Meet the Committee
Heather Buchanan, SIG Coordinator
Responsibilities: Working with the MaWSIG team to set and achieve strategic objectives which meet the needs of our members
Background: Taught English in France, Japan and the UK before becoming a teacher trainer (CELTA and later, Delta). Now teaches on an MA TESOL course and is DoS for Postgraduate Studies at the University of York. Co-author of Navigate B1+ and various other materials writing projects, and co-editor of the Routledge Handbook of Materials Development for Language Teaching (forthcoming!).
Location: Leeds, UK
Why MaWSIG: It’s a natural fit because of my interest in materials, but it’s the fantastic community of inspiring, creative people that keeps me coming back to MaWSIG.
Interests: Reading, baking, knitting, dog walking by the sea, wine and cocktails!
Interesting fact: Met my best friend Julie Norton when we were 3, and we are now both MaWSIG members and co-editors
Luis Carabantes, Publications Coordinator
Penny Hands, Editor
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’
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!
Niki Joseph, Joint Events Coordinator
Responsibilities: Working with the Events team to provide members with fantastic events.
Background: Over three decades in the ELT industry as a teacher, teacher trainer, DOS, language school owner and examiner. Currently works as published full-time materials writer and online teacher trainer.
Location: Regional New South Wales, Australia
Why MaWSIG: Been a member of IATEFL for many years. MaWSIG addresses my needs at the moment as a materials writer.
Interests: Horse riding, yoga, fiction, sandy beaches, discovering new musicians, all things Portuguese especially food, and sewing.
Interesting fact: Had a temping job in London as a tea lady before vending machines replaced these jobs
Jen Dobson, Joint Social Media 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: Mainly specialising in early years and young learners, has written for major publishers, including co-authoring level one of Mouse and Me! for Oxford University Press. Particularly fond of story writing, has ambitions to one day co-write a trade picture book with her artist daughter. Worked as an IT coordinator for a language school.
Location: Córdoba, Spain
Why MaWSIG: Always been involved with teacher associations whilst working in teaching and teacher training. MaWSIG gives the opportunity to work with, and learn from like-minded professionals in the world of materials creation.
Interests: Gardening, cooking, swimming, and dancing
Interesting fact: Was once an unemployed bullfighter (a clerical error)
Shilpa Pulapaka, Joint Social Media Coordinator
Location – West Malling, Kent (working in London)
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
Sandy Millin, Deputy Website Coordinator
Responsibilities: Working with Nick to manage the website and develop it further.
Background: Freelance ELT consultant, author and trainer since 2021. Self-published author, as well as having done bits of writing and feedback on materials for Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, National Geographic and Richmond ELT.
Location: Reading, UK
Why MaWSIG: I’ve watched it grow since it first started, and attended many of the PCEs. I’ve always learnt so much from them, and now it’s time to give something back by joining the committee.
Interests: Reading, baking, films, podcasts, learning languages, and taking my first steps in gardening
Interesting fact: My first teaching was volunteering in a school in the jungle in Borneo.
Join the committee
We don’t currently have any vacancies on our committee.
If you’d still like to volunteer for IATEFL, why not take a look at the Current calls for volunteers?
As a member of MAWSiG, it’s a place to feel part of the community of writers. As a committee member, it was a chance to support that community.
Past committee members
Ceri Jones, Publications Coordinator
Responsibilities: Working closely with the Deputy Publications Coordinator and the Website Coordinator to produce high-quality publications for MaWSIG.
Background: Started teaching in Italy in 1986. Wrote first published materials in 1994. After ten years’ teaching in Italy and the UK, did a master’s in Applied Linguistics and moved to Spain. Went freelance in 2006 and now juggles teaching, training (especially online) and materials writing.
Location: Cádiz, just north of the southernmost tip of continental Europe, Spain
Why MaWSIG: Joined MaWSIG when it was set up and loves the great community of supportive, like-minded people.
Interests: Beaches, good food and great conversation
Interesting fact: Holds a record for running the mile at a meeting which was only ever held once, and with no other runners in the race
If you’re a previous committee member, and would like to be added here, please contact us.
John Hughes, Deputy Publications Coordinator
Responsibilities: I worked with the Publications Coordinator, the Website Coordinator and other committee members to produce publications for MaWSIG. I introduced and developed the ‘Resource’ page of the website.
Background: I started teaching 30 years ago and published my first book in 2003. Over time I moved from an ELT management and training position into full-time writing. My main course series include ‘Business Result’ with Oxford and, ‘Life’ with National Geographic Learning. I also train teachers to write materials with www.writingeltmaterials.com.
Location: The UK
Why MaWSIG: I joined MaWSIG for its conferences and networking opportunities.
Interests: In the past, mainly theatre, but more recently I’ve started sailing and scuba-diving.
Interesting fact: I had the job of looking after Mrs Thatcher’s puppet for the TV company Spitting Image in the late eighties.