Harnessing the power of visual design
Cameron Romney
Sponsored by Materials Writers SIG

Making great teaching materials is not only about the content but also how it is presented. Research has shown that visual design influences both student comprehension and motivation. This workshop will offer some visual design best practices to improve student learning, and demonstrate how they can be applied to materials using word processing software. Participants are encouraged to bring copies of their own materials and/or their laptop to practice with.

November 21, 2015 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

The Student’s Voice in EFL Materials Smiley, Jim - Tohoku Bunka Gakuen University; Barker, David - Gifu University; Campbell-Larsen, John - Kyoto Women’s University; Cook, Melodie - University of Niigata Prefecture; Wiltshier, John - Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University

Textbooks are models of language for students, yet they often fail to represent the likely future voices. The native speaker model carries with it implications of accent, modes of delivery, and cultural assumptions. Cook will speak on gender issues in EFL textbooks; Barker on how L1 and C1 interferes with L2 and C2. Smiley on systemic functional linguistics to assess naturalness; Campbell-Larsen on pragmatics; and Wiltshier on writers’ struggles with editors.

November 22, 2015 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Materials Writers SIG AGM
The MW SIG AGM will discuss the operations of our SIG. The meeting comprises officer reports for 2014-2015, the election of officers for the coming year, programs for 2016, our Best of JALT nomination for 2015, our publication, Between the Keys, and other points of business. This is the chance to become more involved in the running of the SIG. We always welcome new talent into the organisation. Please come along to have your voice heard.

November 22, 2015 12:45 PM - 1:30 PM

Creating Learner-Focused Materials Johnathan Lynch
Teachers create a wide range of materials, from one-page supplementary activities, to whole courses made from original content. Despite our best efforts, situations arise where self-made materials do not live up to expectations. In this workshop, the presenter will argue that a lack of learner focus in materials may be a cause of such problems. Practical ways to make learner-focused materials will be explained by means of a worksheet based on a “Christmas Songs” theme.

November 22, 2015 2:55 PM - 3:20 PM

Towards Systematic Materials Design with ADDIE Cameron Romney
Researchers have suggested that ELT materials should be created in a more systematic way. This presentation will propose a systematic creation process by introducing an Instructional Design model called ADDIE (Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate) and how it can be applied to the creation of ELT materials. Participants should come away with a better understanding of the challenges facing ELT materials writers and how Instructional Design models can be applied to meet those challenges.

November 22, 2015 2:55 PM - 3:55 PM

The Myths and Realities of EFL Publishing in Japan Todd Jay Leonard
What is more focused on the learner than the course textbook? Nearly every teacher has an EFL textbook they would like to write. This presentation outlines the “ins” and “outs” of what the current publishing market in Japan is looking for in EFL textbooks. The presenter has published extensively within the EFL market in Japan and will offer helpful advice to budding authors who wish to pursue projects geared to Japan’s domestic market.

November 22, 2015 5:50 PM - 6:15 PM


Our line-up for the 2014 JALT International Conference in Tsukuba

The MW-SIG has a wonderful programme lined up for the National Conference in Tsukuba this year. We are delighted to be sponsoring a featured speaker in conjunction with Macmillian and IPI.

UPDATE: Schedule for the Conference

Miles' 'Writing for ELT': Sat 22 at 13:20-14:20 in room 102
AGM: Sat 22nd at 15:35-16:35 in room 303.
Forum: Sun 23rd at 12:25-13:55 in room 301
Miles' Workshop: Sun 16:30-18:00 in room 101
Hope to see you all there.


Miles Craven is a world-renowned speaker and author of many international textbooks. For us, he will give two presentations. The first, "Writing for ELT: Nuts and bolts", describes the process of turning an idea into a finished product? Many writers have great ideas, but when they put their thoughts onto the page, the final result can be less than satisfactory. The workshop will look at the process of ELT textbook writing, overviewing all the stages involved in taking an initial concept through to a handover manuscript.

Miles' second event, "Skills and Strategies in ELT materials" argues for a stronger emphasis on skills and strategies in our writing.

Besides these, we also present our regular forum. This year on the topic of "Digital Technologies’ Impact on Materials Writers", five speakers from various segments of the industry will discuss key points in a field that is already changing the way writers approach their work and will undoubtedly give rise to many more controversies and disputes.

Writers are represented by Miles Craven. The publishing side gives us speakers from Macmillian, Darren Halliday, from ABAX, Hugh Graham-Marr, Perceptia, Paul Lewis. Dave Dolan is an expert in digitalisation of EFL books and will give us insights into the technical processes involved.

Finally, the MW-SIG board would like to encourage all members to attend our AGM. There we will discuss our plans for the future. Come along and get on board with a highly active and energetic team.