BBELT 2022

Beyond Teaching. How to Grow in ELT Outside the Classroom.

Thanks to everyone who came to my presentation at BBELT 2022. As promised, here is the information about how to start out in materials writing and teacher training.

Firstly, here is a link to the Power Point presentation.

And here is some of the practical information I shared:

How can I get into materials writing?

Start by creating more original materials for your own classes. Some publishers may ask to see example of your work if they are looking for writers to contribute to a coursebook.

To help you to write better materials, you can do some reading and research – there is a whole series of ebooks, written by some very experienced materials writers, which I have found very interesting. I think you can buy the physical books on Amazon as well, but I have paid to download some of them to my computer.

If you want to make a bigger investment, then there are also online courses on materials writing. I haven’t taken a formal online course because of the experience I had with materials design both an a trainee and as a trainer on the Trinity Cert and the Trinity diploma. But if you are doing the Trinity diploma or the DELTA or an MA then there is usually the option to focus on materials design. Aside from this NILE offers an online training course in the areas of materials design.

Share your materials with other teachers in your school. Ask them to give you constructive feedback on how they work. Take it a step further and join some teacher networks on social media. If you share your materials online then make sure to ask teachers to attribute the materials to you if they use them.

Send your CV to publishers and let them know you are a teacher who would like to move into materials writing. Being a writer doesn’t necessarily mean you have to create a whole coursebook. Publishers often need people to do smaller jobs such as online worksheets for a coursebook series that already exists, a workbook or other smaller components of a coursebook series. Often you will start off by writing these smaller components, and as you get better known, you may be asked to do more components.

How can I get into teacher training?

There’s really no formal teacher training qualification you can do to become a Trinity Cert or a CELTA trainer – mostly it involves observing existing tutors. But you can find some “train the trainer” courses online again with Nile:

And also with IH:

Start by offering to share your experience and ideas more informally within your school. Also, you don’t have to be an incredibly experienced teacher to get involved in teacher training – often more experienced teachers also benefit from ideas from new teachers with fresh ideas.

If you are a more experienced teacher, then you can offer to mentor a new teacher. This could involve observing their classes and giving them feedback, helping them to plan lessons, or just being available for a chat every now and again to help them with any problems they have.

Write some teacher training articles for your own blog, or to submit to a journal or website.

Once you have some experience with teacher training, you may want to investigate the possibility of online teacher training. I took the British Council E-moderators Essentials course in order to be an e-moderator on their online courses. You can contact the British Council to find out more information about this course:

Good luck everyone!