A Journey in TEFL

As you’ll remember, I attended #SLTEP, a train the trainer program run by Sabanci University in June and while getting prepared for the next term, I decided to change some of the motivating, inspiring quotes into posters. Once again, I’m so happy that I had the decision to attend this course. I’ll start the year with lots of food for thought.

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image taken from yahoo images

image taken from yahoo images

 

I am not a fan of online games. I don’t play any but my son spends most of his free time playing online games. I have lots of students who do the same and when the subject is online games, even the quietest one starts to speak. A few years ago I had three students in my class. They were very much interested in games. They were very interesting boys because they were not ordinary players as they learned a lot about mythology and literature playing these games. One of them is writing stories and probably he’ll become a famous writer one day. That’s my hope for him.

I was clearing my files during the break and I came across a handout I coped from a book (unfortunately I don’t remember the name of the book) on literature. There were questions about favourite titles and characters. I put the handout among the ones I’d like to use this year but then suddenly I thought about another activity. Why shouldn’t I adapt it to games that the students are fond of playing and would work on the activity eagerly?

So here are my questions. I’ll be very happy if you can suggest other questions for this activity.

Think about the online games you love playing. First finish the sentences then compare your answers with your partner.

  1. I think I’m like the character ————————– from the game ———— because ———————-.
  2. I like the title of the game ————————— because ———————-.
  3. The game which I find very challenging is ———————————.
  4. I want to meet the character ———————- from the game —————- because ————————-
  5. The character whose action I admire is ————————– because ——-
  6. For me the most interesting 3 online games are ———————————.
  7. It is easy to win a game in ————————– because ———————–
  8. It is difficult to win a game in ———————– because ———————-.
  9. The game ——————- is set in a ——————————. It is —————–.
  10. 10. In the game ———————— you need to be a team to win.

Here you can find the handout I prepared for the activity.

Links to some blogs and interesting posts on online games

 

 

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When you tell your students “You three work together”, there will probably be some among the majority who will complain and tell that they don’t want to work with A or B in that group. They will sulk, they won’t contribute, isolate themselves or even worse they won’t let the other members work. However; if you do it randomly, and if you use a different technique from time to time, the complaints will be less. I’d like to share some of the methods I use to group or pair my students.

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  1. Ask students to gather together as 1st child, middle child, younger child or single child of their families. Let them speak about the differences or similarities they experience for five minutes. Then tell them to report to the whole class and then tell them they will work together for the next activity.
  2. Ask students to gather together according to their zodiac signs. Let them speak for five minutes and find common things in their personalities. Then tell them to report to the whole class and Finally tell them they will work together for the next activity.
  3. Prepare 4-5 different card sets in different colors. Laminate them if possible and keep them in an envelope at the back of your lesson planning notebook, course book or file and use them to group your students. As all reds in one group, all greens in another group, etc.
  4. Tell students to line up according alphabetically, according to the months they were born in or heights, etc. Then team them as fours or fives regarding your activity.
  5. You can prepare cards with different shapes, pictures on them. Put them in a bag or a box, shuffle them and ask students to pick one. Then tell them they will work together with the ones who have the same picture, image on their cards.
  6. Bring smarties into the class, tell them they should only take one from the box and then group them according to the colour of the candy they chose. You can do this with mini mars, twix or sneakes bars as well. Put them in a box and ask them to pick one.
  7. Prepare slips of papers, tell your students to stand up, mingle around and find their partners. You can write anything on the slips of papers. For example, you can ask them to find their partners matching the a)sub clauses with main clauses, b)riddles with their answers, c) problems with the piece of advice, d) synonyms and antonyms, e)words you just studied with their definitions, etc.
  8. If you have a smart board in class, you can go to https://www.superteachertools.net/instantclassroom/newlevel.php, click create group, write your students names and team them with the help of the tools.
  9. Choose some photos regarding the number of your class. Divide each photograph into four and put them in a box ask students to pick one piece and find the matching ones to work together.CLIPART_OF_16323_SM_2

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This was not the first train the trainer course I attended but may be the magic was the magicians I (we) met there.

I attended SLTEP, a two-week train the trainer program ran by Sabanci University School of Languages. With our amazing tutors, Deniz Kurtoglu Eken, Meral Guceri and Sharon Celtek, we dived into the depths of teaching and learning. Sharing ideas, trying new techniques, playing new roles, we had the chance to brush up our previous knowledge and learn about new things, new perspectives.

For me, the program was very successful because although it was designed to “develop the knowledge, skills and awareness needed for effective teacher training“, it also gave lots of food for thought for the classes we teach. When the program finished and I came back home, I had thousands of ideas, happy memories, inspirations, that will guide me throughout my new journey which I’m planning to begin.

I’ve been teaching for a very long time and I DO love my job. It’s not just a job, actually. It’s a passion. However, at this stage, after teaching for 20 more years, I think I should also focus on more teacher training.

I have some plans but I’ll tell them later. I just want to reflect on my fantastic SLTEP experience now.

SLTEP was the right choice for me because I needed some me-time ( yes, yes, I really meant me-time) , some fuel to continue… It was an intensive program, right after a very long and tiring academic year, yet I never complained getting up early and going to the campus for two weeks. I realized how much I had missed studying like a student. It gave me a chance to sit back and watch where I’ve come and how far I want to go. I still want to go …

Things I’ll do more I’ll research my classes.

Thanks to Mrs Eken, we once again remembered that every teacher should carry out researches to be able to reach more students in the class.

I’ll ask more questions for the students who are left behind, or the ones who have wings to fly higher than others. I’m sure I’ll find something for each group. Isn’t this true that so often you find that the students you’re trying to INSPIRE are the ones that end up inspiring you? (Sean Junkins)

I’ll reflect more on my teaching with my colleagues at school and yes, here on my blog.

Do more observation.

I’ll work hard to give better feedback. So next year I’m not just going to praise them when they did well or criticize the points to be improved, I’ll develop a way to communicate with them in order to help them to improve their skills.

I’ll do some training sessions. I think this is really what I want to do in the next phase of my teaching career.

Plans, ideas, memories …

SLTEP was very useful for me and I should also mention that I met a group of amazing, enthusiastic teachers whom we were strangers a month ago but became so close that we still communicate on Whatsup everyday. I hope our roads will cross with them once again in the future and I do wish them a very successful teaching career. It is great when you meet like-minded people who love teaching and do try to improve themselves to be great teachers. I DO believe that enthusiasm is infectious and we infect each other.

I’d like to thank the magicians, Deniz Kurtoglu Eken, Meral Guceri and Sharon Celtek, whom we spent two glorious weeks and got inspired and enthused by their energy, knowledge and passion.  

Regular readers of this blog know that I LOVE using songs in my classes. Since the summer is here, I now have the chance to keep up with the things I’ve missed. First I discovered a beautiful tool (AnswerGarden) that I’ll use next year with my students and even at my presentations at the conferences. Then I came across with ReBeats, a tool that gives the learners a chance to play with songs on YouTube videos. Apparently it’s in its beginning stages and works only on computers and in random mode. You can’t choose a song to play but you can skip to the next random song by pausing the game.I’m planning to use it with 1 on 1 lessons and I’ll also recommend it to my students. I’m sure they’ll love it. The site can also be a good alternative for Friday afternoons when you feel the students are bored and waiting for the bell to ring :)

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    I'm so glad that you're passing by. This is a blog where I share ideas, links and sometimes I speak my mind. There are also lesson ideas inspired by other teachers, I try to link them. If you like them, you can use them because they are here to be used and shared but please remember us.
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