Taking ELT Materials to Task: A Template Process for Effective Materials Development 

Overview

Instructors are frequently faced with the challenge of adapting, differentiating, and expanding on ELT textbooks to meet their learners’ needs, manage the classroom setting, and cope with technology (or the lack thereof). Providing instructors with flexible task templates, planning checklists, and rubrics increases their ability to address these challenges. These tools scaffold the materials development process, allowing instructors—at all levels of experience—to create the materials they need.

In this workshop, you will engage in a series of collaborative tasks, beginning with the analysis of typical classroom materials and culminating in the creation and presentation of materials using the workshop tools and templates. Along the way, you will have opportunities to work with visuals and design elements, implement differentiation strategies (including using digital tools) and reflect on the issues of authenticity and complexity.

Workshop Outcomes

You will 
  • analyze the underlying principles of different task types in ELT materials  
  • recognize and evaluate the role of tasks in a variety of skill-building contexts (LSRW, grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation) 
  • explore strategies for differentiating task-based materials based on learners’ proficiencies and interests
  • identify no-tech to low-tech to high-tech variations for tasks  
  • assess the role of visuals and design elements in materials development
  • use a variety of tools to assess the complexity of reading and listening passages
  • work with checklists and rubrics to plan effective materials
  • use ready-made templates to adapt or create ELT materials 
  • begin developing templates and tools specific to your programs’ needs 

About this Workshop Leader

Jayme Adelson-Goldstein is an educational consultant specializing in teacher education and materials development. At Lighthearted Learning, she facilitates face-to-face and online workshops for ESOL instructors worldwide. She is also a frequent presenter at TESOL and TESOL-affiliate conferences.  

Adelson-Goldstein is currently developing projects for the CALPRO--California Adult Literacy Professional Development Project, ACE of Florida, and the American Institutes for Research. She is also an online instructor in the TESOL Core Certificate Program.  

During her more than 30 years in the field, she has developed a variety of well-received ELT materials including the Virtual Workroom for Multilevel Teachers (CALPRO); Navigating the Community Toolkit (ACE); the video series, Putting English to Work (Los Angeles Unified School District); Step Forward: Language for Everyday Life (Oxford); and the Oxford Picture Dictionary program. She is also the editor of the Materials Writers’ Interest Section newsletter for TESOL.