Gulliver’s ELTravels with Patrick Jackson

‘Time flies when you’re having fun!’ said Patrick Jackson when he started his talk.

Reminding us both language and technology are just tools, he examined how things might go wrong.

He listed some reasons.

  • Motivation is the key element.
  • Passion — He believes teachers are servers. Instead of complaining about our learners or blaming the students or the systems, we should serve. Yet, he reminded that we shouldn’t become slaves!

And what can we lear from seagulls?

They catch whatever you throw them but they never want to share. We, teachers, however should share. Seagulls don’t always flap. Flapping constantly while flying is a tiring job and it’s waste of energy.

Patrick also advised the teachers to evolve as teaching/learning is possible with or without technology.

Eva Buyuksimkesyan for the roving reporter team.

Learning and Unlearning teaching: Marisa Constantinides

I have learnt from Marisa that it is difficult to learn a language, so we must be Creative. We must Connect some skills. Collaboration also essential for learning the language. We need to instruct, manage and elicit language from learners.

What are some qualities of outstanding teaching?

Change is one factor for an outstanding teacher, but how can we change for ourselves? First we must have a desire to change. In order to change we have to change Complacency, Comfort Zone and Lack of Curiosity.  You can visit http://marisaconstantinides.edublogs.org/2010/02/14/what-kind-of-teacher-are-you-are-you-in-your-students-hall-of-fame/

Maria also mentioned the kind of baggage a teacher carries. They are learning experiences, current state of knowledge, current state of development, perceptions of our role as a teacher. The baggage we carry is related to our attitudes to classroom issues e.g.  attitude to errors. It will affect Teacher talk as well. TT is about amount, quality, purpose.

There are bloks to learning. These are :values, self-perception, self-image, strategy bloks.

To sum up, Change is a key with or without technology

Marisa also mentioned some projects. These are:

APLANET PROJECT: There will be someone who will help you how to use twitter for your teaching. A power is in the connection. The idea of the concept behind this is the quality circles.

#ELT CHAT: You may join the twitter account. Every Wednesday at 12:00 and 11 pm. There are 2 online conversations to open up our horizons.

Gülnur Şahin for the Roving Reporter Team

(Special thanks to my colleague Inci for helping me by taking  all the photos)

ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENTS with Web 2.0 Tools: Deniz Ateşok

Deniz is one of the assesment people of Bilgi University. She shared the samples and the logic behind it. At schools we generally teach to assess because we think that students need to be focused. She used a video to let us see what is happening to the students during the exam.  She overviewed alternative and traditional assesment. She told us that we should decide the purpose of the exams: assessment of learning or Assessment for learning. She said at her university they give credit to alternative assessment.

Deniz showed us two websites to assess speaking. These are:

  1. Voxopop- it is between you and the members  (www. voxopop.com)
  2. Voicethread- adding voices on the slide. (www. voicethread.com)

For voxopop,  a headphone with a microphone is enough. She recorded their assignment about their past activities. The students were asked to record their voices. For the first couple of weeks the students can read although it is a speaking test. The second website is used for a long term Project.

As for assessing listening, she suggested:

  1. Potcasts- The teacher can sign up for podcast channels. (www.podcastsinenglish.com) The teacher can download the scripts.
  2. Then they g oto the (www.toondoo.com) to create their cartoons by using the notes they take while the listening and they create stories using these scripts.

To assess reading, she suggested

  1. http://www.linoit. com-She didn’t ask any questions and ask ss to ask questions, It is a good way to get feedback with it.
  2. Word clouds to recyle vocabulary.

To assess writing, Deniz suggested

  1. www. Sync.in – It is a bit like Vikis, but more user-friendly.
  2. www. penzu.com- It is an online notebook.  This can be an online portfolio.

Deniz was also kind enough to speak with Adam Simpson immediately after her presentation.

Thanks to Deniz for sharing the rubrics to assess the students.

Gülnur Şahin for the Roving Reporter Team

Great tools and great ideas shared by Deniz Ateşok

I was good at English because my English teacher never assessed us only with exams but also with our performances in dramas and activities.’ Deniz Ateşok

For the second slot of the workshops, I chose to attend Deniz Ateşok’s session, called Alternative Assessment Using Web 2.0 Tools.

Deniz shared some web 2.0 tools and shared ideas how to use them for reading, writing, speaking and listening. She also shared alternative ways to assess students’ products created with web 2.0 tools. It was a fruitful session as it allowed the participants to see student works and some sample rubrics created for each different web 2.0 tool.

Eva Buyuksimkesyan for the roving reporter team

A Dialogic Debate with or without Technology: Burcu Tezcan Ünal & Devrim Özdemir

Burcu and Devrim had a talk on Dialogic Debate to help teacher development. They said we should create an atmosphere to make debates in the department. Dialogic Debate has the power of talk to stimulate, support and have purposefulness. It has cognitive and social empowerment and it promotes communication besides giving educational reflection. It has stages: These are : Pause and Prompt, Evaluate, Expand and Repeat.  They showed us some examples by using three tasks.

  1. Wh- questions : We can divide the teachers into pairs and give roles to them and we ask them to continue interaction with questions. While they are discussing they will have the chance to discuss the problem.
  2. Ping-pong- Open ended Questions: We could share a problem about teaching in class and ask the teachers to play the ping-pong. They should react one by one like the game. We could also have fun while using this technique.
  3. Sentence Completion: The teachers may discuss teaching issues such as online workbooks. One group may complete the sentence starting with ‘Online books  …..’ The other group may aggree or disagree. This could be done with or without technology.

There is no answer in Dialogic Debate. Actually we don’t need answer. It’s about the process. It is about discovering something.

Devrim was also kind enough to speak with Adam Simpson immediately after his presentation.

Gülnur Şahin for the Roving Reporter Team

We Need to Get Back to Our Roots

The second day of the IATEFL TD&LT SIG Event started with JJ Wilson’s tech free, lively plenary.

It was such a powerful session that led all of us to our roots. All the activities he shared were great ways for reflecting on our teaching, our own personalities. Even at the end of the session I ended up writing a poem each line of which started with I’m from.

First we were told to think about 10 most powerful images from our backgrounds and then he asked us to complete our I’m from poem. The poem I came up with was a little bit sad, full of sorrows, yet hopeful and cheerful. Then he said whatever we had in the poem is with us in the class. It was kind of a rediscovery and it was a great way to remind us that we carry our suitcases with us everywhere and even to our classes.

He also pointed out that by finding out where we are today as professionals, we will set goals for tomorrow.

In the end we all had colourful balloons and we wrote a piece of advise on our balloons then threw them in the air, we caught the balloons and if we liked the advice on it we threw it once again to the crowd to be caught.

When we left the room, most of us had a just finished a journey to their childhoods and ready to plan for the future.

Eva Buyuksimkesyan for the roving reporter team

Interview with Workshop Presenters; Burcu Tezcan Unal & Devrim Ozdemir on A Dialogic Debate on Lesson Execution

Burcu and Devrim jointly presented at the conference and Burcu kindly agreed to respond to my questions.

Q: What were the key words in your workshop?

Dialogic, debating, empowerment, power of talk, Vygotsky, social interaction developing cognition,

Q: Can you summarise the main idea of your workshop?

The abstract summarises it very very well actually.

“Activities in every coursebook need to be adapted to our contexts no matter how wonderfully or technologically equipped they are. We want to touch upon different skills using segments from different coursebooks and open discussions on how to exploit them in class”.

Q: What did you learn while getting ready for your talk (during reading, researching, putting ideas together…etc.)?

Working as a team. First time in a joint presentation in a serious conference. Learned so much along the way. Links well with the main idea of out talk. We learn so much while conversing. It was a fun and fascinating collaboartion.

Loved it will do it again with Devrim and / or with other colleagues.

Thanks a lot Burcu for sharing your ideas

Asli Saglam for the Team Roving Reporters