The Materials Writers SIG (MW SIG) is a mutual assistance network. It was established for the purpose of helping members to turn fresh teaching ideas into useful classroom materials. We can help with information regarding copyright law, sharing practical advice on publishing practices, including self-publication, and suggesting ways to create better language learning materials for general consumption or for individual classroom use.
Although our name implies a focus on written materials such as textbooks, we are aware that the nature of classroom materials has been changing over the course of the years. Therefore, creators of all types of materials including websites, video, audio, and pictures or illustrations are all welcome to join us as well.
Between the Keys (BtK) welcomes submissions in English on all topics related to the development of pedagogic materials. Between the Keys is distributed online in PDF format 3 times a year; spring, fall, and winter. Our online archives date back to 2001 (Volume 9, Issue 3). We invite any person with something to say about materials writing to submit articles of the following types:
- research articles for vetting team inclusion (between 2000-4000 words)
- research articles (between 1500-3000 words). Longer articles may be divided into sections and published in subsequent issues.
- perspective/opinion pieces (up to 1500 words)
- book reviews (up to 1000 words)
- annotated bibliographies (up to 1000 words, but this can vary depending on the number of inclusions)
- short summaries/reviews of journal articles (up to 1000 words)
- responses to BtK articles descriptions/reviews of websites related to pedagogic materials development (up to 1000 words)
- letters to the editor (up to 500 words)
- My Share-type articles showing materials in use (See My Share Template and Example)
- interviews with materials-related writers, publishers, academics (up to 1500 words)
- reviews of materials-related technology for upcoming issues (up to 1000 words)
The MW SIG’s main events are our annual forums at the JALT International and PanSIG conferences. The theme and format of these forums have varied from event to event, but always touch on some aspect of materials creation. The contents are typically a mix of practical and theoretical information.
Our membership includes teachers and creators with a wide range of experience, so we aim to look at each topic from a variety of angles, giving both seasoned veterans in the field and newer voices a chance to share their work and expertise. Although anyone may join a forum panel, preference is given to MW SIG members. Of course, all are more than welcome to attend.
Recently, we co-sponsored the Okinawa JALT 2019 Summer Language Teaching Symposium with the Okinawa Chapter and the Performance in Education (formerly Speech, Drama and Debate) SIG. We were pleased to be able to sponsor Barbara Hoskins-Sakamato as one of the featured speakers. We intend to be involved with the 2020 symposium.
We are currently finalizing our next issue of Between the Keys and are actively seeking contributions for upcoming issues. We are also planning a forum for the PanSIG conference in Niigata. If you have an idea for an article to contribute, or would like to participate in our PanSIG forum, please contact us at the address listed below.
For more information regarding events, membership, volunteering, or contributing to Between the Keys, please send inquiries to email@example.com.
Outgoing Editor’s Note: I’d like to thank the TLT, especially my co-editor Robert Morel, for all the support and fun you have shown me in my stay as SIG Focus column co-editor. I have enjoyed my time showcasing JALT’s SIGs to you the readers. I will surely use all the knowledge I have gained to further my future goals. I wish Robert and his new co-editor Satchie Haga, as well as the entire TLT team, continued success. – Joel Laurier