995. Joined MaWSIG when it was set up and never looked back. A great group of supportive, creative and diverse people, all with the shared goal of producing high-quality materials for learners.
Interests: Reading (founding member of local book group), running, Ashtanga yoga, travel.
Interesting fact: Traumatized to this day by every teacher at her secondary school thinking it was hilarious to ask her to turn the lights on and announce to the class: ‘Penny Hands makes light work’.

 

Nick Tims, Website Coordinator

Responsibilities: Managing the websites and working with the MaWSIG team to develop it further.
Background: ELT teacher, teacher trainer, ELT publishing at Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press. Freelance author and trainer since 2004. Has written coursebooks for secondary and adult learners, including Prepare! (CUP), Metro (OUP), English Plus (OUP), face2face (CUP) and is the Series Editor of the Cambridge English Readers.
Location: Hackney, London, UK
Why MaWSIG: Highly relevant to my day-to-day work and an opportunity to be part of a stellar team; it’s a pleasure to be on board!
Interests: Food, cooking, baking bread, poker, politics, football, music, gigs.
Interesting fact: Won a Caribbean Cruise in an online poker game.

 

EVENTS TEAM

Clare Maas, Joint Events Coordinator

Responsibilities: Working with the other Events Coordinators, designing, selecting and planning MaWSIG events.
Background: Been an EAP lecturer for 10 years now, having completed an MA in German & Literary Translation and the Trinity College Dip. TESOL. Before moving to Trier, taught English at two German secondary schools, and English for Specific Purposes at several language academies in the UK and Germany. Co-authored student workbooks published by the German publisher Schroedel and currently writing for the English learners magazine Spotlight, based in Germany.
Location: Trier (Germany’s oldest city, apparently!)
Why MaWSIG:  Plans to move further into writing ELT materials and teaching guides, and MaWSIG seems like the perfect place to find CPD opportunities and relevant contacts.
Interests: Crime fiction, Pilates, making greeting cards, cooking, drinking cocktails!
Interesting fact: An ‘A’ level in Dance and used to teach tap-dancing!

 

Phil Bird, Joint Events Coordinator

Responsibilities: Working with the other Events Coordinators, designing, selecting and planning MaWSIG events.
Background: Freelance writer, editor, trainer, project co-ordinator as well as an ELT producer for BBC Learning English. Taught in Paraguay and Argentina, and then in London for 12 years. Started materials development work for the British Council, before becoming a project co-ordinator for their ESOL Nexus and English My Way projects. Has also worked on materials for OUP, Macmillan, National Geographic Learning, and Hodder Education.
Location: London, UK
Why MaWSIG:  I found networks and teaching associations incredibly useful for developing as a teacher – so I’m glad I’ve found a group that has done the same for me as a writer and editor!
Interests: Family life, gigs, football, running
Interesting fact: Have taught an Olympic athlete and an international footballer.

 

Katherine Bilsborough, Joint Events Coordinator

Responsibilities: Working with the other Events Coordinators, designing, selecting and planning MaWSIG events.
Background: Been working in ELT for 30 years, as a teacher, a trainer and then an author. I’ve written more than 35 books and lots of online materials. My interests include the principles and process of writing, quality in ELT materials and representing the real world whenever the opportunity arises. Regular work includes Lesson Plans for the British Council website TeachingEnglish and blog posts for NGL.
Location: In a tiny village in the mountains in northern Spain (12 inhabitants).
Why MaWSIG:  I’ve been an active member of MaWSIG since its birth. Over the years I’ve had lots of ideas for online and face-to-face events. I thought it was time to put my money where my mouth is.
Interests: Writing, reading, gardening, foraging, walking and a recent return to Yoga.
Interesting fact: One of my first regular writing jobs was the horoscope guide in a local newspaper.

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