Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Uneasy lies the head that wears the throne

Notes from the word face

Well, here's the promised 'sitrep' as they say in all the best TV dramas (the ones with guns in, not pubs).

I've been in a bit of a quandary – no, more; make that a quindary – about which of the ELTons categories to aim for. There are several:
  • Excellence in course innovation
  • Innovation in learner resources
  • Innovation in teacher resources
  • Digital innovation
  • Local innovation
We also invite applications for The Macmillan Education Award for New Talent in Writing which is open to aspiring ELT authors who are yet to publish any of their work
I can rule out the 'course' one, and the 'local' one. (Can't claim to be that sure what 'local innovation' is actually. But I'm pretty sure I'm not doing it... Although... I am in a place, which seems to me to be a fairly crucial criterion.)

That leaves 3 from the main list, plus the New Talent one. I felt fairly confident of qualifying as New Talent when I was at least a practising teacher (and quite new to the profession), when I applied this time 2 years ago. Now, with a year's worth of writing under my belt and a Kindle offering out there, I wasn't so sure.

I would have liked to enter for the 'Digital Innovation' one. A year ago I had plans for some kind of mobile app, and  had even started a course in the necessary iPad/Android stuff. But my elbow was jogged by an early reviewer of V1.0, who tweeted a link and started a response that – while not exactly viral – at least persuaded me to down tools on the app. front, start this blog, and get #WVGTbook writtten.

That leaves 'learner/teacher resources'. I like to think I'm doing something for learners, but review comments have concentrated on #WVGTbook as a tool for non-native teachers of EFL/ESOL.

Then I thought (we are talking quite a few dark nights of the soul) that between the appearance of V5.0 (end Oct 2013) and the ELTon submission date (22 Nov) I'd prepare the Kindle book for hardcopy. So, in the [what I thought was the] end, the plan was to submit a hardcopy version for the 'Innovation in teacher resources'.

But the process of conversion was (is) not straightforward.  I realized last week that even with the most sympathetic of following winds I couldn't make the deadline. So I reverted to the idea of submitting the Kindle version, for the Macmillan Award. I thought this might mean having to take the Kindle version off the market. But as I've only sold half a dozen, the fact that it's racked up nearly 900 free downloads (presumably some readers have downloaded 4 or 5 times, but still...) Macmillan tell me I still qualify.

So V5.1 is still out there [now it's V<next>+n: Go to my author page for a link to the latest.] I'll be entering the Kindle version for the Macmillan award, and hoping they find it different enough from what they've already seen in my ELTons '12 submission. But I'm going ahead with the hardcopy conversion, because the process is a good way of doing a thorough review.

Stay tuned to this frequency (though INfrequency would be more appropriate, in blogging terms – I have a better record than some though [mentioning no names, but the meta-data may give you a clue. ]


Update – Updated TESconnect stats

 Mammon (When Vowels Get Together V5.2: Collection of Kindle word-lists grouping different pronunciations of vowel-pairs. Now complete (that is, it covers all vowel pairs –  but there's still stuff to be done with it; an index, perhaps...?)

And if you have no objection to such promiscuity, Like this.

Freebies (Teaching resources:  over 34,100 views**  and  4,700 downloads to date. They're very eclectic - mostly EFL and MFL, but one of the most popular is from KS4 History, dating from my PGCE, with 1637 views/740 downloads to date. So it's worth having a browse.)

** This figure includes the count of views for a single resource held in an account that I accidentally created many years ago.

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