Message from the Coordinator (October 2019)

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


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.

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!


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.

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.

Message from the Coordinator (February 2019)

Dear MW SIG Members,

The latest issue of Between the Keys is now online. If you are interested in making a submission for an upcoming issue, please see the Submissions Guidelines and Information on the SIG’s website: How to Submit to Between the Keys

Presentation opportunities

First, we are pleased to announce that we will be co-sponsoring the 2019 OKINAWA JALT Summer Language Teaching Symposium held in Naha from June 21-23. In addition, we will be sponsoring Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto as a featured speaker. The conference committee is currently accepting proposals for poster presentations, short presentations, and workshops. The deadline for submissions is March 15, so submit your proposals soon.  For more details about the symposium, please visit the conference website and check out the advertisement on the final page of this issue of Between the Keys.

Second, many of you are probably already aware of the theme for JALT 2019: Teacher Efficacy, Learner Agency. The former involves a collective vision for and confidence in student progress. The latter entails allowing students to take charge of their own learning. These two concepts should inform the process of creating teaching materials, but how?

We would love to hear our SIG members’ take on these issues in our SIG Forum at JALT 2019. We especially welcome contributions that relate to topics such as: collaboration in creating materials, materials that encourage students to take ownership of their learning, materials that promote critical thinking, fostering a mindset of efficacy in teachers through materials, involving students in creating materials, involving other teachers in creating materials, understanding the needs and goals of local schools and publishers, etc.

All SIG members are welcome to participate. This is a great opportunity to share your knowledge and work with a wider audience and gain valuable presenting experience. If you are interested in participating in the Forum, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by April 1.

Call for reviews (from the Language Teacher)

The Language Teacher is always looking for people to submit book reviews, and she thought that many of our SIG members might be interested in that. In addition, if any of our SIG members have published materials and would like to submit them for review, they can do that by contacting Julie Kimura. The contact information is listed in The Language Teacher as follows:

Email for submitting book reviews (column editors: Robert Taferner & Stephen Case): This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website regarding TLT book reviews:

Email for inquiries regarding available books to review or submitting books for review: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Address for submitting materials for review:

Julie Kimura
School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences,Mukogawa Women's University, 11-68 Koshien
Kyuban-cho, Nishinomiya, Hyogo 663-8179,



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