The Empire Strikes Back [+recordings]

This year, IATEFL2020NE, finally happened albeit in a different format than the first two iterations were expected. As all speakers, we proposed these talks by September 2019, expecting we’d all come together in Manchester in April 2020 for the usual conference.

Pandemic. Delayed to Harrogate in March 2021.
Pandemic. Delayed again to Harrogate in June 2021.
Pandemic again. Switched to Hopin online platform in June 2021.

I’d say this talk feels like The Empire Strikes Back part of a trilogy of talks on the topic of representation, inclusion, equity, all the terms. I don’t mean that there’s an evil intergalactic area making a comeback from the brink of destruction from A New Hope. Well, not exactly. But I do suspect it won’t be the last talk at IATEFL I do on the topic, so expect a Return of the Jedi adventure in the future. Moving away from the Star Wars references, a lot happened between the proposal of this talk and actually giving it at the Materials Writing Special Interest Group Showcase Day, for all of us.

How to Write Inclusive Materials book cover

One: I started writing a book, which really has its roots in the 2019 talk.
Two: Pandemic. Everything except preserving my mental health got sidelined for a while.
Three: Online everything, which I’ll go out on a limb by saying is getting old.
Four: I learned so much about my own LGBTQIA2 community and from my broader community of folx, who are AMAZING. Oh, also about writing for a publisher too. I learned a lot about that too.
Five: Unexpected family tragedy. Long story short, I lost motivation for everything and had to really make a concerted effort to keep going by realising that everything still has value.
Six: I finished this book, How to Write Inclusive Materials, and its publication coincidentally coincided with #Pride2021🏳️‍🌈 month and IATEFL2021. Seriously, it was not planned this way.

So a lot happened and we’re all pretty different than when our talks were conceived, but I’m glad they’ve finally happened. Now we can move on.

I decided to rerecord my talk since the conference so I could be a bit more chill about timing. So here it is for anyone interested, broken into a few chapters. If you go my Youtube channel itself, I’ve also put them together as a playlist or you can watch the entire talk in one go here. 🥰 Thank you for being a part of our journey here together as we make ELT materials more representative of who we and our learners are and value these identities. It can’t stop with us alone though (more on that in Chapter 4 below)…

Chapter 1 💚 Introduction and usualisation [14 mins]

Chapter 2 💙 An explanation of a more disruptive approach [13 mins]

Chapter 3 💗 Applying a disruptive approach to lower level materials [9 mins]

Chapter 4 🤎 Applying a disruptive approach to higher level materials & conclusion [17 mins]

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