Reflection on my macro teaching

21 May

I had my  last macro teaching at Terakki Foundation Schools today.  My students were third grades and they were all very enthusiastic students. My lesson plan was about Present Continuous Tense. I will tell you what and how I did in the class in a minute..

I do not like starting the topic as soon as students enter the classroom. I love ”chatting” with them, making jokes and having  fun a little bit before the lesson.

Yes.. I did exactly the same thing before starting the lesson. I asked how they were, what they had for lunch,they liked it or not etc.

If you give them 2 hours, young learners can talk about their activities  for exactly 2 hours 🙂 So, I thanked them and… Do you think I started my lesson? No 🙂

I asked them to guess what we were going to do for the lesson. Some of them tried to guess, some of them wanted to play a game 🙂 I said that we could play a game together if they promised to behave well. (We were going to play a game, I already had a game on my lesson plan 🙂 )

I said ”I am going to show you some pictures.. What I want you to do is.. Listen carefully.. I want you to tell me what they are doing AT THE MOMENT ”(I put a great emphasis on the last words)

I opened my ppt. Let me show you the pictures :



These were my warm-up stage pictures 🙂 I asked students what they saw in picture, I tried to elicit answers such as They are dancing,She is cooking.

They were all very good at answering questions. The problem was that they were having some problems with the Present Continuous Tense form. Some of the students said ”She cook”, some of them said they dancing”

I did not correct the student who gave false answer. I wrote his/her sentence on the board. It was amazing that some of them did self-correction even before I finished writing her/his sentence on the board.

For those who did not understand the mistake, I asked their friends whether the sentence was true or not.

Warm-up stage was over. I had worksheets for them before the game. There were 12 sentences with the pictures. What I wanted them to do was to look at the pictures and write the correct form of Present Continuous Tense.

Before giving worksheets, I asked some Concept Checking Questions such as how much time do you need? What are we doing Ömer, can you tell your friends?

I gave them 7 minutes to finish the worksheet. I started monitoring them. They had some problems with some words. I tried to explain them in English. They were trying to speak Turkish because I talked to them in Turkish when we were having a lunch break before the lesson.

I did not answer their questions or I said” what is ”şunu açıklayabilir misiniz”  I do not understand you ”:))

When they were all finished, We all started checking answers. Some of them had problems with the form of the tense and I wrote their sentences on the board again. The results were amazing again 🙂 They understood clearly when I wrote the sentences on the board.

Yes… They all did well and it was GAME TIME! : )

The game was really easy and fun. I used a ppt  slide again. I had a prize for the winner. When they learned that, they were much more excited for the game.

There were 12 verbs such as play,go,eat,climb.

I made them two groups. It is really hard to make young learners groups right?  Some of them do not want to be in ”that” group, some of them want to be in a group with their best friends etc.

Finally, I managed it 🙂 There were 22 students in the classroom and each group had 11 members.

Group A and Group B 🙂

I wanted to start with Group A… Group B members asked why and I could not give an answer :))

Yes… Why did I want to start with Group A… I do not know.. Is there a real answer for that? What do you think?

Group A chose a verb and made their sentence. It was false. They corrected it after they saw their mistakes. At that time, I was thinking of giving the group another chance but the other groups was already grumbling so I decided to give each group one chance for each sentence.

After minutes, the score was 3-2. The winner was Group A.. But.. It is not that easy to announce the winner.

Group B was so upset that they did not even talk to me.. One of the students said that Group A did a ”Şike” :)) I  had an extra prize for the Group B but what was surprising that they did not accept it :((

I was really upset as well.. I thought giving a prize to the students  could motivate students… Yes.. at the very beginning of the game, ,it was very motivating.. When the game was over, there were students who were upset..

What would you do if you were me? Do you give prize to your students? Is it good to give prize to young learners?

Before I finished the lesson,I thanked all of them and I added that they were all great and they were all winners!


A great conference means great speakers (Part Two)

7 Feb

It was last year when I wrote a blog post with the same title. It was about The Third International ELT Students Conference blog post and I was very excited to introduce our conference speakers.

This year, I’m organizing another student conference. We are 4 organizers and we have been working on the conference organization for months.

We have already great speakers. Let me introduce them to you :

Batuhan Aydagül : He is the the coordinator of the Education Reform Initiative. You can learn more about him :

If you live in Turkey as a teacher, you can probably know about ”4+4+4”. At that time, Batuhan Aydagül was on TV and he was talking about that system that was about to start at Turkish Schools.

When I was searching on the internet to learn more about him, I came across an interview of him. It was about ”Fatih Project” and I said ”Why not?” Fatih Project was already being discussed among English Teachers. So.. I invited him to the conference to talk about Fatih Project. He agreed to come and give a talk!

You can learn more about him :

Özgür Bolat 

It was all thanks to Burcu Akyol 🙂 I could reach Özgür Bolat and invited him to the conference. He is an educator,researcher,a columnist at Hurriyet Newspaper.He is going to give a plenary talk at our conference! You can learn more about him by clicking on the links

Deniz Kurtoğlu Eken

If your work is related to ELT, It is almost impossible  for you not to hear ”Deniz Kurtoğlu Eken”  She works at Sabancı University School of Languages. You can learn more about this great educator! And.. if you are going to IATEFL this year, do not miss her great plenary talk! I will be there and I’m already excited 🙂

Luke Meddings

It was last year when I first met him. He was a plenary speaker at our conference. He is one of ELT stars and I’m very happy to host him at our conference as a plenary speaker. If you want to meet one of the founders of ‘Dogme” and want to listen to a great plenary talk, Luke Meddings is the key word 🙂

You can learn more about him :

Aybike Oğuz

Aybike Oğuz has been teaching English for 11 years. She is an English teacher at Robert College,Turkey. Before I met her, I knew her blog 🙂 After  I met her, it was time to invite her to the conference as a speaker!

She came up with an interesting plenary talk! You will love it!

Burcu Akyol

Burcu Akyol is our Turkish ELT star 🙂 She is the coordinator of Istek Schools Foreign Languages. She was with us at last year’s conference and I cannot think of a conference without her ( a conference I organize) 🙂

By the way, her blog made the Top 100 Education Blogs 🙂 Congrats Burcu Akyol 🙂

Ken Wilson

I think I will not be able to write much about Ken Wilson. You must come and see this great educator! He is absolutely amazing.

You can learn more about him :

And.. we have great open space plenaries!

As we have a great ”open space” at our university, I wanted to make the most out of it 🙂

Have you ever experienced Open Space Discussions? If not, you are very welcome to experience it 🙂

Burcu Tezcan Ünal

She is the academic coordinator of Istanbul Bilgi University Preparatory School. She is a teacher,trainer and she is a conference organizer 🙂 (List may go on like this)

When I decided on the theme of the conference, I started thinking about potential speakers as well. Burcu Tezcan was one of the names that came to my mind.

She is certainly an outlier and she will talk about a great topic! Wait for it! 🙂

Turgut Turunç

It was when I attended ”Unplugged vs Connected : Where Ideas Meet” course at Bahçeşehir University. Turgut Turunç was also one of the course participants and I had the chance to meet him! One day we were about to have ”Open Space Discussions” and he came up with a very interesting topic : Why Should I learn what you teach”. It was at that time when I decided that I should invite him and request him to talk about this topic! He agreed to come and give a plenary talk 🙂 Thank you Mr Turunç 🙂

You can follow him on Twitter :

Özge Karaoğlu

Here comes another outlier! She is one of our Turkish ELT Stars 🙂 She is the creator of many outstanding projects 🙂

You can learn more about her :

You can watch her Tedx video :

As I keep saying, register now to join this thought provoking event and do not miss the chance to meet the exceptional professionals of your field.

We will be waiting for you 🙂

(Tomorrow I will go on introducing our great concurrent keynote speakers. Stay tuned! 🙂 )

Feedback on teaching experiences

21 Apr

Hi again !

I’m back with a new post. I will write about feedback that we get from our teaching experiences (as a class)

We had a lot of micro teaching experiences so far. (Thanks to Burcu Tezcan)

She always gives us useful feedback that are very important for our teaching career.

I will share them with you :

  • It is important to balance teacher talking time. Give chance your students to speak.
  • Do not try to turn your back at the students for more than a few seconds (classroom management)
  • Always remember to give students the timing and how they will be working (in pairs,alone)
  • Stay away from meta-language like ”now we will do some pre-reading activities” Students do not need this information. It is for us as teachers.
  • Your voice must be always audible.
  • When students use higher level language, show surprise,react to them or praise 🙂
  • Model the activity before students start doing it,not after they have done it.
  • When students cannot answer the question correctly, avoid giving the answer yourself. Instead of it, teach/assist them how to find the answer.
  • Avoid making simple grammar mistakes especially in written form.
  • In a reading lesson, do not read aloud, this does not help students’ reading skills building-it becomes listening otherwise
  • Give your students time to read the passage and think. Do not hurry.
  • Do not turn your activities into teacher-fronted ones.

That’s all for the time being. I will go on writing feedback on teaching experiences in my next blog post.

By the way, Virtual Round Table Web Conference has already started ! Here is the link : 

Have a great day and happy teaching 🙂

After the conference.. A big thank you goes to…

16 Apr

A big thank you goes to everyone!

Yes, The conference is over. It all started one year ago and finished yesterday. It is the ”back to the real life” moment from now on.

I have a thank you list and I wanted to put this list to my blog so that I can look every time as a memory.

First, THANK YOU : The first organisers of the ELT Students Conference – Burak Sunguralp and others.  We could not have done ”the third”one without the first and the second that was organized by Başkent University.

And.. Second thank you goes to Burcu Akyol. She is the inspiration of most teachers and she is my idol in ELT. I could not think of organizing a conference without attending her great conference. Thanks for the inspiration and your limitless support during the organization and conference days.!

And Buse Aral ..Thanks for believing me when I told you about my thoughts.You did not think even for a second what this girl was saying ?!  🙂

Büşra,Başak,Ayşegül.. I cannot think any other better team than this. We did a great job,girls !!

And..İstanbul Bilgi University, English Language Department. Thanks !!

Boğaziçi University, thanks for great conference venue 🙂

Yasemin Bayyurt..  To be honest, when I first sent a message to her one year ago saying that I want to organize a conference and I need help, I was hopeless. I thought that she was too busy to help me. But what happened ?! Just one day later, she sent me a looong message saying that she was ready to help. A big thank you goes to her.

And.. Participants who believed us and came to the conference from different places,cities, speakers who devoted their time to our conference supported us every single moment.

And.. Helpers.. They did their best to help others.

Ken Wilson and Luke Meddings. There is no need to say this since this is a well-known fact, BUT : You were the best ! Looking forward to meeting you again !!

Thanks for everything ! I had the most amazing days of my life.

I think that my thank you list is over. See you at other conferences very soon 🙂

The Third International Elt Students Conference is looking for a roving reporter !

19 Feb

We are very happy to announce roving reporter competition which is a great addition to our conference !

We will sponsor flight and accommodation if you are from outside of Istanbul

If you are in Istanbul and apply for the competition ,there is a big prize waiting for you 🙂

If you have not chance to attend the conference, it is a great opportunity to come and meet a lot of great elt professionals !

It is not matter whether you are a teacher or a student. Both students and teacher can apply for the roving reporter competition !

You must also live  in Turkey. Please apply for this competition  if you are in Turkey.

All you need is to dream and submit a video to YouTube. After submitting your video to YouTube, please send us the link :

Submitting a 3-4 minute video about your perfect conference in your mind is enough. It means we ask how a conference may be a great one ? What must it include and so on ?

We ask you to dream,think and be creative as much as possible  !

The deadline is 15 March 2012.

What is your job ?

Do not worry ! It is a very enjoyable job ! You will take pictures, make interviews with elt professionals and update our facebook,twitter and blog pages during the conference. You will keep updated other people who have not chance to attend the conference.

Please add your creativity, as well 🙂 You can also share your own ideas with others

If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us.

Good luck ! We are looking forward to receiving your great videos !!

Feedback on my lesson experiences

6 Jan

First of all, I wish all my friends a wonderful 2012 🙂

I’m back with a new blog post. Today, I will share some feedback that I get on my lesson experiences.

  • Being a welcoming,pleasant and a confident teacher is important for students.
  • Using relevant and engaging visuals always work !
  • A teacher must have an appropriate warm-up activity for the lesson.
  • Timing is important!
  • Asking personalized questions and responding to them motivates students.
  • Giving clear instructions is necessary. Otherwise, students get lost!
  • Having a relevant and a meaningful follow-up activity is important for the students,as well.
  • What about homework? Giving a relevant homework to students make the lesson better.
  • Thanking and praising students for what they did during the lesson is great :))

What we must certainly do is :

  • To reinforce the language point/skill we want students to learn/build.
  • To allocate time for modeling with students so they see the language point.
  • To give feedback on student’s performance based on our expectations.
  • To specify the pairs in pair work.
  • And lastly : Technical problems are inevitable. Use PLAN B after a few minutes.

Other feedbacks that I find important to share with you :

  • Avoid hurrying. Make students understand what to do properly.
  • Try to use intonation and rhythm while talking. Students can understand better.
  • Monitor while students are doing the activity that you gave.
  • Check if they understand the questions before the task starts.
  • Add creativity to the lesson.



My second teaching experience

21 Dec

Hello :))

I’m back with a new post and looking forward to sharing my second teaching experience with you 🙂

Today, I had my second teaching experience in Burcu Tezcan’s class.

My aim was to improve  speaking skills of my students. I  used role-play cards and pictures in my lesson.

I started my lesson with a warm-up activity. I showed some pictures to my students and wanted them to guess what is happening in the picture, what they are doing, what is the problem. They were about neighbour problems.

After they talked about the pictures, I went on with my questions. I asked them do you have good neighbours or bad ? What kind of problems do you have with them etc.

One of the students told a funny argument that he had with his neighbours. I managed to get the attention of the students :))

After trying to get the attention of the students, there was a role-play activity. Before my students started to do the activity, I gave an example and did the activity myself in front of them to make the activity more understandable :))

I made my students groups in two and gave each student a role card. I wanted them to read their cards for a second and come to the board, act as they were neighbours and they were having a problem with each other 🙂

For example,  Neighbour A has an important exam tomorrow but neighbour B is having a party! A goes to B and complains about the noise and wants her to stop the party. B does not want to stop the party because it is her birthday etc..

Students loved this activity and enjoyed themselves 🙂 My aim was to make them use modal verbs such as should, must etc. and improve their communication skills.

After this role-play activity, we came to the last part. I did not change the groups. I wanted another group to give advice to the other group.

For example, one student said that Buse, you shouldn’t shouted at Başak you know it is her birthday etc..

Before finishing my lesson, I told my students that they did a great job and I did not forget to give them a homework for the next week.

Luckily, I did not have any technical problems. My aim was to teach modal verbs in an enjoyable way. I used pictures and role-play cards to do that. I hope it worked. 🙂

I want experienced teachers to comment on my second teaching experience. :)) Thank you very much in advance.Your opinions are very important for me to improve my teaching more.


My first teaching experience

4 Nov

In this blog, I want to talk about my firs teaching experience 🙂

Last Wednesday, I had first teaching experience in the classroom. It was Burcu Tezcan’s class and we all pretended as if we were students of our friends and taught them english 🙂

My imaginary students were 9-10 year-old and their level was intermediate. They all attended private schools. My aim was to improve their listening through a funny story.

I started my warm-up activity : I showed some funny pictures and wanted them to guess who they were, what they were doing, what was happening in the pictures. I wanted them to be curious about the story before listening.

After showing the pictures, it was pre-listening turn. I wanted them to write one or two sentences about the pictures. I wanted them to look at their notes and decide whether their notes were true or not (after listening to the story)

The listening part was a big failure because I had technical problems! We couldn’t listen to the story. I felt very bad and demoralized, I know I shouldn’t but I just couldn’t help myself feeling bad !

I read the story and went on my lesson. My first activity was a true-false activity. I made my students groups in two and gave them a card. I wanted them to look at their cards and decide whether the sentence was true or false. If the sentence was true, it was okey for them, if it was false, they had to give the correct answer! The sentences were mainly false ! 🙂 they were all related to the story. I wanted to be sure whether they listened to the story well or not ! 🙂

After the activity, I had another activity. I made groups in two again and gave each group a picture. I wrote some words on the board. What I wanted them to do was to look at their cards and find the related word on the board!

My lesson was about the finish and at the end of the lesson, we were going to listen to a song and sing a song together but we couldn’t listen because of the technical problems. But my lesson plan was like that (you can guess without technical problems)

I want experienced educators to comment on my first teaching experience and my lesson plan 🙂

I hope I will be better and better day by day.

Have a great day and teaching experiences ! 🙂

A lesson like a session in an elt conference..

7 Oct

As everybody knows summer is already over. We said goodbye to our holidays and went back to our schools.

We have a lot of methodology classes this year. I feel that teaching is a kind of art and teachers are real artists. As time goes by, I feel very excited thinking that I will be a teacher very soon.

In my post, I want to share a lesson that I had a week ago. Our lecturer gave each of us a part of newspaper. It was about the technology and teachers. The headline was great ! : Smart teachers instead of smart boards !

Professor Ziya Selçuk gave a lecture on this issue and I want to share his notes :

  • If a student loves his teacher, he loves his lesson, as well.
  • Technology is good, but it is not enough. Teacher factor is the most important one.
  • Schools must give importance on the career of their teachers.
  • Every teacher must have some rules in the classroom.
  • Teachers should use social media.
  • A lot of schools start to make project over facebook, twitter,blogs.
  • Teachers should combine technology and classroom management.
  • Teachers should live in their students ”digital” age.
  • Most teachers are error-oriented.
  • Schools should increase their teachers creativity. They should have enough sources for the creativity.
  • Communication skills are very important. If a class has good communication skill and classroom management, learning can take place.
  • Teachers can create technology with their creativity!
  • If teachers give up being error-oriented and start to give support their students, students start to make a good progress
  • The success of a school mostly depends on the success of a teacher.
  • Every student should be evaluated as a different individual.
  • As the time change,learning styles change,as well.
  • Teachers should give their students right materials in the right time.
  • Teachers should create a good environment for learning.
  • Exam-centered system is so dominant that students cannot realize that learning is not an aim but  a tool.
  • If a class has a bad classroom management, students may develop permanent negative  behaviors.
  • Teachers should attend conferences,workshops. There must be no excuse to learn from other colleagues from all over the world.
  • assessment and evaluation can be done without exams.
  • Some teachers still think that classroom management only consists of discipline. NO!
  • The fact that students obey the rules does not mean that classroom management is used efficiently.
  • Teachers should be taught how to be guide for their students.

Teacher shouldn’t forget that every learner has different needs, learning styles and interests.

I will continue to share my notes. Stay tuned ! 🙂


Summer is almost over..

8 Sep

Hi again !

I’m very happy to be back to my blog 🙂 I was on holiday enjoying the sea,sand,sun 🙂 but my summer break is almost over. I’m very excited to begin my new academic semester 🙂 This year will be a very different one since I will meet lots of great educators at our conference. I feel very excited !!!

There are some good news regarding the conference! The first one is that you will be able to watch our conference online if you do not have a chance to attend it. But it is better for you  to attend and meet ELT stars !! 🙂

The second one is that there will be a roving reporter competition!! Our roving reporter can be  either a student or a teacher ! If you cannot make it to the conference for some reasons, you can participate in our competition and have a chance to be a roving reporter at our conference 🙂  I will give more details about it! Stay tuned ! :))

Another great news is that there are some new confirmed speakers : One of them is Selcen Özkaya Seçil. I know that many of you know her : İstek Schools Deputy General Manager. She accepted to be a speaker for our panel! I look forward to meeting her again!

There are  also good surprises for opening  cocktail!!

I feel very excited that a lot of Elt students are already eager to participate and present their projects ! I strongly believe that student soul will make our conference a great one !

That’s all for the time being ! See you at my next post :))