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Posts Tagged ‘ELT Blogathon 2012’
A Bit of Nostalgia: ‘Blogathoning’ in Spain
wces opening merveoflaz

DAY 1 Barca, Catalonia

Me & Barca :p

I’m happy to be in Barcelona (after a cancelled flight and another one delayed because of the heavy snow in Istanbul). I feel like an author or a journalist writing on a journey during that journey:) I have always wanted to do that and here I am:)One of my colleagues and I will present an article we wrote at the 4th World Conference on Educational Sciences. It wil take place in Barcelona University.  It’ll be interesting and of course challenging to continue running at the blog marathon here in Spain, but I’m so excited. Tomorrow is the first day of the conference. The opening will be huge as far as I guess. There will be hundreds of academicians from different countries. I will try to share things about the plenary speeches and workshop sessions I attended. I may not be so active in reading and commenting, but I will do my best :)


DAY 2 ‘Hola’ from Spain

Me, just before my presentation at Barcelona University

We all like to attend conferences and enjoy being a part of the audience while we are watching our favourite course book author or a world famous presenter and digesting the concurrent sessions. There are of course other sweet things like seeing ex colleagues, meeting new ones, stopping by the book stands, munching the cookies and biscuits and looking forward to raffle time to get a prize.What about being there as a “presenter”? If you have never attended a conference or a seminar as a presenter, it is time to take a step. I know that some people do not like to be on the stage, but if you have a little bird twitting in your heart and telling you to do so, it is not difficult to reach your aim.

Here are some suggestions from me:

-    Decide on the type of the conference you would like to attend. An ELT conference or any other one such as Educational Sciences, Social Sciences etc.

-    Start with baby steps and try a local one, then you can go on with the international ones.

-     Try to be unique in some part of your presentation, so people will not forget you. -     Follow and watch the presenters and trainers, but never try to act like one of them.

-    Never think that your ideas are not valuable.

-    You can enlighten the way of (a) colleague(s) with your experiences.

-    Believe in yourself. The door of the courage is already in your heart, waiting to be opened.

Buena Suerte (Good Luck in Spanish:)

DAY 3 Tapa Tapa

Happy and relieved after I ate up my 'tapas':)

After people heard that I was going to Spain, they suggested me to eat “tapas”. When I first heard about it, I thought it was a specific dish with some kind of sauce. I don’t know why, but the sauce was visualized in my mind as a green smoothie. (human mind is strange, esp. mine:))) I don’t like reading or searching about a place before I visit it (the same strange mind again:))), so tonight I tasted my first “tapas” and understood what it really is. (actually it was more than one :) )“tapas” is a dish of different kinds of snacks and appetizers. You have the chance to get a small or big dish, but I preferred the small ones to taste more of them at the same time. Yummy! They were delicious. Now, I’m back to my hotel room and reflecting about my day to decide on the post of the day. What I just realized is the similarities between “tapas” and English lessons. A good lesson should include bits of pieces (as different tapas dishes) to keep the attention. Imagine yourself in a lesson working on the same type of activity using the same skills or having different type of activities appealing to different skills. Which one would make you feel better? Would you prefer a cauldron of beans to be eaten without any pauses or little dishes of “tapa” (food) with a wide variety of food to be enjoyed:)

P.S: Thanks to Turgut Turunc, my colleague, for suggesting me (at the dinner) to write about “tapas” for today’s post though it was a bit challenging for me to connect it with English lessons:)

DAY 4 The Soul of the Flamenco Dance

A shot from the awesome Flamenco Dance Show

Tonight, we were at ”El de Tabloa Carmen”. It was a tremendous dance performance. Watching a live Flamenco dance show left me breathless though I was not one of the dancers:)) I admired the performers who were in such a great harmony. Their handclaps and steps were increasing the speed of the dancers’ movements in some parts and slowing down in other times.  A story seemed to be hidden behind each dancer’s own mimes and gestures. Imagining a Flamenco dance show as an English lesson, I would probably be the handclaps and steps and my students would be the dancers adjusting their movements according to my actions.What about you? What part of the dance show would you be as an English teacher?Hope you can catch the soul of the Flamenco dance in your English classrooms:))

DAY 5 ‘Woke up’ in Spain and ‘Slept’ in Turkey:)

Me and my dear colleague Turgut Turunc (Thanks to him for making this 'conference' journey so special) - We are posing with the 'dragon fruit' before tasting it:)

I woke up in Spain and slept in Turkey yesterday. The world conference is over and I’m back to my home sweet home.Luckily it was my half day today and I woke up late. Today was the beginning of the second module at the university I am working. I was so excited like a little child. Although I’ve been teaching for fourteen years, I always have this feeling before I start a new term at school.  Teaching at a university preparatory class is a bit different. You do not teach the same classes for the whole year. There are 3 modules and in each module your classes change. The first module takes 17 weeks and the others are 8 weeks at my university. This makes 3 different starts:) New beginnings are always nice and refreshing, but some teachers think that teaching the same classes during the academic year is much better than this. The teacher can develop a better rapport with the students in a longer time and can also be more beneficial. What about you? Do you think teaching the same group of students in a shorter term is better? Why? Why not?

P.S: Today was also the first day of the primary and high school students in Turkey. Wishing all the teachers a nice and successful term / module. Welcome back to school :)


This post was first published here

A bit of Nostalgia: My Blogathon Resolution – Losing Weight by writing:)
merveoflaz blogathon tshirt

Today is the third day of the Blogathon and I feel happy and relieved with the very scientific new resolution I found for myself. Losing weight! Yes, sounds crazy but as I said it is scientific and proved:)A couple of days ago, I came across a Facebook post shared by Oya Uslu, one of the Blogathoners of last year. The post was a link to a news article saying that writing helps you lose weight. According to the research done by Waterloo University in Canada, half of the students wrote about the things they like and they cared for and the other half wrote about the least important things for themselves. At the end, the first group who wrote about their favourite stuff for 15 minutes every day lost approximately 1,5 kg and the other group gained about 1,25 kg in 4 months. The duration of the Blogathon can be much shorter, but it is OK for me. Writing about the things I like won’t be problem, because I am already doing that. If I count the comments I write, that will make more than 15 minutes. My scientific calculations reveal that by the end of the Blogathon, I will have lost about 4 kilos. That makes 4 bottles of cola :) Seems easy and fun. If I can prove it, that will be great to share it with my writing class but I should be ready for the students finding excuses like “Sorry Ma’am, I couldn’t write the first draft not to put on weight because I don’t like the topic” Ha ha!This is the link to the news article I mentioned, but it is in Turkish.

This post was first published here


Good-bye to 2012 by “Wh- Photos” Activity

This is a speaking activity that your students will enjoy a lot. It aims to help the students use wh- questions in different tenses.The only thing you need is a power point presentation of “your” photos taken in different places at different times. You can choose the best shots in 2012 and that might be a sweet good-bye to it:)

Instead of using photos of people your students don’t know, it is really exciting to use your own ones. Since the students always want to learn about their teachers’ lives, through this activity they will be able to ask questions to the teacher and get responses as well.

Here are the steps of the activity:

* Divide the students into pairs or groups. You can also use it as a classroom activity.

* Write the question words (who, what, where, when and so on) on the board.

* Tell the students that they’re going to make up a question using the question words in order. (While group A is using the question word “who”, the next group can use “what” and the others use the ones in the order.

* Do not forget to give a specific time expression for each photo, so they make their sentence using the related tense.

* wh- question words written on the board beforehand can be used in turns by the groups.

Here are some questions for the photo above:

- Where were you?

- What were you doing when the photo was taken?

- Whose bag is that?

- Did you read that book? / Did you like it? / Who was the author?


Any additions or adaptions?

This post was first published here