Dispatch from Buckingham Palace – In praise of co-authors

Published on 23rd November, 2010 in Author Blog by Lindsay Clandfield

English Speaking Union Global Award 1
This week, as you all know by now, I was invited to Buckingham Palace to receive two awards for Global: the ESU book award and President’s award for the e-workbook. Of course I wasn’t the only one receiving the award on behalf of the course. The workbook creator and some authors were there, as well as two key people from the project: the book’s designer (Barbara Mercer) and marketing person (Matt Kay, who is responsible for this amazing website).

English Speaking Union Global Award 2

The number of people who were allowed in to the ceremony was in fact quite restricted. This was a shame, because I would have liked to see all my co-authors on the course there. I realise that I am the public face of Global, but the success of the project lies in the great teamwork and collaboration with other very talented writers. I would like to, if you will forgive the indulgence, introduce some of them a bit more thoroughly here. These are the co-authors I worked most closely with on the project.

English Speaking Union Global Award 3

Rebecca Robb Benne (co-author, Global Intermediate and Upper intermediate)
Rebecca is one of the most solid and dependable authors I know. We worked together for just about two years on these key levels of Global which come out in 2011. Rebecca has a keen eye for a good topic and excels at writing meaty lessons for higher levels. She is absolutely tireless in pursuing quality, and was an editor for some time before becoming a full-time writer. Rebecca usually avoids the limelight but trust me, if her name is on the cover of a book then you can bet on its quality. Rebecca is based in Denmark, and is especially knowledgeable of the German market.

Kate Pickering (co-author, Global Elementary and Beginner)
Kate and I worked for around 18 months together on Global Elementary, and then she went on to lead up the Global Beginner project. This was Kate’s first major student’s book project and she brought a lot of energy and drive to it. Kate is a methodologist and teacher trainer and it really shows in her writing. So clear and sensible, and she is able to defend every stage and sentence of something she wrote on solid methodological grounds. Director of studies at the prestigious International House school in Madrid Spain, Kate is never far from the classroom either as teacher or observer. If ever you get a chance to see one of her workshops, go for it. You’re bound to come away better informed, and with some good teaching ideas up your sleeve.

Amanda Jeffries (co-author, Global Advanced and author of Study Skills and Writing lessons for all of Global)
Amanda has brought the academic side to Global. She teaches academic English at the University of Oxford and has worked over the past three years on developing the writing and study skills syllabus for the whole Global course. I was especially pleased to work with Amanda as I had used her material as a teacher before (she wrote for a course called Clockwise, and Inside Out Advanced). Amanda is uncomprimising in her search for quality in writing. The writing syllabus is based on a corpus of student writing which she herself painstakingly collected. You can also see that her study skills lessons are things she puts into practice day in and day out at the university. We are currently working on Advanced together, and she is really in the driving seat as her knowledge of this level far surpasses mine.

Jackie MacAvoy (co-author Global Beginner)
I didn’t write with Jackie, but would have liked to. Jackie is the creative force behind Podcasts in English and several different projects on Onestopenglish (that’s how I came across her name). Jackie was also invaluable in bringing her experience teaching in the Middle East to the project. She is full of amazing creative ideas and I think she could be a name to look out for in the future. Jackie is currently based in Portugal.

Fran Watkins (co-author Global Teacher’s books)
Many readers will know Fran from her excellent Teaching tips blog on this site. Fran has also written several of the weekly lesson plans (some of which have racked up an impressive 12,000+ downloads). She wrote the Pre-Intermediate teacher’s book and co-wrote the Upper Intermediate teacher’s book with me. Fran has a great eye for seeing how the same piece of material can be exploited in different ways. Reading her teaching notes you can literally see the lesson and material crackling into life. She is based in the UK.

Mark McKinnon (author of practically all the photocopiable resource material)
Mark McKinnon is probably one of the best teachers I know. Period. A good friend of mine, Mark and I worked together for many years as teachers and teacher trainers in Barcelona. Mark has managed to come up with, get this, a hundred extra communicative activity ideas based on the material in Global and has written each of these up as a photocopiable activity on the teacher’s resource CDs across the course. I don’t know how he’s done it, but he has.

Robert Campbell (author and creator of e-workbook video and audio material)
Just take a look at a couple of the videos on the e-workbook (note: especially Beginner) and you will know that the person behind them has to be a creative genius. That’s Robert Campbell. I was so happy to have him join me on this project, not only because I’ve admired his work for over ten years but also because he gave me my own first writing break. If you don’t know Robert’s magazine It’s for Teachers then go and see www.its-online.com. Now. You will not regret it.

This post has been a long time coming. Thanks for bearing with me through it. There were of course other writers who I have not been able to mention here but these were the people I worked most closely with on the Global project and are those who have made it into the award-winning course it is. As they say at the Oscars, the award I picked up goes to them.

Photography by Roland Kemp. Photographs are copyright Roland Kemp and may not be copied or reproduced.