Kristina Wearing is an Editor at Oriel Square. Here, she talks about her journey from English language teaching to ELT publishing.
What is ELT?
English Language Teaching (ELT) is the teaching of the English language to non-native speakers. It covers the entire age range from preschool children to adults, and teaching in mainstream schools as well as in language academies and businesses internationally.
ELT in the publishing world refers to the resources that help people learn the English language. During my time as an editor, first at Macmillan Education then at Oriel Square, I have worked on student workbooks, teacher guides and a variety of digital educational resources.
How did you start your career in ELT?
I began my journey into the ELT world by taking the Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA). After gaining my teaching qualification, I worked as an ESL Teacher in Écija, Spain, in a private English language academy. I taught nine classes; my youngest group was made up of children between six and eight years old, and my oldest was a group of 17 to 18-year-olds. The youngest were below A1 (beginner) level, and my oldest took their B2 (upper-intermediate) exam at the end of the academic year.
I gained professional skills such as time management and effective communication, and insight into how educational resources are used in the practical environment of the classroom, which has illuminated my work as an editor. The opportunity to immerse yourself in another culture while working as a teacher was a rewarding experience that I would highly recommend.
What are your top tips for people who want to work in ELT publishing?
If you want to understand how educational resources are used by teachers and learners, having some experience in a classroom – even if that’s just as an observer – is invaluable. It is also a useful way of keeping up-to-date on pedagogy and ELT trends.
Keeping an open mind when it comes to ELT resources will also help to open up new avenues into the publishing industry. While we might traditionally think only of books, educational resources are published in many other media.
What do you enjoy most about working on ELT resources?
I find it very fulfilling to help people learn to read in English. We can make stories accessible to English as a Second Language (ESL) learners so that they enjoy learning and are keen to progress.
Amidst all this work on educational materials, what have you enjoyed reading recently?
I recently finished Shirley Jackson’s ‘We Have Always Lived in the Castle’ which was a really fast-paced, creepy and gothic read. I’m really looking forward to watching the film adaptation which I’m hoping captures the creepiness of the book!