The topic of our first “experience sharing” meeting was our best/worst teaching practices. We first shared what we felt we were good at and how we created an effective teaching/learning environment, which ranged from classroom management and building rapport to teaching certain bits of grammar and vocabulary. The area where we all felt somewhat insecure centred around teaching listening. This apparently common need to understand how to teach listening gave us the idea to search deep into this area and gather around one more time to share, discuss, and hopefully take a step further to enquire and exploit ways to teach this receptive skill to the fullest in the classroom.
In this week’s professional development activity we had the opportunity to attend one of the well-received workshops conducted last semester. By popular demand, Görkem and Numan kindly accepted to repeat their workshop on using films effectively in language classes.
To add to the ones that marked the previous session, this workshop induced discussions on how to integrate activities involving films into our curriculum. Using short films or clips from longer ones was the agreed-upon idea to get the most out of these activities without causing any divergence from the school curriculum, losing track of the targeted purpose in such “fun” activities, and focusing on what is to be learned at that point in time, preferably in line with the course syllabus.
We thank Görkem and Numan once again for this session which guided all of us to some fun and practical ideas for our classes. And thanks to all those who participated, discussed, and shared.
Below are the activities that will be conducted for professional development purposes at our school this semester:
Workshops: Interactive meetings led by in-house or guest speakers will be held for exchange of information to raise awareness, explore solutions to common problems, and improve teaching skills in line with new practices and innovations in language teaching. They are interactive training activities where participants carry out a number of activities rather than passively listen to a lecture or presentation. The topics of workshops are determined according to the needs analysis carried out at the school so that they are tailored towards meeting the needs of the teachers.
5-10-minute activities: Interactive and participatory gatherings marked by hands-on experience will be arranged to share the presenters’ favourite, creative, fun, and practical activities for the language classroom.
Experience sharing – Case stories: Meetings that will allow all participants to express ideas, inquire into and reflect on key issues and areas in ELT through the framework of their personal experiences in the classroom will be organised. The discussions are planned to be structured around the following topics:
- Classroom management – (giving instructions, setting up tasks and interactional patterns, monitoring, persistent use of L1, undisciplined or disruptive behaviour, personality clashes)
- The best/worst teaching practice/subject – what do you enjoy teaching/what do you think you can’t teach well?
- Dealing with silent/dominant/bored/defiant students
- Eye-opening moments that changed your teaching philosophy
This week we had two PD activities: a presentation by Erkin Özdemir on the use of emoticons to promote writing skills, and another by İsmet Görkem Akgün and Numan Aydın on how to implement movies in language classes.
Erkin presented his study (that he conducted in 2015). He first told us about what made him consider conducting the study: he had D level (Beginner) level students with low motivation. As he searched for a fun way to promote writing, he came up with the idea of using Emojis (the Word of the year in 2015 was an emoji: “Face with Tears of Joy: 😂
He looked into the issues about writing, and learnt about the fear of writing and the reasons behind it:
- adjusting to a new form of writing
- writing for a reader or readers who are overly critical
- working in a limited time
- responding to an assignment
As he went over these reasons, there was also some self-criticism: we could sometimes be overly critical and all four could be sound reasons for why our students might be struggling with writing as well.
In relation with the last reason, he also mentioned that there was a shift from handwriting to using electronic media. Even for the writing assignments other than the requirements for the lessons, some students seem to prefer sending them online. Questions “Do those students feel more comfortable that way or do they do it because of practicality? Do they have more problems with spelling?” also come to mind.
After giving some more theoretical information on why and how to teach writing (with reference to Jeremy Harmer, of course), Erkin moved onto his study. He chose an informal setting (WhatsApp and Edmodo), as he felt it would help his students more. Remembering the 4 reasons of the fear of writing, the choice of an informal setting could help with each-I thought.
So what did he do? He shared with his students a sentence containing an emoji (or more) and his students posted comments or questions. His first post was, as far as I understand: “ Yesterday I went 🐟 and I ate 🐟 ” Not all the comments to this post were in the target language. One I remember was “Afiyet olsun!” As for error-correction, he did not do it explicitly: he commented on their posts so that the students would see the correct versions of their sentences.
Erkin mentioned that he had done the study with 20 students only and added that statistically speaking, it might not be as valuable. He might be right, but I felt it provided valuable data for his classroom practices, about his class as a whole, and his students individually. It was also valuable in the sense that it gave us some ideas about how to promote writing in our classes-and not necessarily only for beginner level classes: surely good enough reasons to consider it a valuable study- I thought.
Before sharing some statistical results with us, he told that there was more production and the topic & themes they covered were more varied than he had expected. For some reason, this observation stuck in my mind more than most of the statistical data he provided us with. As for the results of his study, I was surprised to learn that only half of the students thought such activities helped them with error-correction.
What followed were more ideas on how else we can use Emojis to spice up our lessons.
- Give students some emojis and ask them to write about a weekend away.
- Give students some emojis followed by several questions, ask them to answer the questions.
- Instead of doing “Spot the Differences” with pictures, why not do it with emojis? This could be an individual activity, or you could give each student a set of emojis and do a communicative pair-work activity.
- And here is an idea for homework:
We would like to thank everyone who participated and shared their ideas and experiences with us all.
We would also like to thank Erkin Özdemir for this session. For more information about the study and the slides he used, please contact him: firstname.lastname@example.org
The following session was by İsmet Görkem Akgün and Numan Aydın on how to implement movies in language classes.
Görkem started off by asking why we (should) use films. Needless to say, there was a lot we talked about, as far as I remember, the ideas we came up with are:
- Using films are a motivation in itself- of course.
- They are authentic.
- They provide exposure (particularly valuable in our non-native context)
- They provide rich & fun material to work with.
There might have been more reasons mentioned, but some of what my colleagues said during the discussion were:
- short clips from films could speak volumes to our students
- for students, sometimes it’s like being in the same room with the characters having a conversation: that’s exposure to real language
Görkem then continued saying that he’d be sharing his experience. It was about how he had used a short film with low-intermediate students. He mentioned that it might work better with intermediate students. The short film he chose was “Alike”- well-worth watching if you haven’t already. This website provides a lesson plan with easy to follow steps. I really like the personalising activity (questions) at the end, and Görkem also mentioned that he had chosen a “guess the ending” activity, which probably added to the value of the already rich discussion they apparently had.
I took a quick look at the website and this caught my eye. Do have a look at that, too if you have an intention to use a short film in your classes.
Then, Numan took over. His focus was not particularly short films. He asked whether we (in our school) use films in or outside the class. This created an opportunity to talk about how we used films in and outside the class and raise more questions:
- How worthy is it to give them tasks (beforehand)? Does it harm the value of using films?
- How about just mentioning a film you really like and asking your students what they think of it?
Both comments gave me something to consider. Then, Numan provided us with a list of activities of how we can use films with references to the four skills, grammar and vocabulary. There were a lot of ideas and a lot of films that were mentioned. The ones that stood out to me were “12 Angry Men”, “The Grave of the Fireflies” and “Bicycle Thieves”.
I really liked the next part where Numan and Görkem showed us samples of their students’ written work. They had asked a simple question: “What is the moral of the story?” I thought it was obvious that the students were interested and creative. Numan added it might not work as well with another class the way it did with one.
One of the things that makes these PD activities really worthwhile for me is the opportunity to learn about the beliefs and practices of my colleagues, and in this session, we talked about:
- how we worked with different partners
- what we think when one of the partners sharing a class does not seem to be following the syllabus (or does not seem to be making much progress)
- what we think about using films in the class in relation with the syllabus and -of course- the outcomes
- why using films in the class is a problem (if at all)
I’d like to think that it was a useful discussion building up to understanding of why we do what we do and eventually tolerance towards different beliefs and practices.
It was a productive session: we all chose which activities we’d like to try with a film of our choosing.
Again, we would like to thank everyone who participated and shared their ideas and experiences with us all.
The title for the workshop session was “Vocabulary Learning Strategies” run by Assoc. Prof. Dr. İlknur İstifçi.
İlknur hocam started off by asking us to reflect on two quotes:
“Vocabulary is a matter of word-building as well as word-using” David Crystal
“One forgets words as one forgets names. One’s vocabulary needs constant fertilizing or it will die.” Evelyn Waugh
This mini-reflection session was followed by two key questions:
- When teaching vocabulary, what are the significant factors that shape your teaching practices?
- What kind of approaches do you use to teach vocabulary?
These questions naturally sparkled a discussion on why we thought teaching vocabulary was challenging, especially for our context.
For the first question, we mostly talked about how complex learning a vocabulary item could be, and what it really meant to know a word. Some of the issues / factors that stood out (to me) during the discussion were:
- Age and level of our students
- Part of Speech
- Form & Meaning & Usage
- Difference between spelling and pronunciation (Particularly interesting and important- I thought)
Then we moved onto the approaches / techniques / activities we found useful. We talked about the particular situations where these activities and techniques would be most effective as well as the reasons why we chose those particular ones. Below is a list we came up with:
- Awareness raising activities in general
- Sample sentences in context
- Recycling of the vocabulary items
- Games & Songs
- Word puzzles
- Pictures / Realia
- Scrambled words
- Here and now: Encouraging the students to make use of the things in their surroundings-wherever they are
- Prefixes-suffixes (part of speech)
- Guessing (game-like) activities
- Translation activities
- Student generated activities (Quizzes and / or lists for vocab recycling e.g.: quizlet)
- Encouraging the students to reflect on what they know & what they don’t know
- Vocabulary file
The next question İlknur Hocam asked was about what we did as language learners (and what our teachers did). This question created some (more) discussion:
- Do / can our students make use of this activity / technique, too?
- (How) is it any different compared to what we did?
Here is the list of what we did when we were language learners:
- Writing a vocabulary item 5-10 times
It was interesting (for me at least) to see that most of us did this as learners. It was also mentioned that our students have spelling problems. As for the reasons, “spell-check” and “ not enough written practice” came to mind.
- Word-lists- phrasal verbs
- Word-association techniques
- Making use of cognate words (mentioned particularly for French)
- Reading extensively
- Keeping a vocabulary notebook
- Pictures / Realia
- Games (Dictionary Race)
- Word cards
- Collocations (Matching activities)
- Using a dictionary (for several reasons / in several ways)
- Translation activities
- Theme-topic related words (Word-webs)
Although this is not a very comprehensive list, it turned out that we, or rather our teachers, combined a couple of ways: games and word-webs, cognate words and vocabulary notebooks.
İlknur Hocam then continued with what (other) strategies we can apply and if we factor in the level of our students when deciding which strategies we can use.
Some of the questions / suggestions / concerns were:
- Since strategy training is no longer the focus of researchers, we don’t know what the qualities of the good learners’ habits are (now)
- What are the strategies we can apply?
- (How) can we encourage students to use these strategies
- How can we integrate technology & vocabulary teaching?
This particular question, I think, opened up a can of worms: we ended up discussing technology in relation with vocabulary teaching: many resources are at our students’ disposal, but
does the availability of these resources necessarily lead to better learning in terms of vocabulary knowledge?
does it guarantee learning or is it a threat?
- How are learning styles taken into account? Are they ignored?
and eventually came this question “Are we doing too much –with regard to integrating technology? or are we integrating technology into our teaching? (This is probably a question for our Technology Integration Team)
Finally, some web-sites mentioned are:
For word association activities: http://www.visuwords.com
Memory posters: glogster (shame it’s not free any more)
Game maker (different games here) https://www.proprofs.com/games/create-game/
Multiple meaning presentations: www.just-the-word.com
Concordances: (for collocations)
A list of top 200 tools: http://c4lpt.co.uk/top100tools/top-200-tools-for-learning/
Some can be used for languages other than English, but below are websites commonly used to help French language learners:
We would like to thank everyone who participated and shared their ideas and experiences with us all.
We would also like to thank Assoc. Prof. Dr. İlknur İstifçi for this workshop session. For the slides she used in this workshop, please contact her: email@example.com
Bu haftaki Mesleki Gelişim Etkinlikleri kapsamında Sercan Sağlam’ın düzenlediği çalıştayda “ders kitaplarını / materyalleri daha iyi nasıl kullanabiliriz” i tartıştık.
Öncelikle genel olarak ders materyallerini nasıl algıladığımızı, ve öğrencilerimizin kitaplarla ilgili ne düşündüklerini konuştuk. Daha sonra, belirlenmiş alt başlıklardan yola çıkarak, kullandığımız seri ile ilgili detaylı bir değerlendirme yaptık.
Bu tartışma üzerine de belirlediğimiz eksiklik ve aksaklıklarla ilgili yapabileceğimiz değişiklikleri, takip edebileceğimiz anahatlar üzerinden önce genel olarak konuştuk.
Kitabımızdan alınmış bir ünite üzerinden de özellikle hangi değişiklikleri yapabileceğimizi konuştuk. Ortaya çıkan değişik fikirleri tüm katılımcılarla paylaşıp tartışma fırsatı bulduk.
Hocamıza çalıştay için teşekkür ederiz.
Bir başka etkinlikte görüşmek üzere..
Mesleki Gelişim Ekibi
What is the CELTA?
Whether you are looking to teach abroad or in Turkey, the CELTA is the most widely known and highly respected training program for anyone who wants to teach English. A few things that you might be interested to know about the CELTA teacher training program are as follows:
- The CELTA program is administered by Cambridge University, one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
- CELTA stands for ‘Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages’
- CELTA is the original TESOL/TEFL certificate course and has been running for four decades.
- It is the most internationally recognized TESOL training program in the world.
- It is the most highly regarded certification by employers in the world and will help you land a teaching job in almost any location worldwide.
Source: Adapted from http://www.teachinghouse.com/tesol/the-celta-course
Who is the CELTA Certificate for?
- People starting a career in English Language teaching.
For graduates looking for a qualification looking to begin a long term career in English Language teaching the CELTA Certification could be the right starting point to land a good teaching post in the country of your choice.
- People looking for a career change or career break.
For professionals who are either looking for a new career path or want a short break in their existing career the CELTA certification could provide the opportunity to live and work abroad.
- People already teaching English but with no formal qualifications.
For English Language TESOL teachers with no formal qualifications CELTA Certification will help to sharpen their teaching practice, leading to a better job.
Who can apply?
To be accepted for the CELTA course, applicants must fulfil the following criteria:
- A minimum age of 20 at the start of the CELTA course
- A good standard of education (e.g. having gained university entrance qualifications, completed High School)
- Awareness and high level of competence in written and spoken English in order to be able to follow the course and prepare for teaching a range of levels
- For non-native speakers, the required command of English is that of Proficiency (CPE) or C1 within the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), i.e. close to native speaker’s competence.
- No previous teaching experience required
What does the course involve?
Here is what the CELTA course will equip you with:
- understanding the cultural and linguistic backgrounds of learners, and how this might affect their learning of English
- understanding different learning styles and preferences.
- understanding key terminology used in English language teaching, applying this terminology in planning and teaching
- demonstrating a working knowledge of English grammar, lexis and phonology.
- understanding basic concepts and terminology used for describing reading, listening, speaking and writing skills, applying this to teaching
- understanding how approaches to texts may vary depending on the purpose, making practical use of this in teaching.
- understanding the purpose and principles of planning for effective teaching
- selecting and planning the kinds of lessons that are most appropriate for particular learners
- evaluating lesson preparation and reflecting on this for planning future lessons.
- effectively organising the classroom, both in terms of layout and pair/group activities
- making appropriate use of a range of materials and resources
- involving learners of different ability levels, enabling them to feel a sense of progress.
How long is the course?
This full-time course runs Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm.
How will I be assessed:
There are two components of assessment:
Teaching Practice: You will teach for a total of six hours, working with classes at two levels of ability. Assessment is based on your overall performance at the end of the six hours.
Written Assignments: You will complete four written assignments: one on adult learners and learning contexts; one on an aspect of the language system of English; one on an aspect of language skills; and one on classroom teaching and the identification of action points. To be awarded the Certificate, you must pass both components. There are three grades – Pass, Pass ‘B’ and Pass ‘A’.
Check out the full CELTA syllabus at http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/images/21816-celta-syllbus.pdf
Source: Adapted from https://www.studycelta.com/?gclid=CMrEoIq8j9MCFccp0wodPOsMRA
Why do the CELTA at Anadolu University?
- We have been training teachers since 2013.
- We have a highly motivated and professional team of two in-house trainers and a guest trainer from IH London:
- We offer all the support and guidance you need during the course.
- Our centre is located in Anadolu University İki Eylül Campus, an easily accessible location by alternative transportation forms.
- Eskişehir is the perfect city to live in even for a month with its lively atmosphere, mild weather in summer, diverse and affordable accommodation options, and young, vibrant population.
How should I prepare:
You may want to check the website in the link for suggested reading before the course:
Recommended books for Celta: https://www.studycelta.com/tefl-book-store-uk
Who should I contact with:
To receive further information about the course and start your application process, please write to Figen Tezdiker at firstname.lastname@example.org
2017 CELTA Course at Anadolu
|3rd July, 28th July||4-week full-time||£ 1200|
Professional Development Unit