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.
Jen Dobson, 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: 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).
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.
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.
Responsibilities: Working with Nick to manage the websites and develop it further.
Background: ELT teacher, teacher trainer, director of studies. Full-time freelance author and trainer since 2021, with some writing around her full-time job before. 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.
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!
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.