Dear MW-SIG members,

I hope that the autumn semester is going well for you. It’s just a few days until the JALT International Conference. To help you decide which presentations to attend, here is a list of the MW SIG events and presentations that will be given by SIG members. Attached is the latest issue of Between the Keys (compressed e-mail format). A higher quality version will be posted on the website when the site is updated after the conference.

Hope to see you all in Nagoya!

Best wishes,
Adam Murray
MW-SIG Coordinator

SIG EVENTS

Sunday
11:45 AM – 1:15 PM 1104 (MW-SIG Forum)
Collaboration in Materials Writing – Lindsay Wells, Walter Davies, Simon Fraser, Mayumi Hamada, Takahiro Imakado, Richard Walker
As materials creators, much of our work is collaborative in nature. Collaboration enriches our work and is often necessary in order to turn our ideas into concrete materials. However, it can be difficult for collaborators to find a common vision, meld different skill sets and working styles, and come to an agreement on various details. In this year's forum, panelists with backgrounds in publishing, writing, and research will share their experiences and give valuable advice.

Sunday
1:30 PM – 1:55 PM 905 (Meeting)
Materials Writers SIG Annual General Meeting
At this meeting, we will elect new officers, report on our activities over the previous year, and discuss ongoing SIG matters. Please plan to attend the AGM – we need your support! If you are considering becoming more active in your SIG, this is the perfect opportunity!

PRESENTATIONS BY MW SIG MEMBERS

Saturday
12:45 – 1:10 PM 1009 (Short Presentation)
Learner Use of Photo Editing Software in Classes – Marcus Grandon
Learners often use photo editing software to create multimedia projects in language classrooms. Yet little is understood about learner attitudes toward such software or ways in which such lessons unfold. This presentation explores both of these areas through a classroom research project that uncovers emergent themes from the use of photo editing software in CLIL-based university courses. Results demonstrate elements of learner agency and teacher efficacy through the remixing of images.

3:15 PM – 4:45 PM 1002 (Poster)
Independent Publishing Guide – John Carle
Participants can talk to independent textbook writer and publisher, John Carle, writing under the pen name, Jon Charles. Topics include initial concepts, desktop publishing, images, audio, Creative Commons, ISBNs, editing, printing, websites, advertising, sales, and distribution. The presenter will share advice on what to do and what to avoid, and the benefits and the downsides of being an independent writer and publisher. To view the website, search: The English Gym Japan.

3:15 PM – 4:45 PM 1002 (Poster)
Self-Publishing a Textbook: Reflections and Advice – Stephen Paton
After spending months single-handedly producing a 72-page textbook for my university speaking classes, I created a list of five things I was glad to have done right from the outset, and five things I wish I'd anticipated before starting. The poster will give first-hand advice on how to plan, write, and design a textbook for self-publishing, and hopefully be of help to any teachers who are considering embarking on such an undertaking themselves.

4:25 PM – 4:50 PM 1106 (Short Presentation)
Engaging the World From the English Classroom – Junko Chujo
This study presents an in-class project which developed Japanese university English learners' willingness to communicate. Students selected one edible foreign item as representative of a nation and conducted poster presentations to share their mini-research findings with peers. Based on the results of each survey item, this study analyzes why one simple project had such a positive influence on learners' affective variables and describes the design and development of the project.

5:35 PM – 6:35 PM 1106 (Workshop)
A Practical Approach to Textbook Writing – Andrew Bennett
When writing a textbook, the goal is to create a course that facilitates an effective and enjoyable learning experience. Careful planning, writing, and editing are all important stages in the process. This workshop will cover the core elements of the textbook writing process, using real-world examples and lessons learned from 25 years in the field. The workshop's aim is to provide helpful tips and strategies for new and experienced authors.

Sunday
3:25 PM – 3:50 PM 1203 (Short Workshop)
Changes in Japanese EFL Conversation Book Topics – Diane Nagatomo
The grammatical and lexical level of EFL students in Japan today is generally lower than in the past, but study content has become meatier. Previous conversation books included topics dealing mainly with student life from an American perspective (e.g. dating, watching movies). Topics are now shifting to include diverse global issues. This presentation will introduce a new topic-based conversation book that will help low-level college students practice the basics while engaging in critical thinking.

Dear MW SIG Members,

The last issue of Between the Keys has been emailed to you and is available on the website. If you are interested in making a submission for an upcoming issue, please see the Submissions Guidelines and Information on the SIG’s website: http://materialswriters.org/joomla/index.php/publications 

Presentation opportunity

Plans for the MW SIG Forum for JALT2018 are already underway. This year’s conference theme is “Diversity and Inclusion”. In alignment with this theme, the forum will be titled Diversity and Inclusion in Teaching Materials. The description is here:

Diversity is becoming an increasingly important issue in today’s society. It is therefore in our students’ best interests for us to include a wider range of voices in our teaching materials. In this interactive forum hosted by the Materials Writers SIG, a panel of writers will share how they incorporate diverse voices and related topics into the teaching materials that they create. Both theoretical approaches and practical considerations will be discussed.

 If you are interested in joining the forum, please contact Lindsay Wells (Our Program Chair) at < wells @ meijiro . ac . jp > by February 9th.

Professional Development (PD) opportunity

iTDi Scholarships

In collaboration with the International Teacher Development Institute (iTDi), the MW SIG is offering 10 scholarships ($69 value) to current members of the SIG for an upcoming course titled “Creating an ELF-Aware Classroom with Katy Simpson” starting February 4th. For more details, see http://itdi.pro/itdihome/advanced-skills/creating-elf-aware-classroom-katy-simpson/

Upon completion of the course, we will ask each of the scholarship recipients to write a short report about their experience. The scholarships are first come, first served, so don’t hesitate! Send me a message < murraysensei @ g mail . com >

Call for guest blog post (From IATEFL MW SIG)

The IATEFL Materials Writing Special Interest Group would like to invite you to contribute a post to our regular blog spot at https://mawsig.iatefl.org/. We are commissioning a series of blog posts about the current state of play in ELT materials writing in various locations around the world. Quite a few writers based in the UK have talked recently on our blog page about trends that seem unfavourable to writers, but we are aware that the writer’s lot varies widely in other regions.

We’d LOVE to hear YOUR take on what’s going down in the world of ELT materials publishing in Japan. Would you be interested in writing something for us? If so, would you be able to send us something by the end of January?In terms of a brief, we used to send out a page of guidelines but I’m not sure it was ever that helpful. Instead, why not read the first in the series written by Tania Pattison about her experiences as a writer in Canada to get an idea of what other people are saying. You can see a preview here https://mawsig.iatefl.org/?p=4213&preview=1&_ppp=e00a075ccc. We are looking for 300–1,000 words and are really interested in reading about your own experiences as a writer in Japan. There’s no need to talk about rates of pay or terms (royalty vs fee), it’s more of a general flavour we are after. We also ask bloggers to send a short bio, and a hi-res head and shoulders photo. We would like to include your post in our annual e-book compendium and hi res works best for this.

 

Until next time,
Adam Murray
SIG Coordinator