MWIS Newsletter

MWIS News, Volume 17:1 (March 2004)

by User Not Found | 10/27/2011
In This Issue...

From the Chair
From the Cochairs Elect
Survey on the Author/Development Editor Relationship
About This Member Community

From the Chair

By Irene Schoenberg,

Happy 2004 to all of you!

Looking out my window in New York City at chunks of ice floating down the Hudson River, and knowing there's a wind chill factor of 0 outside, makes the thought of the TESOL convention in Long Beach, California, very appealing. With a name like Soaring Far, Catching Dreams, this year's convention is sure to be uplifting and inspiring.

I hope your work is going well and you are planning to be with us in Long Beach. The convention can be overwhelming, but the chance to reconnect with colleagues and friends and to be stimulated by new ideas can be priceless.

I'd like to thank all of you who volunteered to help the MWIS this year. In particular, thanks to Lynn Stafford-Yilmaz for her skillful management of the electronic list and to all of you who have contributed to it. We have had some lively and fascinating postings. I'm one of those silent readers who enjoy the postings but have not yet written. Thanks, too, to Debbie Lazarus for her fine work on the newsletter, which has continued even though she has relocated from the United States to Costa Rica and started a school. We really owe her a lot.

Deborah Gordon and Susan Iannuzzi have taken on their roles as cochair-elects with dedication and adeptness. We are truly lucky to have them as leaders.

I urge all of you to attend the Business Meeting, Wednesday, March 31, 5-7 pm. It will be in the Long Beach Convention Center in Room 202C. And I hope to see you at the Annual Reception, cosponsored this year by the Video Interest Section, on Friday, April 2 from 6 to 8 pm in Promenade C of the convention center.

The Business Meeting is the time to bring up any concerns or suggestions you have about the MWIS or the convention. Attendees will elect new officers and discuss the option of holding future elections electronically.

The convention also provides a chance to connect the faces with the names of authors you see at the publishers' booths.

Take a look at the program planner for this year at You can do an advanced search and find all the MWIS sessions and discussion groups. Unfortunately, because we were very limited in the number of slots, some very deserving submissions were not accepted this year. If you were one of the people whose proposal was rejected, I encourage you to resubmit next year. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing you in Long Beach.


Irene Schoenberg

From the Cochairs Elect

By Deborah Gordon,, and Susan Iannuzzi,

We have organized what we are sure will be two very enlightening sessions at TESOL's 2004 convention. The topic for the academic session is sociocultural theory and what we as materials writers can learn from it. It is titled "How Sociocultural Theory Can Inform Materials Writers." The panel includes Donald Freeman and Kathleen Graves, both from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont; Steven McCafferty from the University of Nevada in Las Vegas; Eduardo Negueruela from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst; and Aida Walqui, the director of WestEd, in San Francisco, California. The session will open with an explanation of sociocultural theory, which will be followed by the different presenters' interests in this area. The academic session is Wednesday, March 31, 2-4:45 pm, in Ballroom C of the Hyatt Regency. Mark your calendars.

In addition to the academic session, we have organized a session on controversial issues in materials writing with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Friends (LGBTF) Caucus. This session started out as an InterSection; but it evolved into a spotlight session after being noticed by the convention chair and organizers, who felt the topic was of importance to the entire TESOL community. It is titled "Confronting Controversial Issues in Materials Writing." The panelists include Martha Clark Cummings from Teachers College in Tokyo, Japan; H. Douglas Brown from San Francisco State University in California; Maurice Hauck from ETS in Princeton, New Jersey; and Carol Numrich from Columbia University in New York, New York. This session, which should be very stimulating and thought provoking, is Thursday, April 1, 2-3:45 pm, in Hyatt Regency Ballroom C. Some of you might want to invite your editors to attend! :)

The MWIS has fulfilled its quota of 12 discussion groups for this year's convention. As always, the topics sound extremely useful and interesting, and they range from becoming an author to developing materials for teaching in the current post-Iraq-war climate. All but one of our discussion groups meets in the morning this year, so be ready for some early morning wake-ups. Come with your morning coffee, ideas to share, and questions to be discussed. To view MWIS sessions, please visit

There are 23 MWIS sessions of one type or another on the schedule. These include a colloquium, two workshops, a demonstration, and various papers and discussion groups. See you there!

Survey on the Author/Development Editor Relationship

MWIS member Linda Butler is going to be part of a panel at a session called "Building a Positive Author/Developmental Editor Relationship," Wednesday March 31, 3-4:45 pm, in the Hyatt Beacon Ballroom B. She will talk about this relationship from the perspective of an author or writer-for-hire.

Linda has surveyed some of her writer-friends to learn about their experiences working with developmental editors, but she would like to hear from more people, especially authors from outside the United States. Please take a moment to complete Linda's survey (see below) so that she can gather information from as wide a circle as possible. Copy and paste the completed survey into an e-mail and send to

Survey on the Author/Developmental Editor (DE) Relationship
  1. Have you worked with a DE as
    1. an author
    2. a writer-for-hire
    3. both (If you answer "both," is there a difference? Please explain.)
  2. 2. Have you worked with
    1. in-house DEs
    2. freelance DEs
    3. both (If you answer "both," is there a difference? Please explain.)
  3. How would you describe a good experience with a DE? What are the keys to a good working relationship?
  4. What can go wrong? What problems have you experienced?
  5. Have you ever worked as a DE?
About This Member Community Materials Writers Interest Section (MWIS)

MWIS serves as a forum to exchange professional, noncommercial issues and concerns that relate to the writing, editing, and production of instructional materials in ESL/EFL. A regular newsletter, and conference participation, workshops, demonstrations, and papers have served as the means for the exchange. Under consideration are other possible activities: an award for outstanding contribution to materials preparation, and a clearinghouse to link up new writers, publishers, and regional affiliates.

MWIS Leaders 2003-2004

Chair: Irene Schoenberg,
Cochair Elect: Deborah Gordon,
Cochair Elect: Susan Iannuzzi,
Newsletter Editor: Deborah Lazarus-Yarzagaray,

Discussion E-List: Visit to subscribe to MWIS-L, the discussion list for MWIS members, or visit if already a subscriber.

More Resources:
  • President's Message: April/May 1998
  • MWIS Newsletter Volume 16, Issue 2: June 2003
  • MWIS Newsletter Volume 16, Issue 3: August 2003
  • President's Message: December 2002/January/February 2003
  • Frequently Asked Questions About TESOL Publications