Dear MWIS Members:
First, for those of you who did, thank you for participating in the recent MWIS election. I appreciate your participation and confidence. Last week, the leadership team met to discuss the "State of the IS," covering what had been done over the past year, immediate needs and established some goals for move forward with greater strength. Several key goals were: 1) Collective Leadership, 2) Empowered Membership, and 3) Fill Empty Leadership Roles.
This message seeks you! As we move towards collective leadership and empowered membership, we need voices to give us direction and individuals willing to help carry us forward. We are looking for:
1: Co-Editor, Newsletter – the newsletter publishes up to 14 items bi-annually. New co-editors will shadow the current co-editor this year and take the reigns in 2022-2023.
We have discussed two ways to empower members through organizational and institutional intersections. It may be possible to have leaders take on these roles, i.e., innovative individuals looking for a platform to reach out to organizations and institutions to think about their needs and relationships with materials developers and materials development. We want to host webinars, panels, etc., that explore these relationships.
Of most immediate concern, the 2022 TESOL convention! MWIS will offer Academic and Intersection panel sessions. MWIS has agreed to collaborate with ICIS at an intersection on OER content adaptation (you will have seen that call). Soon you will see calls for the following panels:
Currently, we are diving into see which area garners interest. We encourage you to submit your ideas ASAP! To participate, you must be a TESOL (membership fee) and MWIS (free) member.
Lastly, this MWIS is for you and thrives to the degree that you empower us to serve you. If you have ideas, suggestions, comments – please do not keep these to yourself or only confide in your friends about what you would like to see done! Act! Use your fingers to join the discussion, let us know; do it sooner than later. Let us hear your voice. Otherwise, we are forced to move forward blindly and ineffectively. Come forward and speak (write) boldly. MWIS is for you!
All the best – we look forward to hearing from you!
MWIS Leadership - C/O Alex Monceaux, MWIS Chair
Academic Session Topics
How Does Research Guide Materials Development
Richards (2006) wrote in Materials Development and Research-Making the Connection that "In the field of applied linguistics, the activities involved in developing instructional materials and those working in second language research and the more theoretical areas of applied linguistics are often seen to have little connection.." Tomlinson (2012), suggests in Materials development for language learning and teaching that "in the last forty years materials development has progressed dramatically, both as an academic field and as a practical undertaking. We are now much more aware of the principles and procedures of materials development that are most likely to facilitate language acquisition and development and are much better at actually developing effective materials." He points to four gaps in the literature:
These are just a few questions that seek to understand how materials developers integrate research in their processes; if you are confronting other challenges or addressing other questions, we are interested in reviewing those as well.
If you would be interested in presenting on the Academic Session Panel on this topic, we invite you to send a proposal for a 20-minute presentation by June 18, 2021. Your proposal should contain:
You can submit your proposal through this Google form.
Social Emotional Learning in ELT Materials
Social Emotional Learning (SEL), the process through which we develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions, and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions, is an integral part of education and human development. The inclusion of SEL in educational contexts has proven to affect both social emotional competencies and academic performance positively.
TESOL Materials Writers Interest Section (MWIS) is looking for materials writers, editors, and publishers who can share with TESOL conference participants critical ways in which elements of SEL are included in ELT materials. Additionally, we welcome teachers who have experience incorporating SEL in their ESL/EFL classroom and can share how such materials support their students' social, emotional, and academic development.
If you would be interested in presenting on the Academic Session Panel, on this topic, we invite you to send a proposal for a 20-minute presentation by June 18, 2021. Your proposal should contain:
Including Practical Resource Evaluation in Student Workbooks
Getting students, especially those from different countries with different rules and cultural standards on plagiarism, to understand the importance of quality source integration and evaluation is a key challenge, such as academic writing skills. In addition, copyright, translation, and a host of other issues can get in the way of using sources effectively in the ESL and general classroom environment. Having practical resource evaluation standards is an important goal that requires a variety of approaches.
Multiple topical ideas (questions to answer)
Thanks for the update and Call for Participation,and thank you so much for sharing: Tomlinson's review and ideas you refer to are impressive. E.g. his speaking of the importance of "localized" adaptation of materials; or HIS notion of 'authentic texts' (very interesting!), as well as a study he mentions, of different ESL teachers' attitudes to teaching materials "perpetuating cultural stereotypes" (and to whether or not to use such materials).
By the way, that study illustrates, in particular, the difficulty of research on long-term effects of materials; or, as Tomlinson himself puts it: "How, for example, can you claim that it was a particular … book which was responsible for a measured long-term outcome and not the quality of the teaching, the rapport between teacher and class …" / the teacher's personality and teaching style," etc.
Well, what I personally liked most of all is Tomlinson's description of his favourite "text-driven approach, in which an engaging text drives a unit of materials … to activate the learners' minds in relation to the text." And I agree with him again, literature is certainly a fantastic source of such "engaging texts".
Hope the article will help some of us to better develop materials, and some of MWIS members to prepare their proposals for the Academic Session Panel.
Thanks for your post and Call for Participation!
Best regards,Lala Sadykhova, PhDMoscow, Russia
------------------------------Lala SadykhovaRussian Federation------------------------------
------------------------------Lala SadykhovaRussian FederationOriginal Message:Sent: 15-06-2021 12:32 PMFrom: Alex MonceauxSubject: MWIS Update & Call for Participation
Thanks for your reply; and, yes, I'm sure we might give more FEEDBACK (whether article exchanges, as you say, or … just responding to what other members post here, in myTESOL Lounge, and IS-s!); that could really help "develop better materials better".
I would add: to better understand what we mean, writing our materials - or writing to each other, as, I'm afraid, 'to overlook is human'.
That's why I want to clarify some points too. To begin with, what I mentioned "concerning the importance of "localized" adaptation of materials, 'authentic texts' …, and teachers' attitudes to teaching materials that perpetuate cultural stereotypes" was actually my tribute to Tomlinson's review.
Next, as you "…wonder to what extent we are seeking materials to teach over materials as the common connecting point to leap into knowledge and understanding from?", I would not see these (materials to teach, and materials as the 'point to leap into knowledge') as opposed at all: making the materials to teach is to build scaffolding for LLs to develop their understanding. In practice, I don't think that a good teacher, who is inevitably a materials maker as well (even if not writing, but always adapting texts to and in contexts), seeks "the immediate … to best connect with a particular learner set" at a cost of materials quality; 'the particular' necessitates varied (particular) scaffolding rather than something just "immediate" for the sake of the best connection with 'the particular'. In grounded theory, it should be even more so than in practice, since as researchers we have more time and resources to consider potential variety of the target audience(s).
OK, meaning a really GOOD teacher, and a really GROUNDED theory. So, responding to your question, there's plenty of place for research in this.
By the way, if you have a close look at that citation from Tomlinson's which I gave, he seems to put more emphasis, while writing on long-term effects of materials, on quality of materials in themselves ("and not the quality of the teaching, the rapport … , the teacher's personality and teaching style") rather than meant 'the long-term' as opposed to 'the immediate'; though, again, one (quality), here, includes another (longevity).
And now, to the last point I want to clarify: certainly, it is not, as you wrote: " just "literature" that can exist as "fantastic, engaging texts"… ": I'm afraid you misread what I had written.
It was: "I agree with Tomlinson: "literature is certainly a fantastic source of such "engaging texts"." Again, any good teacher/ materials writer precisely adapts literary texts (not necessarily simplifying them, like in grader readers, but taking some fragments, omitting, etc. – it depends on the LL's level and needs; to sum up, in context).
So, thanks again for your reply; and I also hope the exchange can help!
Lala Sadykhova, PhD