Month: January 2015

Publishing ESL Materials: Opportunities & Challenges

The School of Education (SED) at Virginia International University (VIU) welcomes all to join us for the first event of the Spring 2015 semester in our Voices from the Field speaker series: a presentation entitled Publishing ESL Materials: Opportunities and Challenges. Experienced ESL instructors and textbook authors Donette Brantner-Artenie and Sigrun Biesenbach-Lucas will be presenting the talk on Thursday, January 22, 2015 from 2 – 3:00 PM in the Waples Mill Conference Room (located at 11200 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA  22030.)

ESL professionals are often presented with opportunities to collaborate with colleagues for a variety of purposes and in a variety of ways. One common way is for instructors to collaborate on the creation of course materials and conference presentations, and at times those collaborations can lead to more formal projects such as producing formal materials for a program or for a publisher. In this session, the presenters will describe two different publishing experiences: one multi-year project as co-writers of one level of a new multi-level hybrid/blended textbook series, and another one-year project as a team writing one component of a revised integrated skills textbook series.

In the presentation, the following questions will be addressed:
  • How does one find a “way in” with a publisher?
  • What do you need to do when formally submitting a proposal for a publication?
  • What should you know about contracts, timelines, and compensation?
  • At the publisher level, who is involved in your writing and publication process?
  • What are the challenges of materials writing for publication?
  • What are the rewards associated with materials writing?
  • What are the trends in ESL textbook writing today?

Sigrun Biesenbach-Lucas is a Senior Instructor and College Applications Advisor in the Intensive English Program at Georgetown University where she received her MAT in TESOL and PhD in Applied Linguistics. Before joining the faculty at Georgetown in 2006, she taught in the TESOL Teacher Training Program at American University for eight years. In 2006, she was recognized as a World Teacher Honoree for outstanding teaching by TESOL. Dr. Biesenbach-Lucas is a member of several professional/academic organizations, among them TESOL and AAAL, and was the Local Chair of the 2008 AAAL Convention. Additionally, she serves as a site reviewer for the Commission for English Language Program Accreditation (CEA). She has presented at numerous international, national, and local conferences and has published in Language Learning & TechnologyComputer Assisted Language Learning, and the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, among others. She typically teaches advanced reading, writing, and research courses and enjoys creating integrated-skills and task-based teaching materials.

Donette Brantner-Artenie is a Senior Instructor and Lab Coordinator in the Intensive English Program at Georgetown University where she has been teaching since 2000. She holds an MA in Applied Linguistics from Ohio University. With over 20 years of experience, she has taught English at Ohio State University and Ohio University in the US and at the high school level in Romania, where she was a Peace Corps Volunteer. She has also conducted workshops for teacher-trainers in Togo and Romania. Ms. Brantner-Artenie typically teaches advanced reading, writing, research, and grammar courses, and she coordinates the EFL Labs at Georgetown. Her interests include instructional technologies, content-based learning, and academic English. She and Dr. Biesenbach-Lucas recently co-authored a new textbook, Next Generation Grammar 4, published by Pearson.

This event is open to all VIU students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the surrounding community.

To learn more about participating in Voices from the Field, please contact Kevin Martin (Director of the School of Education) at Follow us on social media @SEDatVIU and @TESOLVIU and visit the School of Education’s website at!

Many of our previous sessions have been recorded and are available through our website here and here.