For the last – well, almost two years now, since September 15 2010, #ELTchat has kept us on our toes and forged hundreds of professional and personal relationships amongst its followers who turn up on Twitter every Wednesday to talk about topics they have suggested and voted on – a community of peers which was created by a small group of colleagues – which grew and grew some more and became something that counts as an important part of our continuous professional development.
Like many great ideas, it didn’t hit just one person but several.
And that is how #ELTchat was created.
The website to keep up the communication of its members, a base and repository of our ideas was one of the first things we all thought of creating – the wiki came later. Andy Chaplin was keen to join the moderation team and help with podcasts and technical stuff; he was quick to buy eltchat.com and announced the good news to us after the fact.
A few months later, right after TESOL France 2011, he suddenly disappeared – some say for reasons of health.
We never found out for sure. We never received a single word of response to our emails.
eltchat.com was and still is registered in his name.
And yesterday we lost it
On August 8 the domain expired and we have no way of taking over unless it goes up for sale again; it was very sad that Andy Chaplin did not find it appropriate to renew.
The news is really upsetting.
The work we have put in on this website cannot be told in a few simple words – but it has been a labour of love and we have got so much out of it that we have never regretted one single moment
We are pretty upset at the behaviour of this individual – disappointment is one big understatement.
But we trust that our community of #ELTchatters, our PLN for short, will again gather round the new domain which we have purchased – eltchat.org It will take us a few days to put the website back on its feet
And all will be as it was before – all the posts in place all your thoughts and comments, all the polls and great summaries which got us on the shortlist of the ELTon Awards nominations
We will be back with a vengeance
We are not just a website – we did not get on the ELTon awards shortlist as just another website!!!
We are a great community of teachers and we have a Plan B!
Ask students to create a 2-slide powerpoint. On one slide they will upload a photo they have taken from a holiday. On the second slide, they will write a short text describing the picture. They may answer the following questions to write their texts.
▪ where was the photo taken?
▪ Who were you with?
▪ When were you there?
▪ How long did you stay there?
▪ What kind of a place was it?
▪ What were the typical things there (food, music, etc)
▪ Did you enjoy being there?
Then you can combine all the slides and prepare an ‘Our Holiday’ presentation.
Web 2.0 alternatives
Upload the pictures on voice thread and ask students to record their voice and describe their photos. Then ask the other students to comment on each photo.
Tell your students to create posters using tabblo
Create a glogster and upload all the photos students used, record their voices talking about their holidays or if they are ok with video recording, record them while talking about their holidays.
I will be at Boğaziçi University tomorrow for the Third Elt Students’ conference. Unfortunately I’ve missed todays sessions as I had to be at school for Teacher-Parent meeting.
I’m looking forward to being there tomorrow as it is organised by a group of ELT students from Bilgi and Boğaziçi University. As far as I follow, they are five very enthusiastic and hardworking ladies. I’m sure we will hear their names very much in the near future. I send them a big applause for what they’ve done and will do.
Reading Activities Spiced up with Web 2.0
‘My students don’t read the books I assigned.’ Isn’t it a problem for many of us? If only they could realise how much they would improve themselves when they read. How about motivating them with fun activities? When they find something interesting, they will love it. In this session we will look into some fun activities to be used with class readers, short stories or novels.
Last week I found great ideas, worksheets and links for Christmas activities. Today while I was adapting one of them for my class, I came across with wordsmith.org. The site helps you find hundreds of anagrams for the word or phrase you have chosen, then even it animates the anagram and even allows you to choose font, text and background colour.
You can download the worksheet and use in your class. You can find more worksheets on christmas vocabulary from
Sometimes sentences are not enough to describe certain things if you are not a talented author or a poet. People like me will find it difficult to do so.
The words and phrases above are to describe the teachers I met at Pucioasa, a little town in Romania. From 6th November to 12th November, we were at Coleguil National Nicolae Titulecu for our Comenius project. The Romanian school is the coordinator and everything was very well-organised by the Romanian team with the help of their wonderful headteacher Dana Mircea, teaching us the lesson of our life.
C.N.N.T is a wonderful school full of great educators who are trying to make their kids ready for a very tough future. They are doing their job in a way that every teacher should see and get something from them. When we told how wonderful they were, or how hardworking they were, they just replied with a smile and said ‘We love what we are doing’ . Their motivation was so infectious. I felt very comfortable there with like-minded people.
We, 14 teachers from 6 different countries (Turkey, Italy, Spain, Poland, Hungaryand Greece), were amazed by what we have experienced there. I’m really happy that my school is part of this wonderful project called ‘The Magic of Reading, The Power of Discovering Ourselves’. We, as a team now, are all ready to experience the new team spirit. From now on till the end of June 2013, we are a big team, working on a project to promote the joy of reading to our students and even to their parents.
I must say, not only our Romanian coordinators but the teachers from our partner schools were also very motivated and eager to work together. We are very excited to learn from each other.