Writing Professional Materials

IH London’s Expert Series on English language teaching enables you to learn from globally-recognised industry experts. These are one week courses that will educate and inspire you.

Sarah Cunningham

Sarah Cunningham

  • Course length: 1 week
  • Dates: 30 July-3 August
  • Times: 09:00-13:00
  • English level required: C1 recommended
  • Fees: £650

Course outline

This course will help you with practical and pedagogic considerations in creating materials that can be shared with other teachers or a wider audience. The input, discussions and tasks will give you practice in how to create materials that engage and challenge the learner and instructions that are clear to a teacher. Feedback will be offered on a task that will be set during the course.

The provisional timetable includes the following areas.

Day 1
  • Scope of the course and general issues in materials writing
    • Who are we writing for? (for own classes; other teachers in own institution/local area etc; self-publishing;  for a publisher)
    • What are characteristics of good/bad materials?
  • Introduction of some of the main practical concerns for materials writers
    • Making materials relevant to learners needs and culturally appropriate
    • Making material engaging (selection, visuals, realia etc)
    • Writing good questions
  • Useful resources (free photo libraries; good sources of texts etc) 
Day 2
  • Writing reading and listening materials
    • Selection and sources of texts, researching and writing your own texts from authentic sources
    • Language work coming out of texts
    • Considerations for digital materials
  • Writing vocabulary materials
    • Principles for vocabulary selection
    • Types of activities and their pros and cons in different contexts
    • Considerations when writing online/self-access vocabulary material
Day 3
  • Writing Grammar materials
    • Considerations in choosing presentation materials
    • Writing grammar boxes and grammar summaries
    • Writing workbook type exercises
    • Considerations for digital materials
  • Writing worksheets and games
Day 4
  • Writing speaking activities
  • Writing writing activities
    • Setting activities up to succeed
    • Staging and rubrics
    • Teacher’s notes
Day 5
  • Presentations from course participants / general discussion about writing for different audiences
  • What to expect if you work with a publisher
  • Self-publishing

Trainer biography

Sarah has worked for over thirty years in ELT and is the author of over 25 books, including the best-selling Cutting Edge series. She has also worked as a teacher, director of studies and teacher trainer in the UK, Greece, Spain, Hungary and Argentina.


Cunningham, S (2016). How to Write Speaking Activities. ELT Teacher 2 Writer.

Cunningham, S. and Moor, P. Cutting Edge (1998) and New Cutting Edge (2005) text book series. Longman and Cutting Edge Third edition, Pearson.

Download and return application form

  • If you are ready to book and pay for this course, please Apply for this Course, below.
  • If you are applying for Erasmus funding, or your school will pay for your course, please use the downloadable application form and task, complete and save it, and return it to infott@ihlondon.com.
  • Once we have received the form we will respond to you within three working days to advise you of the results and discuss the next steps.
  • To book accommodation download our accommodation form.

Book this course

Writing Professional Materials

Course Fee:
Reg Fee:
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Total: £650.00loading