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Posts Tagged ‘British Council’
My Blog has been reincarnated:)

It was nearly a month ago. I was so happy to have finished my post “Magic Calls Thee – Let’s meet this weekend!” Like all bloggers, I wanted to share my recent post on my Facebook wall and clicked on the “Share” button. I was feeling like a kid who was ready to show his / her homework to the teacher after a long study. As you can guess, I was impatient to see my dear PLN liking and sharing my post:)

But what was that? A message box appeared on my screen. My eyes ould see it, but my brain was rejecting to receive it! Although I tried again and again, it kept appearing. Apparently, Facebook wasn’t allowing me to share anything from my blog. After a quick search, I learnt that Facebook could have put my blog into its spam list or someone (Most probably more than 1 person) could have reported my blog. Both reasons seemed to be helpless.

I sent countless messages and completed millions of forms. Everybody around tried to help me by filling in forms and sending messages to Facebook, but nothing changed.

At last, I decided to move my blog to a new domain and here I am. My blog is all new and fresh, ready to be shared:)

The only problem was about the gadget ClustrMaps. Because it was a new blog, it only showed one visitor at first. I was so sorry to be losing the number of my visitors on my previous blog.


I sent a Tweet to @clustrmaps and received an immediate reply. I was amazed. They took care of me by sending what I had to do and then they moved all the visitors to my new blog. They just managed this in a few days. I am so grateful  to the team of ClustrMaps for all the help and support they have given. You should definitely add this gadget and follow it on Twitter.

Finally, I am able to share my posts on Facebook safely. My blog came back to life with a new name and it will be counting the  visitors from where I left:) That really looks like a kind of “reincarnation into a higher level”:) Below is what happened during this spiritual journey of my blog:)

What my blog learnt:

Without a Facebook share, a blog post is all alone. It can even turn into a pathetic figure:S

How my blog felt:

It felt like a celebrity whose website was attacked by a group of “freaky jealous people”:)

Who my blog thanks to:

Thanks to my friends, my colleagues, my students, my mum, and even my neighbours:) for all the support they have given and for cheering me up.

No matter what happens, I will keep writing and sharing:)

Stay tuned and follow my reincarnated blog!


“Magic Calls Thee!” Let’s meet this weekend:)
storysharingwebconf BC

No matter where you live (on Earth:) we can all meet and share our stories this weekend! I’m inviting you to a story sharing conference hosted by British Council Turkey.

I can imagine what you are thinking right now:) Don’t worry! You don’t have to leave your house or change your clothes. You can enjoy the event in your pyjamas because the conference is online and all for free.

The only thing you should do is to provide speakers or headphones. You also need to upload Adobe Connect (if you don’t have). You can test the system and the connection. Right after that you will be ready for the conference.

The sessions take place in different Adobe rooms and each room has a different link. In the conference programme you can find all the details about that.

Story Sharing Web – Conference ‘Saturday 9th – Sunday10th February 2013′ from British Council Turkey on Vimeo.

There are great pleanary speakers and I’m sure you will not miss this chance. You will even have a chance to speak out (by typing of course:)) or ask questions on the chat box during the talks. Here are the great speakers:

9th February – SATURDAY – Plenary Speakers

Reading for Pleasure: Why it Matters, How it helps, and Ways to Encourage it. Alec Williams, UK

Classroom Storytelling: Wonder, Wit & Wisdom in World Stories. David Heathfield, United Kingdom

Using Story Picturebooks with Primary Children. Gail Ellis, France

10th February – SUNDAY – Plenary Speakers

Yaratıcı Okuma / Creative Reading. Sevim Ak, Turkey

Using Graphic Novels and Comics with Teens. Samantha Lewis, Spain

Sharing Stories: Powerful Lessons in Language Learning. Shelly S Terrell, USA

There are also concurrent sessions with very interesting titles and I’m proud to announce that I am one of the presenters. My session is on the 10th February. It’ll be great to meet you at a Sunday breakfast:)

It’s at 08:00-8:30 (GMT) and 10:00-10:30 (TURKEY TIME) and my room is TOLKIEN which is a perfect match for my abstract:)

My title is MAGIC CALLS THEE and I’ll be sharing some hands-on activities you can use in your classroom. Here is my abstract:

I summon thee, the lovers of the “Educaland”!

Rise; magic calls thee.Get ready to be inspired to find out thy magic tools.

Thou shalt take thy little ones to a miraculous journey and

Ne’er forget these enchanted moments.

Worry not, there are so many untold stories and

Once thou enter this magic passage, there wilt always be a magic formula!


Check below to see the other concurrent sessions / presenters.


Hashtag for Twitter: #sswebcon

Facebook Page of the conference

Watch the conference live

View the plenary speakers

View the conference programme

Other posts you might like to read:

Story Sharing Web Conference – Saturday 9th – Sunday 10th February 2013 by britishcouncil_elt

British Council Story Sharing Web Conference by Ozge Karaoglu Ergen

I’ll be glad to share the links if you also have a post about the conference. Please do not hesitate to contact me:)


You are cordially invited…
merveoflaz workshops

You are cordially invited to a free series of face-to-face workshops by the British Council Turkey.

As an international organisation that cares and respects for the diversity, the British Council is always ready to create equal opportunities, so here is one of these great occasions:

The great team of the British Council Turkey has been working on this project for nearly a year by organising meetings, training the trainers and leading the whole process. I’m so happy and proud to be a part of it. A group of teacher trainers from different parts of Turkey (me, representing the İstanbul region with other three great colleagues) will try to reach as many teachers as possible through these workshops and keep sharing and inspiring.

Each teacher trainer is in charge of gathering the group of his / her audience. I hope you are already into it, because I am inviting you to join in and I can’t wait to meet you there:) This may be an awesome chance for you or maybe your colleagues.

WHEN? There will be totally 6 workshops (once a month) that will take place on Saturdays. The dates of the workshops will be e-mailed after the confirmation of your requests.

HOW LONG IS EACH WORKSHOP? Each one is totally 3 hours.

WHERE? Bahcesehir University Preparatory School, which is the institution I work for, is gladly opening the doors of the Sisli Campus in Istanbul to be used as the venue for free.

WHO IS THE TRAINER? I’m happy and proud to announce ‘myself’ as the trainer of the workshops:) If you want to learn more information about me, you may check out my blog or my Linked In Profile.

WHAT ARE THE SPECIFIC TITLES OF THE WORKSHOPS? Some of the titles are as follows: Classroom management, teaching vocabulary, teaching reading and writing and so on. The details will be e-mailed after the confirmation of your requests.

DO YOU GET A CERTIFICATE? If you attend all six workshops, you will receive a certificate from the British Council.

WHO CAN ATTEND THE WORKSHOP? Teachers of English in both state and private schools. For your kind information, only a limited number of teachers will be chosen as attendees – maximum 30. First come, first served:)

WHEN IS THE DEADLINE? 24th November is the deadline to send me your requests.

If you are interested in attending the workshops, please send me an e-mail ( to state your full name / surname and the institution you are currently working at.

Please do not hesitate to ask any questions (here or via e-mail).

Looking forward to hearing from you soon and hoping to get your help to spread the word:)

Special thanks to the British Council Turkey and its great team for providing professional development opportunities for the teachers of English


Great thanks to Bahcesehir University Preparatory School for supporting the project by providing its campus as the venue of the workshops for free


Sweet thanks to the tutors of the teacher trainers - Sue Leather (on the left) and Leila Tahrani (on the right) for guiding us on our journey


You might also be interested in the post by Özge Karaoğlu who is another member of our great team. Here is the post about the same series of workshops:

Invitation for a British Council Course in İstanbul

“Blogathon”, The Ongoing Journey

I stepped into the blogosphere by joining in “Blogathon 2011” that took place on the TeachingEnglish website. Being involved in a blog marathon has been one of the best moves in my professional development. It was my first blogging experience, but I was so lucky to have met so many great colleagues ready to swap ideas and share experiences. I was as happy as a clam when I learnt about the results of the marathon. Like I said in my last post at the Blogathon, this ending was a beginning.

Soon after I received a silver award, I created my own blog. It was just a month before my blog’s first birthday when “Blogathon 2012” started. Once again, I was running with other teachers not only from Turkey but also from five different countries. I was not a novice blogger anymore, but I felt the same spirit especially while wearing my Blogathon t-shirt. The Blogathon Team was really understanding to show respect to the ‘holy’ connection between me and my precious blogathon t-shirt, so they permitted me to wear my ex number, 120. Just like the first one, the marathon took a month long. I believe it was much more challenging with more people joining in. That meant more blogs to read and more comments to make. The word limit (250 words per post) was a big pressure on me in the first one, but it was not a big problem this time (I confess that I was glad about that, because there so many great posts to follow.)

The best thing was to meet teachers from different parts ofTurkey and other countries (including Blogathon 2011 runners). Blogathon has played the role of a magnet which gathered us together ‘automagically’ and blogging became more enjoyable with the motivating comments of the readers, their collaboration and the support of the Blogathon team that fired the runners with enthusiasm. I was honoured to get another silver award (and felt a bit like a silver award collector:). This was another ending which would open the doors of a beginning for each participant. That’s why I believe the Blogathon is an ongoing journey which will never end.I’d like to thank to the British Council Turkey and the Blogathon team for organizing these kind of events and giving the English teachers a chance to develop themselves (for free:) ). Another thank you goes to my fellow bloggers for making the journey so special.

Tips for beginning Blogathon runners

The world is changing. Learning and teaching are beyond the classroom walls now. The number of the blogging teachers seems to be increasing day by day and it may be your turn now. If you haven’t gone over to the world of blogging teachers yet, you should definitely give it a shot. Maybe you don’t like writing or you think you don’t have enough time for that. Don’t worry! You can still be a part of it by following the other teachers’ blogs. You can share your ideas and experiences, ask for advices and keep yourself updated.  Here are some tips for you if you decide to run at a blogathon:

  • Decide what you want to post about. Keep a list of the possible topics. Using your (smart) phone might be good for that. You never know when a new idea will pop up in your mind:)
  • Comments are as valuable as the posts. Never miss them when you visit a blog post.
  • Reply each and every comment of your posts and do not hesitate to leave a comment when you visit a blog. That creates the real connection between you and your readers. Besides, the bloggers you are interacting with can turn into lifelong friends and colleagues.
  • Use a positive language and soften it while criticizing something.
  • Do not worry about the word limit. You can continue in another post and that may even be more advantageous by drawing the readers to your blog again.
  • Make your posts “reader friendly”. Expressing yourself clearly and adding some humour can help a lot.
  • You may have international readers as well as the local ones, so try not to cause any offence by targeting a group of people. Respect all the political views and religious beliefs.
  • Be ready to say ‘No’ to all invitations and social activities during the marathon, because you will be sooo busy :S
  • Stick to the guidelines and criteria.
  • Getting an award is of course motivating, but finishing the marathon is also important in terms of its spirit.
  • Enjoy the Blogathon and enjoy the moment:)


An acrostic poem I wrote and dedicated to the Blogathon:

Bringing ideas all together

Leading the discussion and helping other

Organizing new posts every day

Getting replies and comment, ready to share and care

A door to be entered into another world waiting over there

The taste of each post makes me feel great about all that jazz

Hearty welcomes and warm good byes

On air all the time, running to the end ready to rise

Negotiating and interacting, broadening our minds


Other links you might like:

Does Everything Happen for A Reason? by Merve Oflaz

A Post on an IATEFL Interview with Adam Simpson (The Gold Award Winner of Blogathon 2012) and Sirin Soyoz by Merve Oflaz

My Blogathon Experience by Adam Simpson (The Gold Award Winner of Blogathon 2012)

Blogathon Journey by Özge Öztürk (The Runner-up of Blogathon 2012)

My Blogging Journey by Hale Yurttabir(Silver Award Winner)

Blogathon 2012 by Leman Ulas (Silver Award Winner)

An IATEFL Interview with Karin Tirasin (The Gold Award Winner of Blogathon 2011) and Eva Buyuksimkesyan (The Runner-up of Blogathon 2011)

Ready, get set and GO! ELT Blogathon 2011 by Sirin Soyoz


This post was first published here



IATEFL 2012 is not over!

The official website of IATEFL 2012 provided us with the online access for the conference, gave the chance to join in the chats and feel the IATEFL spirit even when we were miles away.  The conference is over practically, but it is still on theoretically:) The videos of the interviews and some sessions are waiting for you to be viewed. You can also read the blog posts about these videos written by the Glasgow Online Registered Bloggers. As one of those bloggers, I’ve been mulling over the videos to write a post about. Finally, I made my decision on Adam Simpson and Sirin Soyoz’s interview. Their interview is about the story of “Blogathon” which means a lot to me, because I started my own blog after Blogathon 2011.

Once again “Blogathon” has opened new doors to many English teachers by giving an opportunity to enter the blogosphere. Receiving the golden award at the blog marathon, Adam became the roving reporter of IATEFL. Adam is talking about his “Blogathon” experience modestly and states that he has learnt a lot from the other participants. Adam mentions about his three aims throughout this marathon: To share the theory, practical teaching ideas and the life of an English teacher. Being involved in the same race, I believe he has done this very well by drawing our eyes to his great posts.

Sirin, from the British Council Turkey, gives information about the aims of the race, participants and the criteria. I’m sure their job was harder this year because of the number of the participants from 5 countries. Will there be a third round of the Blogathon next year? Well, watch the video and listen Sirin to find out:)

Reaching the other videos is a cookie for you. Just click the titles below and soak up the conference spirit:

All Interviews

All Video Sessions

I’m sure the conference website will maintain to be a valuable resource including countless new ideas. Thanks to the British Council and IATEFL team for making this happen.

Glasgow Online, A Click Away:)

“IATEFL”, a great big event held every year!

If you couldn’t make it, you still have a chance to be a part of it in the comfort of your home. Glasgow Online gives you the chance to watch some sessions live. You can also chat using the “LiveStream Chat” window and share your ideas during the live sessions. If you want to join in, do not forget to log in. The conference is starting tomorrow and the testing of the Live Channel has just finished. Many viewers (including me:) from different countries were there to give feedback on the testing and had a chance to chat as well.

Chatting while waiting for the testing of Glasgow Online video streaming

It was great to watch Rob Lewis and Andi White talking about the event and giving general information. It was so considerate of them to mention the names of the online viewers during testing.

Rob and Andi tweeting while waiting for the sound test

The conference will take place  between 19th March and 23rd March. Tomorrow is the big day! Looking forward to the plenary sessions online. Please keep in mind that the time given on the website is for Glasgow GMT. If you are in another country, be sure to check your local time. The live sessions will be available right after they are streamed, so you can watch them whenever you want. This year the British Council has invited the ELT bloggers to report on the conference by becoming a “Glasgow Online Registered Blogger”. You can check the list of these bloggers and follow their posts. I’m so happy to be a part of it. I will try to share my thoughts on the videos during the conference.

If you want to check the tweets about the conference, it is enough to type #iatefl in the search box. When you want to tweet about the conference, adding this hashtag will make your tweet visible and available for the other followers.

Twitter Updates on the conference

The Conference Programme

Online Sessions

Follow IATEFL on Twitter

Wishing all the speakers and presenters good luck and sending lots of energy to the conference team:)

Feeling so excited to be one of the Glasgow Online Registered Bloggers and looking forward to sharing more with you all. Are you ready to be a part of this wonderful event? It’s so easy to join in. Just a click away!

Stay tuned!

Run Merve Run:)

I’ve put on my marathon t-shirt (number 120) again and started running at the blog marathon. Feeling very excited and full of energy, I’m trying to reach the finish line.

The Blogathon has been a lot to me so far. As one of the silver award winners of last year I opened the doors of a new world after the race. Being inspired by the race, I started my own teaching blog and I believe this has been the biggest award I have ever received.

Teachers of English from different countries have been running at this year’s Blogathon started by the British Council Turkey. The race takes place on TeachingEnglish site of the British Council. The blogging teachers are supported by the motivating comments of Karin Tirasin, last year’s gold award winner, and the 1st runner up, Eva Buyuksimkesyan.

Teachers send great posts about their experiences, share their ideas, discuss issues and comment on each other’s posts. The race started on 16 January and it will end on 12 February. The gold award, a ticket to IATEFL Conference 2012, has been really motivating for most of the blogging teachers. More teachers are about to enter the magic world of blogging planning to start their own blogs. The British Council Blogathon team is doing a great big job by giving an opportunity to the teachers of English by helping them update themselves, opening a free space to blog and of course motivating them with awards.

If you want leave a comment and support blogging teachers, you should become a member of TeachingEnglish site and it will only take a minute. It is free and fun guaranteed:)

If you want to read my posts at the Blogathon, just click on the titles below.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life

My precious blogathon t-shirt

My Blogathon resolution: Losing weight by writing

The personality you carry with you

Using movies in class

Sorting sticks of a teacher

One minute

Teachers of Crystal Teacher

Are you in danger of …?

Have you been to Barcelona?

A poem dedicated to Blogathon

Today’s Menu

The biggest snowball ever

Other post about the Blogathon:

The race is on in the ELT Blogathon by Adam Simpson

Marks, set,  go! ELT blgoathon 2011 by Dave Dodgson

I’ve entered a competition by Naomi Epstein

Taking part in the TeachingEnglish Blogathon 2012 by Sanja

Does everything happen for a reason?
merve oflaz

by one of my students Tulya Elif B.

There are films that change your life. There are songs that give you a very strong heart beat and there are books that spiritualize you. There are also some days or events that change your whole life.

My story begins on a nice snowy day in Istanbul of the 1990s…

It was the day when I first entered the doors of the British Council at Istiklal Street in Beyoglu. I was a fifteen year old prep student with the strangest hair style ever. My mum who has supported me all the time took me there after my English teacher had advised me to become a member of the British Council Library. I can still remember the smell of the books, the cosy atmosphere and the friendly people working there. The hardcover books were really big and thick with many unknown words. I enjoyed walking through the library aisles looking through the reference books, atlases and novels. Unfortunately I was only able to read the leveled readers as an elementary level student. I was considering myself lucky if a reader was in a plastic bag because that meant the reader had a ‘cassette’ (a flat rectangular device that is used to record sound. (Hard to find one of these nowadays. Oopsie I think I became a little old:) ) These bags were soft and transparent with hard white handles. If the readers and cassettes were heavy, the handle could nearly cut my hand but I never thought of putting it in my rucksack. It was kind of a pride (but not a prejudice:) for me to carry them with a serious look in my eyes saying “I’m learning English.” My favourite section in the library was the great classical novels and poems. I didn’t understand a word in them but I was making a secret oath deep inside my heart to become a real reader of those books one day. I spent hours and days in that library. Looking through newspapers and magazines, choosing the books sitting on the stool by the shelves, reading and listening to cassettes by the bay window, the best liked seat of the library. That place was like the front seat at a theatre because you could watch the busy people walking along Istiklal Street and the little red and white tram ringing its bell.

Days chased days and I became a university student. I was studying English Language Teaching and drowning in homework and projects so once again the British Council Library had been my loyal assistant. Now the library had this huge catalogue, a machine looked like a mixture of a computer and an Atari. It was easier to search the books and materials through by using this thing. Besides I could understand and enjoy the books on any shelves. It was nice not to be limited with the leveled readers. There was also a video club (still no VCDs or DVDs) which was a bit expensive for me but we were allowed to watch them in the special area they provided in the library.

It was just after I had become an English teacher. I learnt that there were seminars about drama techniques and teaching young learners at the British Council. I did my best to attend these seminars given by Laura Woodward and Gulfem Aslan (They were both my heroines and idols, actually they still are) and tried to improve my teaching style.

All these live memories rushed into my mind and filled my heart with a bit of gratitude and a sip of nostalgia at the end of the 2nd International Conference on Language Education, Eclipsing Expectations at Sabancı University. As I was leaving with a bitter feeling and thinking “If only it hadn’t finished so quickly…” (but that’s another story to be mentioned in another blog post), I saw Raymond Kerr ( sitting there in the foyer outside the conference hall. I walked out saying bye to him but then I went back and shaking hands I thanked the British Council for providing me such a nice award after the Blogathon, the blog competition. As a silver award winner, getting a ticket to that conference was a real pleasure for me.  Then, I handed him my card and kindly invited him to my blog. I said “My real award is this blog I started. The Blogathon that brought a lot of teachers together gave me the real inspiration and courage.” He was surprised and asked again if I was serious or not. Then he offered me to share this experience with others through a blog post. “Why not?” I thought. And here I am.

Thank you British Council for changing my life sooo many times. The very first day I entered in that library made me walk in doors of time. Does everything happen for a reason? Yes, I believe that there was a reason that made me go there.


Here are some callouts appeared just above my head during the Blogathon:

  • Fantasies about my blogathon t-shirt: feeling a relationship emerged between the number 120 t-shirt and me.
  • The wonderful (!) word limit: Cookie for me !!! “What if I omit this word and add a comma? Mmm, is a comma considered as a word? Gosh! Why is this limited with 250 words but not between 250 or 300?”
  • Happy as a kid: The excitement I had whenever I see a comment in my inbox.
  • Me, the magician: Ordering the inbox with a bossy manner. “Inbox, Inbox! I order you to be bold.” (so I could see that I had mail.)
  • Super disturbing: The anger I felt if it was one of those spam or forwarded e-mails.
  • Sense the presence of the blogathon spirit all the time: Approaching every little situation in and outside the classroom as a potential blog post.
  • I admit: The anger and panic during the technical problem in the process of readers’ voting. (Luckily we were all officially evaluated by the professional team of the British Council.)
  • I am available: Making myself available even at lunch and break times to read posts and comment on them.
  • Feeling flattered: Cooperation and support of all fellow bloggers and other readers. Post and comments from famous bloggers.
  • A bump in the road: Facebook and Twitter. I did not have any chance to share my posts on social network because I deactivated my accounts for some reason then. (Fortunately, they are active right now.)
  • Trusting my instincts: The day I decided to start my own blog. Apparently it worked out:)

Never forget! Everything happens for a reason :)

This post was first published here.


Welcome to my place!

Dear Colleagues,

Dear Student Teachers,

Dear Students,

Dear Friends and Dear Others:)

Welcome to my blog! It’s a privilege for me to host you in here. I hope you will like my posts and share your thoughts and feelings.

I’m so excited about my blog. I just can’t wait to be in touch with my readers. Because of this, I’ve been wandering around with a grinning face as if someone is about to take my photo here and there. You know when someone is ready to take your photo you are expected to say ‘cheese’ and when you do that your face mostly changes into a grinning MSN Smiley. That’s the expression on my face nowadays.

My blogging story has begun with the inspiring competition the British Council opened in February. I should admit that ‘ELT Blogathon 2011’ has encouraged many of the competitors to open their personal blogs. Many thanks to the British Council for the opportunity it offered. The gold award (being sent to the 45th IATEFL Conference in Brighton) attracted most of us, sharing with other fellow bloggers charged our energy and precious guest bloggers supported us with their posts and comments. That was a unique experience for me. I enjoyed reading the posts, writing and sharing.

When I learnt about the Silver Award I received, I felt so happy. I will have a free entrance for Sabancı University ELT conference. I’m looking forward to taking place at the conference.

I believe the inspiration I gained is another award of the competition. I hope I can manage to keep you stay tuned. I am sure we will colour up our lives and shine our lights by sharing.

Remember! The more you share to more you grow knowledge.

This ending is a beginning

There are a lot of endings. Happy endings, sad endings, twist endings, ruined endings, surprised endings and so on.

Endings and beginnings are like matryoshka dolls. One closes the other and one opens the other. Then each beginning is an ending and each ending is a beginning.

Blogathon has been a marathon start for me. I learnt many things from all of you, shared my ideas, asked and gave advices. I felt the joy in my heart and the spirit of shared knowledge surrounded my mind.

Now, it is about to end but that will start another thing in most of our lives. As we stated in some posts, we will open our own blogs and go on sharing.  We will go on sharing knowledge like the generous nature.

I thank you all for the delightful journey we had together and wish you good luck.

Right brain / left brain dominance test for your students

This is a little quiz to have an idea about your students’ brain dominances. The test was given by Gulfem Aslan, a teacher trainer,  at a seminar in British Council in 1999. Thanks to her.

1. Are you better at recognizing and remembering names or faces?

Choose one: Names                         Faces

2 .Are you an organized individual or a spontaneous individual?

Choose one: Organized                  Spontaneous

3. Do you like realistic stories or stories that deal in fantasy?

Choose one: Realistic                     Fantasy

4. Do you problem-solve using logic or intuition?

Choose one: Logic                           Intuition

5. Do you like well-structured assignments or open-ended assignments?

Choose one: Well-structured     Open-ended

6. Do you remember things easily through language or through pictures?

Choose one: Language                  Pictures

7. Do you consider yourself to be very creative or not creative?

Choose one: Creative                    Not creative

8. Do you often produce humorous thoughts and ideas or serious thoughts and ideas?

Choose one: Humorous               Serious

9. Do you read for details and facts or for main ideas and overviews?

Choose one: Details/facts           Main idea/overview

10. Do you learn through systematic plans or through exploration?

Choose one: Systematic plans   Exploration

Scoring Procedure

Question 1. Faces=right-brain behaviour; Names=left-brain behaviour

Question 2. Spontaneous=right-brain behaviour; Organized=left-brain behaviour

Question 3. Fantasy=right-brain behaviour; Realistic=left-brain behaviour

Question 4. Intuition=right-brain behaviour; Logic=left-brain behaviour

Question 5. Open-ended=right-brain behaviour; Well-structured=left-brain behaviour

Question 6. Pictures=right-brain behaviour; Language=left-brain behaviour

Question 7. Creative=right-brain behaviour; Not creative=left brain behaviour

Question 8. Humorous=right-brain behaviour; Serious=left-brain behaviour

Question 9. Main idea and overview=right-brain behaviour; Details and facts=left-brain behaviour

Question 10. Exploration=right-brain behaviour; Systematic plans=left-brain behaviour.


© 2000 by Education World ®. Permission is granted to teachers to reproduce this skill page for classroom use.

Listen to your heart!

This is a very enjoyable writing activity that will make your lessons stunning and impressive.

1. Find a picture story. There are many nice pictures in writing books.

2. Find some sounds that can refer to each picture. Try to find more than one for each picture. Your aim in here is to make the students guess what happens in the story by listening to the sounds without looking at the pictures.

3. To find sounds, you can use the office online or the internet.

4. To express something about the story you also add some songs like a romantic music for a love story. This way, students will guess the theme of the story.

5. Play the sounds for each picture and ask the students to note down the sounds for each picture.

6. Give the students some time to think about for each picture and arrange their ideas. What they should do here is to write a story using those sounds.

7. Finally show the real pictures.

How long does it take?

40 or 80 minutes. Depends on the pre-work and the time you will provide for the writing process.

Who is it for?

It’s better to do it with at least Pre-Intermediate students. Beginners will probably have difficulties.


I really do not know if there is a similar version or not. I tried to make story writing fun and exciting by playing sounds and music.


This activity of mine was awarded by the British Council at a competition called “My Favourite Lesson Activity” in 2009.

Going abroad with your students
After the Hat Fair, Winchester

After the Hat Fair, Winchester

Last summer, I went to England with my students. As you can guess, it was a big responsibility. When I learnt I was accepted as the group leader of the students, I felt so happy. Thanks to my school!

It was a summer school programme providing some trips to many places.  Of course, my favourite part was the free time given during the trips. That was the shopping time for all of us.

The summer school was full of children from different countries so my students had the chance to practice their English and they did not get any help from me.

I also had hard and harsh time. One of the students got sick and I had to check him many times at night. I was like a 7×24 mum for them. After this trip, I nearly understood what a mother is like and how she feels.

No matter what the students ’age is, they can miss their families and act like the weirdest. You might see them crying and talking to themselves or to their suitcases. They might forget to take a shower or tidy up and it is you who must remind that! And comes the worst, it is you who should control them spending their money.  What I did was to collect all their money and give it to the case of the school and take some and give them every day.

Would you also want to go abroad with your students? If you haven’t done that, it’s time to try. If you think that would be hard, it’s time to change your idea. If your school does not provide a trip for students, it’s time to suggest the administrators.

Good Luck with that!

Fantasies about the blogathon T-shirt

I think a special relationship emerged between me and the Blogathon t-shirt. The number on it is so familiar as if I’ve always had it.

‘120’ is so close to me now like my telephone number (probably an extension one because it is too short!) or my door number or an ID number. One of my students thought that the number on the t-shirt was my weight but I still love my number. And luckily she was just kidding.

Sometimes I dream myself running in it with a great enthusiasm or I hear someone calling me ‘Hey! 120!’. And sometimes I want to sign papers as ‘120’ or scratch a tree in the park  ‘120’.

The weirdest fantasy I’ve had is a speaker at a match speaking very fast saying ‘Yes, now 120 has just sent a new post but what? A comment is coming! 120 replies the comment and starts reading the other posts to comment. Blah blah blah’

My t-shirt and I are so happy. We eat together. We sleep together. We wake up together. We teach together. We go everywhere together. My dear 120 t-shirt! I love you! I love sharing knowledge and blogging on Blogathon. And dear bloggers I love you, too.


Preparing exams, tests, worksheet and handouts take time and energy so you have to keep them well like a treasure. What I’ve been doing since I started teaching is keeping an archive. In the first two or three years of my career, archiving for me was putting everything in nice pinky files and putting them on nice shelves.

Next, I started to keep everything in floppy discs (why on earth I didn’t think of it at the beginning?) and the floppy discs in sweet boxes and the boxes in the drawers. Later, came the CDs. They were great because you could save hundreds of word files in each of them. Besides, very nice colourful boxes for these CDs were available. I remember myself painting a long long wooden cupboard (it’s in the attic now) for my precious CDs.

Then came the flash discs. They are very small and you can also wear them like a necklace. (There are even bracelet ones. I saw one last week:) ) You won’t believe but while everyone was preparing a food and first aid bag because of the earthquake tales, I was sleeping with my flash disc hung on my neck.

I wonder what will come next but I have to admit that I developed a new phobia and named it as ‘flashdiscmaniaphobia’. This phobia started after I dropped my laptop when my flash disc was plugged in and lost nearly thousands of my precious files. You know what, I sometimes miss my pinky files…

Why don’t you try webquests?

Do you want your students to pay incredible attention to the projects you assign? Then you should try to make a webquest.

A webquest is a kind of assignment (on the internet) asking the students to use the internet. It is as easy as blogging in here.

·         Make sure the topic is interesting for your students and appropriate for their age.

·         Decide on the steps the students will follow.

·         Give clear and brief instructions.

·         Check the websites you will give on the webquest. (Some can have really strange pop-ups or adverts)

·         Don’t forget to add an evaluation part.

·         Help student enjoy it and enjoy it yourself, too.

I created my first webquest when I was taking a Technology lesson in the Master’s programme. There are many webquest makers on the internet so that you can create your own.  Here are some links that you can get an idea about it:

If you don’t want to spend time creating one, you may use some ready ones. But I think you will be spending time to search for a good and appropriate one, too. So why not creating your own?

Do you celebrate ‘Foreign Language Week’? (Part 2)
My Students' projects about India

My Students' projects about India

Through the Foreign Language Week activities students understand the importance of learning a second language and become aware of the other cultures. They also find an opportunity to express their own culture and compare it with others. They understand that they should respect other cultures, languages, accents or dialects, too.  Moreover, they are inspired with the foreign language week posters which are displayed around.

·         If you want to celebrate this week, you can decide about the week according to the schedule of your own school. You don’t have to do it on a specific time.

·         Inspire all the language teachers to involve them and share the work.

·         Tell the head of department about the activities you are planning. Inform other administrators, too.

·         Create an atmosphere where the students can use foreign languages as much as they can.

·         Let your students enjoy the week.

·         Record (Photos, videos, note taking etc.)  all events during the week. Then use these records to inform other people (especially parents) on your school website, school newsletter or blog.

·         If you are planning to use the photos or videos of your students on a blog prepare a consent and release form for the parents and ask them to sign it.

·         Here are some links you can get an idea about this week:

Do you celebrate ‘Foreign Language Week’? (Part 1)
A corridor decorated for the Foreign Languages Week

A corridor decorated for the Foreign Languages Week

Corridors decorated for the Foreign Languages Week

Have you heard about ‘Foreign Language Week? In our school we celebrate it annually. During this week, we decorate the corridors and classrooms with many different projects of the students.

Each grade has a different project and the students begin to prepare at least 3 or 4 weeks before the Foreign Language Week. There are also fun activities we have during the week. For example: Treasure hunting, bilingual announcements, games, trivia questions, quiz shows, music and film activities, watching films in English, learning basic words (such as hello, thank you, my name is) in other languages and so on.

What I did with my Grade 8 students this year was a kind of cultural activity. Each classroom chose a country and searched what they wanted to learn about it. They searched about the foods, music, dances, history, currency, formal and spoken languages, tourist attractions, sports or traditional clothes of that country.

Next step was deciding about the type of the project. I advised them to bring 3D projects, videos or role play projects instead of a file full of pages containing copy and paste information. Some students made paper puppets for the traditional clothes of the related country, some of them brought recipes, others made boxes full of pictures and other information inside. Then they displayed everything they have prepared and brought in front of their classrooms.

We put flags and spoken and formal languages of the countries (made of A4 paper) on strings and hung them up on the ceiling.

Answer my questionnaire please! Fun is guaranteed! (Part 2)

If you have 5 or more ‘YES’ answers: You are a teacher.

If your answer is ‘YES’ for question 5: You are an extra – ordinarily creative (and maybe a little crazy like me) teacher.

If your answer is ‘YES’ for question 6: You are a teacher of the new generation and you try to use technology on all occasions.

If your answer is ‘YES’ for question 7: You are probably a language teacher.

If your answer is ‘YES’ for question 8: Good idea! Turn it down or have a rest! You have probably used group work or a class game in your class today.

If your answer is ‘YES’ for question 9: You probably spend a lot of time preparing for work on the computer. Don’t get stuck to it and give breaks. If you still have complaints, have some black tea (preferably tea bags) and put the warm tea bags on your eyes. (Don’t fall asleep with them on your eyes, they stain the sheets really badly:)

If your answer is ‘YES’ for question 10: Don’t worry. You just need to have a rest. Why don’t you try to spend your time with your loved ones? Resting is not only sleeping.

If your answer is ‘YES’ for question 11: You are about to become a burned out teacher. Find things to cheer up and come back to the ‘teaching’ life. Why don’t you share your feelings at a blog? You can get help from colleagues or experts.

Answer my questionnaire please! Fun is guaranteed! (Part 1)

Note down your answers please!

1.       Are you often warned by other people because you speak loudly, especially when you receive a call in the middle of a restaurant or when you are telling about an event ambitiously?

2.       Do you usually find yourself thinking about what to do at work for tomorrow?

3.       Do you sometimes warn the kids (even the ones you don’t know) in the street or in the park not to run or to be careful?

4.       Do you sometimes try hard not to go to the toilet and cause a 40 minute delay on purpose?

5.       Are you usually very excited when you come across every little object (such as a toy you have seen at the toy shop, a picture on a magazine or the box of biscuits) because you want to use them at work?

6.       Do cartoons, films or some websites inspire you about your plans at work?

7.       Do you use a lot of mimes, gestures or body language?

8.       Do you sometimes feel that you won’t stand on the noise and turn down the volume of the TV or the radio?

9.       Do you usually have headaches and ache in the eye?

10.   Do you sometimes lose your patience for your own children or family members at home (after a long work day)?

11.   Have you started to dislike people, reading, talking and listening for the last couple of months?

Now count your ‘YES’ answers and go to Part 2.

The flying girl

Have you seen the video of the flying girl? There are many comments about it on the internet and it is already on the news on TV. They say that it was probably filmed in Russia.

Some say that it can be the exercise of a little acrobat using some special ropes, others state that it is just a fake video. The most interesting comment was the one saying that people who meditate to open their meridian channels can do levitate or fly.

A reader’s comment to this comment saying that we will be seeing more paranormal events like this in a couple of years time  was the most bizarre of all.

I thought about the students we will be teaching then. As 21st century teachers, we are updating ourselves by attending seminars, webinars, online courses, blogging and tweeting. What about the needs of flying students we are likely to teach?

The teachers of the golden age! Get ready for the students of the future! Especially the flying ones:))

Working with parents (Part 2)

Use technology to share: As 21st century teachers, there is no need to waste paper, time and energy. You can use the website of your school to share information if possible. Or you can make group folders for your classrooms in an e-mail account of yours to inform the parents at the same time only with a click. Another thing you can try is phone chain charts. This way it will be easy to reach all parents by calling only one parent.

Start with the positive: While informing the parents about their children, it is good to start with the positive and choose the appropriate words to tell about the problems.

Never trust: Trusting is good but not the parents. Do not forget they are like multi-use bridges between you and the student, student and the administration, administration and you and so on. Do not talk about other students or parents with any of the parents even if you will say something positive. You will never know who will talk about you behind your back.

Weary children: Some parents like the role of the teacher. They can give their children extra work, force them with private lessons and overload them with bombarded activities. Explain the parents that teaching is your job. If they still insist on doing extra things about language, they can organize family events such playing Scrabble in English or watching a film in English.

What else can we do? Do you have any more suggestions?

Working with parents (Part 1)

Friends? or Enemies? I think the answer can change according to the role you will choose. Will you be the one who is completing the pieces of the puzzle or vice versa? Let’s be logical! Who would want an enemy (especially at work)? Parents are like the backside of the medal. For me, the other side is the students’. The chain necklace of the medal is the administration and the colleagues of you. And finally you are the one who is wearing the chain necklace with the medal. So what can we do to wear the medal?

Cooperation: The first step of working with parents seems to be cooperation. The best thing for this is to speak the same language and be on the same side with them. Remember that they are not your enemies.

Elicit help: Do not hesitate to elicit help and information from the parents. Make them feel you are next to them. You can only help their children with their help. They are the ones who have got the best information about your students.

Share: Why don’t you share the programme with them? You don’t have to send your daily plan but informing them about the vocabularies and structures you teach would be great. Adding the weekly homework or the dates of the important events such as projects or exams can also be very helpful. This will include the parents in the learning process.

Catch the sparkle!
A picture of me painted by a student

A picture of me painted by a student

Some students and sometimes some classes are somehow difficult. You may not catch the sparkle at first or even later. You may find yourselves dealing with unkind behaviours and thoughtless words of the students in the middle of a present perfect exercise, then this may become the hardest time ever. The age of the students does not change the situation. They want to have fun and become the winner if they are arguing with you. What you should do first is not to lose your temper and stay calm. Accepting can turn everything into positive and that can help you to gain the student forever. Why?

Why not? Isn’t being a teacher like acting? You have to change your role many times. When it comes to a difficult student who always rolls up opposition, you should act like meditating and accept the student for who he / she is. Focus on the good points of that person and make him / her feel this. Believe in the magic of love and love your students. If they can really feel it, they can catch the sparkle, too…

Hey teacher! Do you feel overloaded and exhausted? Here is a couple of tips to refresh yourselves: (Part 2)

5.       Professional development: Search for the seminars, workshops and conferences which will take place on holiday and try to attend them.

6.       Be with your family: Spend your time with your family. You have been so busy for the last couple of months. Why don’t you find some activities (such as cooking, doing puzzles or playing monopoly or taboo)? So all members of the family can join and enjoy.

7.       Reset your feelings: Does it sound nonsense? It’s definitely not! What you have to do is wiping out all the negative feelings especially the ones about the school, students, parents and maybe administrators:)

8.       Contact with friends: Call or e-mail your friends you couldn’t see or contact for the last couple of months. Meet them if possible. Chatting and gossiping can sometimes be as effective as a therapy.

9.       Don’t wake up late: It will be a short holiday, so don’t waste your time oversleeping. You will not die if you wake up early as if it is a school day. Seeing and experiencing the things you missed can be fun. What about a walk listening to the sound of the waves by the seaside on a week day morning?

10.   Feel ready: Be strong and motivated for the next term. Remember life is more beautiful when you enjoy it and it is not difficult to find things make you happy. Happiness is a journey not a destination.


Hey teacher! Do you feel overloaded and exhausted? Here is a couple of tips to refresh yourselves: (Part 1)

I’m teaching English for 13 years and I feel lucky feeling the spirit still in me. The biggest reason may be the passion I found in my job but there are more behind. Like emptying the trash in my mind and pulling positive energy into myself.

As teachers we suggest our students a long list of things to do on holiday and want them to be ready mentally and psychologically for the next term. What about you?  You have worked a lot and felt overloaded and exhausted. Don’t you think it’s time to do something for yourselves? Let’s see what we can do to refresh ourselves:

1.       Pre – spring cleaning: Organise your paper files and also digital files. Throw away all the papers and files that you don’t need any more (Prefer a recycle bin:) and archieve the ones that will be necessary for you later.

2.       Plan: Make a list of the things you enjoy doing. Don’t care even if they look silly such as a slimming programme or a face mask waiting for you. Make a plan about it and follow it.

3.       Read things you enjoy: Read your favourite magazines, the books which make you happy (no matter they are silly love stories or absurd fantasy novels) and of course blogs.

4.       Use your time: Try to use the time effectively. It doesn’t matter if your time is limited. The important thing is good quality. Sometimes half an hour can be more valuable than spending five hours with your loved ones.