Authoring language materials

Until recently, language materials have been noticeable on Yacapaca only by their absense. I have had correspondence recently with a few teachers who are starting to write materials – particularly quizzes and short-text tests. I thought it would interesting to look at just how the subject is developing. Here are the authoring groups currently named for languages. Only some are public, i.e. appearing in the Author Groups lists and available to join:

Language Public Total
Spanish 3 6
French 0 3
German 0 1
Russian 1 1
MFL (gen) 1 2
Latin 1 4

Of these, only the Latin and Russian groups have any significant resources in them as yet. The others have a smattering of questions and perhaps a couple of short-texts. Experience shows that most of these fizzle, but some will fly. The ones that succeed are those that gain critical mass early on their lives, usually driven by the energy of a single author, and then broaden out to develop their own creative community.

So, if you are thinking of writing MFL resources, what is your best strategy for long-term success? Start your own author group and risk duplicating the effort of others? Or join in one that is already going, but if so, which? Here is my recommendation:

  1. Join all the authoring groups for your language.
  2. Write to the group moderator (you can do this as a group member) and ask about their plans. If you get a positive and energetic response, make that group your “authoring home”. If not, leave the group and move on.
  3. If all that fails, start your own authoring group. Make it public and publicise it with a nice colophon and well-written explanation of what it’s about. Engage with anyone who joins (or applies to join if it is ‘Moderated’ type) and let your enthusiasm infect them. But don’t kid yourself; it won’t take off until you have written a good stack of initial content.


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2 responses to “Authoring language materials”

  1. authoring language materials

    Have you any intention of including Italian on the list please?
    As a MFL tutor for adult lerning do you think my contributions would be apprpriate?

  2. Barbara, your contribution would be entirely appropriate, and I would love to have some Italian material to put up there. The only reason any category is missing from the list is lack of decent material to put in it. If you were to start an Italian authoring group, you would probably find several other teachers wanting to join it and help create some amazing resources!

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