Hello everyone. Welcome to the first issue of Between the Keys for 2016. This time around, it really was a team effort and many of the officers and members were involved in the proofing, editing, and publication process. As always, if you have an idea for an article, please feel free to contact the MW SIG via our web-site and discuss your ideas with us.

The 2016 PanSIG in Okinawa is just around the corner and to kick off the festivities, we worked hard to get this issue out so we hope you enjoy it. In addition to the Coordinator’s Column and the Program Chair’s Column, we have two wonderful articles.

Our first article is a “teaser” from Marcos Benevides and previews his upcoming presentation at the PanSIG in Okinawa. In it he discusses an alternative to generalized grammar syllabi, one with which the instructor and students focus on a theme, and through that theme, encounter and address grammar forms. In this way, content is allowed to remain in a more natural state, allowing materials writers and instructors to avoide that frustrating feeling one gets when they realize they are de-authenticating some lovely content for the sake of addressing forms.

The second article, by Geoffry Hinton, is the first installment of his philosophical approach to materials writing for a neo-liberal arts program. In it, he describes how he takes ideas from classical philosophy in light of newer translations, puts these concepts into models, and adapts the models to meet the needs of his students and teaching. From these models he has developed materials that have generated a good deal of success for his classroom practice and, for us, demonstrates how a sound philosophical foundation can go a long way in the creation of materials.

In addition to the wonderful articles in this issue, we already have a few lined up for our next issue! We will also be starting a new regular interview column that will include interviews with some of the biggest names in the commercial and academic publishing industry here in Japan. Until then, happy materials writing!