I was just going over the presentation used for the MAWSIG & ELTTeacher2Writer session on writing excellent ELT materials at BESIG annual conference in Munich and found some useful advice for materials writers, sourced from the modules/ebooks published by ELTTeacher2Writer. Note that I’ve listed these suggestions in the order that they appeared in the presentation.
- Use project management techniques such as Gantt charts to plan and present course design to clients (Evan Frendo: How to write corporate training materials)
- Break a task into small, more manageable tasks with opportunities for intermittent feedback (Rachael Roberts: How to write writing activities).
- Scaffold instruction by providing verbal cues and prompts to help learners (Rachel Roberts: How to write writing activities)
- Divide handouts into sections with clearly labelled sub-headings such as discussion, keywords, information sharing, expressions, comprehension check etc. (Karen: Richardson: How to write worksheets)
- Ensure instructions for activities aren’t more complex than the target language (Philip Kerr: How to write vocabulary presentations and practice)
- Separate activity instructions from information for setting up the activity and discussion questions (Sarah Cunningham: How to write speaking activities)
- Write options for multiple choice questions that are consistent in length and style, plausible, not too obviously right or wrong and not repeat or contradict one another (Sue Kay)
- Test for opinions and intention, not just specific information in multiple choice questions (Sue Kay)
- Get to know the digital activity types that are available in the platform you’re using: multiple choice, multiple answer, matrix sorting, select in the blank etc. (Jeremy Day & Peter Sharma: How to write for digital media)
- Be careful about screen size issues – computer screens vs. mobile phones (Jeremy Day & Peter Sharma: How to write for digital media)
I’ll be posting a review of Evan Frendo’s How to write corporate training materials soon.