Dear MW-SIG Members,

It seems that we’ve survived rainy season and the summer weather has finally arrived. In this brief message, I’d like to keep everyone informed on the happenings of your SIG. The Between the Keys team is hard at work on the next issue. Expect to receive it in your in-box sometime next month. Of course, we are always looking for quality submissions. If you or one of your colleagues have something of interest, please don’t hesitate to contact us. One of the biggest changes is open access to every issue of BtK from the current issue 24(1) back to 9(3) – way back in 2001!

Contents of this message:
1. JALT2016
2. Links/Articles of Interest

1. JALT2016
Although JALT2016 (November 25 – 28) feels to be in the distant future, now is the time start thinking about your accommodation and transportation arrangements. It is now possible to make your hotel bookings with JALT’s official travel agent.

Greg Goodmacher, our Program Chair has organized an exciting SIG Forum, “Materials Writers Forum: Writing & Publishing” on Sunday, November 27 from 1:05 PM to 2:35 PM in Room 1208.

An important SIG-related event at the conference is the SIG’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) which will be held on Sunday, November 27 from 11:35 AM to 12:20 PM in Room 1208. Please try to make time to attend this important meeting. It not only gives you a rare opportunity to see/meet other SIG members face-to-face, but it also helps with the planning of SIG activities for the upcoming year.

Speaking of meeting up with SIG members, I would really like to organize a SIG social event sometime during the conference. I’d really appreciate it if a Nagoya-savvy member would contact me (off list) about possible locations for a get-together.

Finally, if you know of events that would be of interest to everyone (including and most importantly, your presentations), please send me an email with the details. I’d be more than happy to share them in these email messages!

2. Links/Articles of Interest
A short article by Fiona Mauchline about choosing topics for textbooks intended for teenagers. It would be great if we could collect similar information from Japanese young people!

An article by Veronika Moiseenko about learner-created materials. She shares five activities which she used with various levels of university students.

I hope that the end of the semester goes smoothly for everyone!

Yours in service,
Adam Murray

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!