End of the first term

This year I had only one class as a maincourse teacher, which was an opportunity for me to pay attention to each of the students.I taught 27 students for 20 hours in a week. The age group was between 17-19. They all left their hometowns for the university. The first teacher they met was me. They’re striving to adapt to new life. Throughout the term, we got to know each other and had great relationships. I’m trying to care with my students as much as possible. For me, as a teacher, I’m not only teaching English but also touching their hearts. Besides, outside the classroom, most of them  shared their life stories with me or problems they had. I had to deal with them, as well.   At the end of the term, it was hard for me  to leave the class, but proud of them because of their effort. I pushed them to study a lot, maybe harder than anybody else. Most of the time they complaint about assignments. However, they realized that they made a great progress with only four months. The board above, they prepared for the last lesson will be with me forever. Important thing is to leave a smile on their faces when they remember you anytime in the future.

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Educational Technology Summit

I’ll share a conference  for those who are looking for technological innovations. There’ll be expert pleanery speakers from different countries, workshops, concurrent sessions, The aim of the conference is to inform people  about the latest innovations and inspire them for the future.  On March 3rd 2018 I highly recommend you to participate in that conference. You can buy tickets here.

 

 

Plickers

Plickers is an online assesment tool for classes. It is different from other platforms in a way that it offers rapid assesment in a tech-limited class. Questions  should be prepared in advance and presented on a screen. Students will hold up their responses with pre-prepared cards and teachers can scan the cards with a device(ipad or smart phones). Each card is different. Also, every side of the card represents a choice ( one side is A, the other B etc.) These cards are really appealing. Responses can be seen automatically on a screen. Results can also be printed to track students’ progress or show it to parents. It is an useful and engaging tool. Students enjoy it. That kind of unusual assesment tools motivates students. Morever, the app is free. It can be used especially in a low-tech classes. However, there are only true-false or multiple choice questions. Also, printing cards for each student might be challenging. Continue reading

Read Theory

ReadTheory is an online reading comprehension website which evalutes learners’ reading ability and recommends suitable passages according to their levels. More than 1000 passages are available in different grades. It diagnoses students’ needs and sends texts accordingly. As students read and answer questions, ReadTheory presents new passages either more difficult or easier. You can use it both desktop and mobile. Continue reading

Quizizz

Quizziz is a fun classroom activitiy which enables students to practice together. All you need is to go to the website and search quizzes made by other teachers. Also, you can create your own quiz and share it with others. Time limit can be added. You can assign quizzes or do it “live” in classes. At the end of the quiz, teachers will have a list of students about their performances. With that data, you can easily diagnose  deficiencies. Gamfication elements like avatars, music, leaderboard and funny memes add to the fun. Continue reading

A Film Review

The Theory of Everything
Biographical drama, 2014

The Theory of Everything is about the scientist Stephen Hawking. The film is based on a book, ‘Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen’ by his wife, Jane Wilde Hawking. The film is set in England and starts in the early 1960s. It tells the story of Hawking’s relationship with Jane, the diagnosis of his motor neuron disease and his success as a physicist. Continue reading

Çevre College 14th ELT CONFERENCE

 

I am interested in conferences about ELT since it is a good way to be updated. Two years ago, I participated in a conference of Çevre College in Istanbul. It was worth it, for sure. I highly suggest my colleagues to see that conference this year on 24th February. There are expert Plenary Speakers who are Paul Seligson and JJ Wilson for this year and veteran teachers in concurrent sessions.  You can benefit from workshops. Also, you will find almost all of the publishing houses there. That’s a good chance to examine the books and get example ones. The lunch is available between 12-1 pm. Furthermore,  you can register for the busses in the website.The fee is quite affordable, 60₺. You can buy tickets in biletix or cash on campus. At the end of the day, certificates will be distributed.

Plans for the Summer

Dear students,

All of you study hard to learn English.  You spend most of your time for it. I am really proud of you and appreciate your effort.  As you don’t have enough holidays to relax and rest, I am sure that you are longing for the summer holiday. I wonder what you are going to do in summer.  You can get help here for “be going to”. Continue reading

The Digital Nomad

Today was the final day of my bus journey from Lhasa to Kodari, at the border with Nepal. It’s the highest road in the world. It’s also a very long journey. You travel for three days through the Himalayas and you can see the north side of Everest.

This afternoon, we were only ten miles from Kodari and suddenly the bus stopped. The driver got out and looked at the engine. For the next three hours, he tried to fix it, but it didn’t start. Continue reading

An email massage

Dear students                                                                                                                                                             Sorry I didn’t post in my website last week. I was really busy! How are things with you?  How was your weekend? My weekend was good. On saturday morning , I went shopping  with my brother. We bought a lot of new clothes. I got really cool new jacket!  In the afternoon,  I watched television  and then I went for a walk in the park with our dog, Lady.  On Saturday night, I stayed at my brother’s house. Continue reading

Learner Autonomy

“You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself”

Galileo Galilei ( 1564-1642)

In 21st Century, education has been going  through some changes in terms of methods, perspectives, tools, settings etc. In the past, the teacher was the  only authority and the only resource for students to provide information. However; with the advent of internet,  access to information gets easier.  The internet has been growing quite fast in terms of tools, content and resources. So, students have almost everything they need for their education. The question is ”  Are we going to need teachers in the future?”.  The studies and researches show that we need teachers to be a guide or a facilitator. They have to help learners to reach the correct content in a faster way and how to benefit better from the internet etc. Students’ role have to change, as well. They need to be AUTONOMOUS. Continue reading

Seating Arrangements

Seating arrangements of the classes tell us about approaches and activites that can be used in classes. Ignoring the effect of seating arrangement may cause  boring lessons. Do you think that is there a best arrangement for classes? As a teacher, I always change the seating arrangement according to activites and materials. Each pattern has advantages and disadvantages. For instance;

Orderly Rows

Students and teachers have a clear view of each other.

Enabling the teacher making eye contact with people.

The teacher working with the whole class.

Some activites are especially suitable for this organisation such as explaining grammar rules, watching videos or powepoint presentations. However,  some students in the back can make noise.  In this pattern, it is not easy to create a good class dynamic. Teachers have to keep these students involve the lesson.

Continue reading

Challanges of non native speakers

Since English became Lingua Franca of the World, people who do not share the same language and  for whom English is not their mother tongue has been trying to speak English in anywhere of the world with each other. Sometimes we can see some surprising characteristics of these conversations. Barbara Seidhofler  at the university of Vienna  has noted some of them, including:

  • No use of third person present simple tense -s ( she look ver sad)
  • Interchangeable use of the relative pronouns who and which ( a book who, a person which)
  • Definite and indefinite articles where they are obligatory in native speaker English
  • Use of all purpose of tag questions such as isn’t it? Or no?  instead of shouldn’t they. (They should arrive soon, shouldn’t they?)
  • Heavy reliance on certain verbs  such as do, have, make, put, take
  • Pluralisation of uncountable nouns ( informations, staffs, advices)

Non native speakers are not conforming to a English standard. Actually, they seem to get along well despite missing some things.

Warm up

Teachers have to start the lesson with a warmer to calm down kids and get them focussed on a lesson. It is the essential part of teaching. Since it is the first activity of the lesson, the warm up sets the tone for the next hour. It should be 3 to 5 minutes with an engaging, fun activity.  It doesn’t require time consuming planning in advance. You can use songs, flash cards, mimics, puzzles, games like bingo etc. Continue reading

Connect with English

Connect with English is a website for English language teachers.  It helps students learn the language in different contexts. It is a story of Rebecca Casey, a young woman who lives in Boston. It has 48 episodes under four differet sections. Videos are very engaging. Every episode includes interactive activities. Also, the website is free. You can integrate the videos into your plans according to your topics.

Learner Strategy

The text below is from a student in Hong Kong. It is a good example how learning strategies affect students. What do you think about the case below? What kind of learning strategies do your students use?

“When I was in secondary school, I seldom asked questions. The reason was that the teacher always tried to explain the stuffs as detailed as possible, leaving no queries among students. Only the most curious student will ask questions. This method is well-known as the spoon-feeding education system in which we are fed with piles of notes and text books. Continue reading

Canva

Canva is a tool for teachers and students to create posters, cards, infographics, certificates. It allows students to use their creativity to  show their knowledge.It is very popular website, which has milions of users around the World.  In the website, there are millions of images and also you can upload your own pictures and images, as well. Furthermore, photos can be edited by using filters or advanced edit tools. Free icons and shapes with different fonts can be used for your designs. It is available in eight different languages.  I usually use it to design my own certificates for kids and give assignments to students to create multimedia posters in some specific topics. Continue reading

Wizer.me

Wizer.me is an online platform for teachers to create interactive worksheets. It allows teachers to create quickly different types of questions; open questions, multiple choice, matching, fill in the blank etc. The content depends on teachers. For example, I prepare vocabulary quizzes for my EFL classrooms. Students enjoy it. Teachers can add different themes and background pictures to worksheets, which makes it fun for studens. Teachers can also put videos and multimedia materials to worksheets easily. It can be assigned to students via Google Classroom ,Edmodo a link or a code. If you prepare the answers  beforehand, papers are automatically  marked , which saves time for teachers.