May 2010 archive

Quick Fillers


 When the schools are about to finish, I tend to do more fun activities instead of grammar revisions. Some of these activities are from books, workshops, colleagues, TV programmes and some of them are adaptations.

Here I go:

1. Imagine and write.

Play some instrumental music.

Tell students to imagine a character and jot down the adjectives that describe that person.Set time limit. Then tell students to imagine a place which can go with the music as well and write short descriptive phrases or words until you stop music. Start the music and tell them to imagine the weather conditions and take some notes while listening. When they have all finished writing down their notes ask them to write a short story.

2. tick-tac-toe

Write the words on slips of papers and put in an envelope or a box. Team your students as Xs and Os. Draw a tic-tac-toe grid on the board and tell them to choose a number and take a piece of paper from the envelope. If they know the meaning of the word, cross the number with X or O. Continue until the words finish.

3. Best friends

 Tell students you are going to play a game to understand how well they know each other.

Pair best friends together and send a pair out of the class. The ones in the class will prepare questions to find out their friends likes dislikes, habits and routines. Choose a secretary to write the questions and answers. Then ask student A to come to class and answer questions for student B. Do the same with student B.

When they both finish, read their answers and let them see how well they know each other.

Thank you

The blog competition ended and most of my friends have been voted for the top ranks.Here you can see the results.I’m so much honoured to be on the same list with these great bloggers, who continuously inspire, motivate, collaborateand support. I’m learning loads of things from them. I want to congratulate all of them.

Actually this ‘congratulations’ is for everybody who is blogging, tweeting and sharing the things they’ve already known instead of keeping all these to themselves.

I’m so happy to be part of this community.

Thank you

Just Improvise – A Quick Game


Life is a lot like jazz… it’s best when you improvise – George Gershwin

Sometimes my mind doesn’t allow me to enjoy the moment.

Last week a group of actors from a drama club visited our school and they performed with our students. They improvised in the school yard. They started with some warm ups and continued with a few short ‘games’.

While watching them, I caught my mind thinking how I could adapt them in my classes.

There were fabulous ideas and yesterday we tried one of them.

Level: intermediate and above

Time: it’s up to you and your students

Aim: to practice relative clauses, vocabulary

Preparation: none

  1. Ask students to stand up and form a semi circle.
  2. Tell them you will start the game saying ‘I’m the door.’
  3. Then a student will come and say a sentence which is related with the door and act as the thing in the sentence. He may say ‘I’m the lock on the door.’ And pretend as if he was a lock.
  4. Then a third one will come and complete the scene. He may say ‘I’m the key that opens the door.’ The first one will decide who will continue and may say ‘I want the key to stay here’.
  5. Then the key repeats ‘I’m the key that opens the lock’ and the game continues until you get bored.

When playing it they will make associations, connections, they can even play with the words and choose rhyming ones.

For example the next student may say ‘I’m the flock of birds flying to the south’ after hearing the word ‘lock’

We really enjoyed the activity very much. It can be a warmer or filler. Think about dull Monday mornings or long Friday afternoons.

NB My students are teenagers aged between 15 to 17. I think this activity will be suitable for teenagers and adults.

My homework-Part 1

 homework1 (2)

This week we, teachers on blogosphere, have a homework assigned by Darren Elliot. I really like this idea as Mike Harrison said ‘We need a project to uncover all these hidden gems’

The good thing about this project and It’s worth taking a look at this blog is we have a chance to examine the blogs and some posts again and again. This really helps us discover and rediscover new blogs, new educators and great ideas.

Before doing my homework, I visited some of my favourites and their blogrolls and I subscribed to the ones I just discovered as Shelly Terrell suggested subscribing as a great way to follow all the recent blog posts.

Now it’s time to reveal the hidden treasures.

1. The first one is from Life Feast. It is actually a recent post but as music is very important for me and most of us, it will be great to have it on this list. FUN TIME- enjoying songs is about sites which can bring music into your life.

2. If you are teaching young learners, Leahn’s blog Early EFL is a good stop and you must also read 10 Tips and Ideas for Teaching VYLs.

3. If you are in need of web 2.0 tools and don’t know how to use them,one of  the best adresses is ZarcoEnglish – Tool of the day. On her blog, Alexandra Francisco posts a new tool from Monday to Friday with some suggestions. This post is about a tool which allows teachers to create worksheets, tests and quizzes.

4. This one is one of my favourites. I love the way Marisa Constantinides compare and contrasts tools and their uses. I find her tips very useful.

5. Ozge Karaoglu’s Blog is an other adress for you to stop and learn about web 2.0 tools. She is amazing and here is a wonderful post for you, bookmark it for the next Valentine’s Day.

6. And if you have just started blogging and need some guidance read this post written by Karenne Sylvester, English Language Teachers Now Blogging, tech tip 10

7. I love using songs in my classes and I shared some ideas that I used with my classes. If only Janet Bianchini had written this post before the Bilgi workshop. Here you can see how wordle or any other word poster can be used with songs in the classroom.

8. Marisa Pavan’s Linguistic Consultancy is a blog where she shares lesson ideas with her readers. This is a great article about a lesson.

9. Shelly Terrell’s blog should be a must follow because there are so many things to read. I chose this particular one as there are wonderful ideas and great links for vocabulary teaching.

10. And if you can’t find time to update your blog, have a look at Sean Banville’s blog for some Time Management Tips 4 Busy Teachers – Part II

I thoroughly enjoyed doing my homework and I hope I’ll repeat it again. Thank you Karenne for the homework message 🙂


My Workshop at Bilgi University

In the session, I talked about why we should use songs in EFL classes.

Music is everywhere in our lives. We listen to songs when we are happy, angry, sad or when we need inspiration or when we want to relax. We go out of our homes with our songs, we travel with them, we wait with them, we shop with them.

So we can teach with them. May be I didn’t say anything new. These are the things we all know. However, I think it is always good to remember them.

Music can be used to teach  

grammar : at the presentation stage of a grammar point or while reviewing

listening : gap fill exercises, matching to teach listening for gist or detail

vocabulary: to teach or increase vocab by asking your students to replace the words with a synonym, antonym or a near synonym.

reading: songs are authentic texts and they can be used for comprehension, discussion and teaching culture 

writing: you can use songs for teaching writing. Ask your students to write a letter to the character, write a story which took place before the sond, add one more verse to the original, write their song for the same topic.

While doing all these we can always use web 2.0 to motivate our students so they can add their own content to the material.

 In the final part of my talk I gave examples how I used songs with my students.

I started the session with an activity from Music and Song by Tim Murphey (2009,   OUP)

Musical Reactions

Play an instrumental piece.

Ask students to fill out the questionnaire while listening to the music. 

1. If you turned on the radio and heard this piece of music would you:

  • turn off immediately?
  • listen attentively?
  • buy the record?
  • download it to your mp3 player?
  • Leave it on as background music?
  • —-?
  1. Imagine someone who loves this music. Describe the person in a few words.
  2. Imagine someone who doesn’t love this music. Describe the person in a few words.
  3. What emotions does it evoke in you?
  4. What do you see if you close your eyes as you listen?
  5. If this were the background music for an advertisement, what do you think the advertised product would be?
  6. If this were a soundtrack for a film, what kind of a film would that be?
  7. In what kind of place would you be most likely to hear this music?

Liven up the classroom with music and we

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