An A to Z

of writing

ELT materials

T is for Time

T is for Time

Materials writers notoriously complain about their lack of time. Of course, time is not something that affects only writers, but learning to manage your time as a writer can be particularly challenging when trying to complete material on time (for a publisher) or in...

D is for Digital

D is for Digital

For language teaching writers, when it comes to writing content for digital materials, many of the same rules apply. You want to create materials which will present and practise language and also engage and motivate learners. In addition, teachers will look for...

A is for Artwork brief

A is for Artwork brief

Another kind of brief When we talk about briefs, we usually talk about the ones a writer gets from a publisher, outlining exactly what’s needed so that everyone is on the same page. You can read more that kind of brief in B is for Brief. But there is another kind of...

V is for Video Exercises

V is for Video Exercises

This is the first of two posts about video. The first is looking at the exercise types we write for existing videos and the second will look at writing video scripts. Once we have either chosen the video we want to work with (perhaps something on YouTube) or a video...

E is for Editor

E is for Editor

The first thing to know about an editor is this: you need one! Of course if you are writing materials for your own learners, you don’t need to engage the services of a professional editor, but it is a good idea to ask someone else to look over your work and help you...

B is for Business English

B is for Business English

BESIG Every year, the Business English Special Interest Group (BESIG) of IATEFL organizes its conference. I've attended many of them over the last 30 years and I'm looking forward to the event in Stuttgart on November 2nd. It's a chance to share ideas and see where...

R is for Rubric

R is for Rubric

Definitions Let’s start with some clarification about the term ‘rubric’. In the world of exams and assessment, the term ‘rubric’ can mean the set of instructions at the beginning of an exam paper, or it can refer to the written criteria which you use to assess the...

V is for voice

V is for voice

Finding your voice Some years ago, in a conversation with the ELT author Ceri Jones, Ceri referred to the ‘voice’ of her materials. She stressed the need to establish the right kind of ‘voice’ (or ‘tone’) when writing instructions (also called ‘rubrics’). For example,...

H is for Homework

H is for Homework

Do ELT writers write homework tasks? Yes! Sometimes we do, especially for Young Learners and teenagers. Some publishers or Ministries of Education produce a Homework booklet. Sometimes they are accessed online. In some cases homework is part of a conscious effort to...