Meet the committee

Rachael Roberts, SIG Coordinator

Responsibilities: Working with the MaWSIG team to set and achieve strategic objectives which meet the needs of our members.
Background: ELT teacher, teacher trainer and author. Has taught in Portugal, Brazil and Poland, plus 10 years teaching and training at an FE College in the UK. Has written coursebooks for Macmillan and Pearson and is currently working on a new series for OUP.
Location: Leamington Spa, UK
Why MaWSIG: Has felt for a long time that it would be great for writers to have more opportunities to get together and share stuff, and that newer writers needed more support and training.
Interests: Training to be a t’ai chi teacher – tries to practise every day.
Interesting fact: Was going to teach for just a year before doing an MA in Theatre Directing, but kept going and eventually did an MA in ELT instead. 


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.
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.
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.

Karen white_small Karen White, Social Media Coordinator

Responsibilities: Managing MaWSIG’s presence on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Background: Freelance ELT editorial project manager, editor, trainer, and one third of ELT Teacher 2 Writer. Taught for six years, got into materials writing in Turkey, worked for several publishers, including over eight years at Macmillan, becoming Publishing Manager.
Location: A small village in Wiltshire, UK
Why MaWSIG: Working life is related to ELT materials writing, so MaWSIG an obvious choice. Finds social media fascinating – sharing relevant information, getting an immediate response on opinion, or showing what’s happening right now.
Interests: Powerwalking and keeping fit. Films – has a ten-seater cinema in her garage with tiered seating and surround sound.
Interesting fact: Been online social networking for some time – met her husband online in 2001. 

DWilliams small imageDamian Williams, Technology Coordinator

Responsibilities: Providing technological support, helping with the maintenance of the website, managing online documents and hosting webinars.
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!


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.

Tania PattisonTania Pattison, Deputy Publications Coordinator

Responsibilities: Editing blog posts and other MaWSIG communications. Working with the Publications team to plan future publications.
Background: Freelance since 2012 after several years as curriculum coordinator of a Canadian EAP program. Now divides her time between ELT materials development and academic editing/proofreading, with the occasional EAP teaching and teacher-training contract in the mix. Author of Critical Reading (Pearson Canada); editor of IATEFL Conference Selections.
Location: Peterborough, Canada (near Toronto)
Why MaWSIG: Living in a small town outside the UK can be isolating; MaWSIG provides a community—a source of information and PD, and a great way to meet other writers and editors.
Interests: Her family, reading, travelling (country most recently visited: Kazakhstan; next one: Ireland).
Interesting fact: Used to live in Gangnam – long before it was made famous by the song.

John Hughes, Website Coordinator

Responsibilities: Working with the MaWSIG team to manage the SIG website.
Background: ELT teacher, teacher trainer and author. Has taught in Poland, Italy, Austria, the UK and the USA. Has written numerous ELT books including two major course series: Business Result (Oxford University Press) and Life (National Geographic Learning). He is also author and series editor for the award-winning ETpedia resource books, including ETpedia Materials Writing.
Location: Buckinghamshire, UK
Why MaWSIG: Is involved in offering training to teachers who are new to materials writing and sees MaWSIG as a great way for them to learn from those with experience – so often recommends it to new writers.
Interests: Learning to play the drums and currently directing a play.
Interesting fact: In the late eighties, worked on the satirical TV puppet show ‘Spitting Image’ as a runner and a minder to the Mrs Thatcher puppet.


Aleksandra Popovski Golubovikj, Joint Events Coordinator

Responsibilities: Working with the other Events Coordinators, designing, selecting and planning MaWSIG events.
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.

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
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.


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