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.

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Meet MaWSIG webinars: From general to specific – Materials for EAP vocabulary teaching

In this post, MaWSIG Joint Events Coordinator Clare Maas follows up on some of the questions that were raised in the Q&A session at her Meet MaWSIG webinar. The recording of the webinar is available here. The first few minutes of my talk are not included in the recording, so I’ll summarise my introduction briefly before […]

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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 to those groups in society who are often treated unfairly, in order to […]

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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. I’d considered putting myself forward on a […]

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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 external distractions there are. Particularly at the moment […]

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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 researching professional groups (including IATEFL SIGs) […]

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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 David and Fiona look at three ways in which freelance editors […]

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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 materials writing: to engage, educate, and empower learners through materials.  […]

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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 (IP&SEN SIG) held strands.  It was a fabulous event, very efficiently and effectively […]

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IATEFL MaWSIG PCE 2020 – Practical tools and tricks of the trade: sharing our expertise

We are delighted to announce our line-up of expert authors, syllabus-creators, designers and editors for the 2020 pre-conference event at IATEFL in Manchester. We’ve organised a day packed with practical advice from experts in all areas of ELT materials writing. There really is something for everyone.    Most materials writers, whether new or experienced, writing […]

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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 webinar was co-presented by Karen Spiller and Sherrise Roehr […]

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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 creating their own online activities. The changing landscape of ELT means that many […]

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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 design of CLIL materials.

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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 falls in a forest and no one is around to hear […]

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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). The brief was to create classroom materials in a poster format to […]

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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 Leo Selivan’s webinar, or any of the other webinars by Brian Tomlinson, Vicky Saumell, Prof. […]

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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 for the last webinar in the series: on Sunday 10 February at 14.00 GMT Leo […]

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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 of my hard-won knowledge with MaWSIG members.

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The ‘What about …’ webinars Q&A: Henning Rossa and Karoline Wirbatz

In this post, Henning Rossa and Karoline Wirbatz follow up on some of the questions that participants asked during their recent webinar, What about creating CLIL materials? You can watch a recording of their webinar here. In their answers, Henning and Karoline discuss the focus of CLIL assessment in Germany, adapting authentic materials using the ‘4S’ approach, and the teaching […]

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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 to a wealth of resources for those keen to learn more about the areas touched on in her webinar.

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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 are constantly creating tasks – and perhaps now more than ever. […]

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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 relevant, even if you missed the webinar itself. The full list of upcoming MaWSIG webinars […]

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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 project that I’m not the […]

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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 Brookes University, we held break-away discussions on materials writing challenges and opportunities. […]

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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 north. Eventually, through knowing the right people (which […]

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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 problem of distraction. According to […]

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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 training. Faced with the day-to-day demands of their work, teachers understandably tend to rely on […]

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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 from it. If you haven’t read it yet, do so! I’d like […]

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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 to the Global Slavery Index 2016 report, 45.8 million people are enslaved in […]

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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 details about the event, click here. Like many teachers, John learned to write classroom […]

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Upcoming webinar: How to publish your own materials − from writing to publishing to marketing

In this post, Nik Peachey introduces his upcoming webinar with MaWSIG. I had been thinking about writing a book for years. A few times I put together proposals for books and expectantly sent them off to publishers, only to be disappointed. Even more times I started to write my book and then just lost momentum […]

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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 – please get in touch if you would like […]

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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 productivity. The MaWSIG blog features guest posts […]

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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 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) is harder to quantify, but it is no less impactful. However, finding suitable materials […]

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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 found. The MaWSIG blog features guest posts by members – please get in touch if you would like to […]

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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 – please get in touch if you would like to write […]

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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 which Neil complained about the process […]

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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 for the past 20 years and has been involved […]

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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 professional 10.00 Introduction and Opening Daniel Barber: How to become a lean, mean writing machine I wasn’t always such a staggeringly prolific […]

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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: https://storify.com/racheldaw18/mawsig-at-besig-4th-6th-november-2016  

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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 Rebuffet-Broadus is speaking at the BESIG Munich conference on Sunday 6th at 9.30. YouTube is […]

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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 welcome news that a coursebook I had proposed to […]

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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 with requests for advice about teaching materials for September, and the same frustrations […]

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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 the development and implementation of educational materials. We are looking for volunteers to join an Advisory Board of teachers […]

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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 novice ELT materials writer who has experienced confusion about […]

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