Teacher Workshops


Well, I told you about the wonderful experience we had with Berni and told that the whole thing was part of a professional development course. We started with advanced grammar and continued with getting students to write, use technology tools (blogs, wikis etc developing ideas), or the traditional way.

The following day was about improving listening skills, broadening vocabulary, using authentic materials and in the afternoon we discussed Bronte novels, compared them and talked about the place of the women in society.

Wednesday was the day of the Bronte visit and walk to the moors.

On Thursday we continued with humour in the classroom, games and game like activities. We found out riddles, jokes, quizzes, puzzles will be great as a warmer or to finish the lesson. You can find a great collection on Gapfillers.We finished the course with error analysis. We talked about all the traditional methods and Berni suggested language audit which was new for me and will give it a try.

We talked about how we can integrate technology to traditional efl teaching. Alex was full with wonderful links. I’d like to share some of  the ideas and the links with you.


A warm up or a filler: Choose a category or a topic and set a time limit and then tell students to write without stopping until you stop them. Works well when you brainstorm too. You can do the same with Write or Die which is a site allowing you to write whatever you want. You choose a word goal and a time goal and then start typing.


PicLits is a wonderful site to give your students picture prompts to write their creative stories.

Ink Think Tank

Plinky  is great sites that everyday they provide a new prompt, a question, or a challenge, and everyone gets a chance to answer.

Phreethings  is another site for writing with your students. They can create their own postcards.

Far Far Away From The Madding Crowd


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Dreams can come true. I have just learned it.

It all started with a tweet. It was an ordinary evening with twitter when I saw Berni Wall’s tweet offering a week of teachers’ workshops in Yorkshire. First, I couldn’t believe my eyes. When I DMed her, I understood how serious she was. It was a wonderful offer so I told her that I would love to come. Not until the last week had I known that I would also meet my friend, Alexandra Francisco with whom we started our celebration wiki project. It would also give me a chance to meet my twitter friends in real life.


Last week was fabulous. These workshops gave us a chance to update ourselves, we exchanged ideas and now I’m full with ideas for next year. Even with Alex, we decided which celebrations we are going to do with our classes and the details for our colleagues will soon appear on the wiki.


It is always easy to attend a workshop or a seminar in London or a bigger city in the UK. However, it will always be difficult to do such things far from the big cities. The opportunity was great as it was offering a week far from the madding crowd, away from the hustle busle of the big city, a great chance for me to experience the countryside which had been my dream for many years.


The workshops covered the areas that are vital in EFL but I must admit I loved the literature bit more. Berni had told us that we would talk about Bronte sisters as we would have a chance to visit Haworth and from Monday to Saturday every evening after the dinner, we sat and watched the DVDs of Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, The Tennant of Wildfell Hall. On Wednesday we visited the Bronte Parsonage and then we set off for our Bronte pilgrimage (as we all called it) in the moors. I wish we all had had the chance of these walks while studying at university.


There are so many things that I can still add here but words will not be enough to describe what we had experienced together in the room 5 teachers (Berni, Alex, Blanca, Culya and me)of English who came from different parts of the worlds.

A big Thank You to Berni who made this possible for all of us. I know that she wants to continue this as she was already trying to plan the next one when we were about to leave.

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Final thoughts:

Well, all these were only a dream for me last year these times and now the people who I met via twitter are my colleagues from my borderless staffroom.

Im happy that I met Berni, Alex and Blanca.

Still thinking about joining twitter?

You can read more about our adventure of expanding our knowledge, sitting around a table chatting about similar problems.

You will find Alex’s story here, Berni’s here and Culya’s here

Staffrooms of the 21st century

It’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere and that means schools are close and we are on holiday. That’s good because it gives us a chance to relax, read and have some ‘me’ time.

That’s also good because during this time we can do something for professional development just attending some workshops, reading books, even cleaning our files and book shelves will help.

This summer is a bit different for me because my PLN is making me ready for the coming year. Every day they keep sending great links, tips, adding comments and suggestions to the blog posts and it is kind of a constant workshop going on 7/24.

Once again I believe having a PLN is like sharing a staffroom with your colleagues. A staffroom without doors and borders, a staffroom full of colleagues with lots of experience with so many different classes, a staff-room with different point of views which will help a new teacher to analyse better.

Sometimes it is like you are talking alone but then you hear voices. They help you leaving their ideas, suggestions or even they can help by talking face to face using Skype.

I’ve been teaching for a very long time and this comfort that I’ve just found is a wonderful feeling.

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

My homework-Part 1

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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 🙂