Deep down, and not so deep down, many teachers want to be writers. At my school, many of us say that one of the most satisfying parts of our job is writing materials and designing curriculum. Whenever there is an opportunity to develop a new skills course, there is always competition to get selected for the development team. When it comes to selecting materials and writing lessons around them, we rely upon our experience as classroom teachers to guide us.
Until recently, I wasn’t aware of much support or guidance for teachers who want to become better materials writers. Fortunately, I’ve discovered a wonderful series of teacher training modules published by ELT Teacher 2 Writer. The approximately 20 titles in the series are created by experienced professionals in a variety of specializations (How to Write EAP Materials, How to Write Business English, How to Write Grammar Presentations and Practice, etc.).
I started with How ELT Publishing Works by Sue Aitchison. Frankly, I had no idea about how a course book comes together or how an aspiring writer could access the world of ELT publishing. The book gives an insider’s insight into the industry, including how to make contact with a publisher, what to expect when you get a contract, pitfalls to avoid and how to get paid.
Next was How to Write Graded Readers by Sue Leather (one of my CELTA tutors, yay Sue!) This training module also gives advice on how to approach a publisher. It has an excellent chapter on writing skills, in which she discusses character, dialogue, conflict, etc.
I’ve loaded my e-reader up with several more, thanks to a recent sale. These training modules are available at Smashwords and Amazon.
Teachers who are interested in writing should visit ELT Teacher 2 Writer’s website at http://www.eltteacher2writer.co.uk.