An Unusual Sport

Dear Students                                                                                                                                                         This week’s assignment is “Unusual Sports”. Could you research unusual sports around the world and choose one of them and find out information about:

-the history of the sport                                                                                                                                            -the people who compete in it
-the rules of the sport and when competitions take place
-the prize for the winner


The Idiotarod

The idiotarod is an annual race in New York City. Each team must have five people and a shopping cart. They can decorate their carts but they can’t change the wheels. All the teams have to start and finish at the same place but they don’t have to run on the same roads. The teams can choose their route but the members of each team must reach the finish line together. And they can’t finish without the cart

Many thanks in advance


Common Sleep Problems

Dear students                                                                                                                                              Yesterday I read an article about sleep problems. It says ”  A lot of people suffer from this disease” There are different types of problems. Everyday more and more people are going to hospital because of it. Could you please research common sleep problems and inform me what actions we can take to help these problems? You can give four pieces of advice to help.

Many thanks in advance



Tourist information

Dear students,

One of my friend is planning a holiday in  South Africa. However, he doesn’t have any idea about the country. He asked me to help him. Could you please research some information for him ? Let’s collect information as much as you can and send it to me.

  • Visas and immigration
  • Currency
  • Languages
  • Weather
  • The numbers to call in an emergency

I am looking forward to your comments.

Thank you                                                                                                                                                              Instructor Nazmi


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.

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. When learners create their accounts, they can access them whenever they need. Firstly, teachers need to create an account and create a class , invite or add students to the class. Then, students will have a pre- level test with different types of questions. Via that test, students will see their levels and start from the right level.Neither teachers nor students can decide the level. Teachers can monitor students’ progress on the progress page.They can get detailed reports to track and analyze progress using percentages, bar graphs, and tables. It is quite time saving for students and teachers. The texts are interesting and engaging for learners. Also, they get feedback for wrong answers. Moreover, the website is completely free. Students enjoy using this platform.


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.

I love the acting in this film. Eddie Redmayne stars as Hawking and Felicity Jones plays the role of Jane. My favourite character is Stephen Hawking because he is very clever and brave.

I think this is an ideal film for people who like true stories. It is a bit sad at times but the story is very interesting and there is a lot of action. I give The Theory of Everything
★★★★. Go and watch it soon!

★★★★Really good!
★★★ OK
★★ Bad
★ Terrible!

Dear Students,

1. Think of a film you have watched.
2. Write your review using the your notes and the model text. Use some of the words and phrases in bold. Write between 100 and 150 words.


Instructor Nazmi

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”.

Could you please write your plans for the summer?

  • What are you going to do?
  • Where are you going to go?
  • Who with?
  • When?
  • Are you going to work or study?

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.

Finally, a lot of the passengers got out and started walking to the border. I felt sorry for the bus driver because he looked a little sad. However, I also wanted a good hotel and  a hot meal so I left the bus and walked to Kodari too.

Dear Students, the article above is from the website of Andrew Evans who is a digital nomad. Could you please write a short travel blog about a journey or place you visited. Think about these questions:

  • Where were you?
  • When was it?
  • Who was there?
  • What happened?

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. We watched DVDs and stayed up until 2 o’clock in the morning. I didn’t get up until midday on Sunday. I had lunch at a cafe with my brother and in the afternoon, I went to a basketball match with my father and some friends in Istanbul. It was really interesting.

I am looking forward to hearing from you! Could you please tell me about your weekend? Say hi to your friends.

Love from Nazmi

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 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 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.