I’ve written a variety of ELT materials from simple supplementary activities to a complete coursebook. I’ve written materials for general English, exams, vocabulary and grammar, and EAP, as lead author, co-author and frequently ‘behind-the-scenes’ as an anonymous contributor.

Vocabulary: Words are my first love and I always jump at the chance to work on vocabulary-focused materials. I co-authored ETpedia Vocabulary, a resource book for teachers with 500 tips for teaching vocabulary, published by Pavilion in 2019.  Read more about the experience of delving into my accumulated wordy knowledge here. I’ve written vocabulary practice resources such as Timesaver: IELTS Vocabulary (Scholastic, 2016), Work on Your Idioms and Work on Your Phrasal Verbs (Collins, 2021), and compiled vocabulary sections for numerous students books and workbooks.

EAP: I was lucky enough to experience an overlap between two of my favourite areas, EAP and vocabulary, when I was involved in planning and developing the Oxford Academic Vocabulary Practice titles, published in 2017. I helped to outline the syllabus, draw up word lists and develop the format. I wrote the upper-intermediate book and co-authored the lower-intermediate book with Richard Storton. Perhaps one of my most ambitous writing projects, in 2013, Oxford EAP Advanced was published – an EAP coursebook I co-authored with Edward de Chazal.  I also put together How to Write EAP Materials for the ELT Teacher To Writer series, which explores what writing effective EAP materials involves. The ebook is available via Amazon and Smashwords and the print book can also be found on Amazon.

Specialist consulting: As well as writing classroom materials, my specialist knowledge and experience have led to varied consulting roles. Through my work with the ELT dictionaries team at OUP, I wrote a position paper, published in 2020, describing the updated Oxford 3000 and Oxford 5000 word lists. The paper explains the rationale and research behind the lists and sets out how they can be used by syllabus designers, materials writers and teachers to provide a basis for a research-based approach to vocabulary teaching. You can access the paper here. I went on to write a shorter, focus paper in 2022 on using learner’s dictionaries in ELT; available here. I’ve also provided specialist input  for different publishers including expert reviewing, a topic I wrote about here.

Research & writing overlap: As part of my work using the Cambridge Learner Corpus, I researched and wrote Common Mistakes at Proficiency and Common Mistakes at IELTS Advanced (CUP). I regularly contribute sections on avoiding common errors to various Cambridge titles. Recent contributions have included writing English for Spanish Speakers (ESS) sections for the Complete series of exam preparation books. These 24-32-page sections include work on areas of grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation that are typically problematic for Spanish learners. I also compiled usage notes and practice activities for several levels of the Global English series of coursebooks for international schools. (See also corpus research)

I also write regular articles and blogs posts including on my own blog (lexicoblog), for the OUP Global blog, the Collins ELT blog, and for publications such as Modern English Teacher.

My involvement in writing content includes:

  • Focus on Learner’s Dictionaries (OUP, 2022) – focus paper
  • Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language workbook (Collins, 2022) – 25-page section focusing on synonyms
  • Work on Your Idioms and Work on Your Phrasal Verbs (Collins, 2021) – researching and writing updates for the second edition, including substantial new content
  • Oxford Discover Futures (OUP, 2021) – writing workshop sections of students’ books for levels 5 and 6
  • Global English (CUP, 2021) – corpus-informed notes & activities for workbooks at several levels
  • IELTS Common Mistakes for bands 6.0-7.0 (2e, CUP, 2020)
  • Oxford 3000 & Oxford 5000: The Most Important Words to Learn in English (OUP, 2020) – position paper
  • ETpedia Vocabulary (Pavilion, 2019) – co-author
  • Grammar 360° (OUP, 2019) – vocabulary practice material as part of a grammar and vocabulary title for Italian schools
  • Complete First for Schools 2e ESS edition (CUP, 2019) – 32-page ESS section
  • Complete Preliminary 2e ESS edition (CUP, 2019) – 32-page ESS section
  • Complete Key for Schools 2e ESS edition (CUP, 2019) – 24-page ESS section
  • C21: English for the 21st Century (Garnet, 2019) – downloadable academic skills materials to accompany the course
  • How to Write Excellent ELT Materials: The ESP Series (ELT T2W, 2017)
  • Timesaver for Exams: IELTS Starter Reading (Scholastic, 2017)
  • Oxford Academic Vocabulary Practice upper-intermediate (OUP, 2017)
  • Oxford Academic Vocabulary Practice lower-intermediate (OUP, 2017)
  • Timesaver for Exams: IELTS Vocabulary (Scholastic, 2016)
  • Navigate advanced workbook (OUP, 2016)
  • Insight advanced (OUP, 2015) – vocabulary pages
  • First Result & First Masterclass study companions (OUP, 2014) – vocabulary activities
  • How to Write EAP Materials ebook (ELT T2W, 2014)
  • Oxford EAP advanced (OUP, 2013)
  • Oxford EAP advanced, teacher’s book (OUP, 2013)
  • Global pre-intermediate workbook (Macmillan, 2010)
  • Global elementary (Macmillan) – accompanying tests
  • New Inside Out (Macmillan, 2008) – CD-ROM practice materials for several levels
  • Common Mistakes at IELTS Advanced (CUP, 2007)
  • Common Mistakes at Proficiency (CUP, 2005)
  • common error notes and activities for various Cambridge English titles (see corpus research section)