12. Some thoughts on coursebook writing


Some thoughts on coursebook writing

After evaluating English Unlimited B1 on thursday, we were lucky enough to have one of the authors, Theresa Clementson, come into the session for a bit of a Q&A.

A few brief thoughts about some of what we talked about:

  • Writing a course book sounds a bit like making a theatre show – all those re-writes and negotiations, but also creative inspiration coming from one’s own interests.  It was really nice to hear how Theresa had selected and interviewed certain people for one of her books because she was interested in those people.  This relates back to an earlier post about where lessons come from.
  • I was shocked – and disappointed – that the principles for course book writing depend on the publishers and writers.  No mention of teachers or learners here.  I guess that’s the nature of business.
  • Theresa’s top principle for writing a course book: it should be interesting. Hear hear!
  • I asked Theresa where she stood on the role of intuition in materials design.  She referred to ‘Blink’, a book by Malcolm Gladwell, about how we think without thinking.  She explained that in a very short time someone can pick up on heaps of stuff – making a split second analysis of something in a way that seems to be intuitive.  But that intuition is based on previous experience or knowledge, a point I make in an earlier post.

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