REMEMBER: This is our "Old Home"Clipboard01.jpg


"Do not try. Simply do, or do not."


JUNE 29, 2009

Excellent food for thought; read it and reap: "What we have learned is that people who speak different languages do indeed think differently and that even flukes of grammar can profoundly affect how we see the world."

JUNE 25, 2009

"Habits of Mind" = a systematic approach to problem solving that can be learned and successfully applied by students and teachers. Check out this linkand this file.

JUNE 23, 2009

Looking for something to read this summer? Earl Stevick's book, Success with Foreign Languages: Seven who achieved it and what worked for them is (legally and freely) downloadable in its entirety and I greatly recommend it. Here is the link.

JUNE 22, 2009

Click here to go to the class lists for the Pilgrims courses.

JUNE 16, 2009

Regarding the Pilgrims courses in June, I can repeat some general information.
The 4-day course for almost all of the teachers in the kindergarten and the lower primary is entitled "Reading." It runs from Tuesday, June 23 through Friday, June 26, with classes from 9 to noon and 1 to 4. It meets in the library in the primary school. The trainer is Christine Frank.
The 7-day course for all the teachers in the high school and almost all the teachers in the upper primary is entitled "Vocabulary." It runs from Tuesday, June 23 through Friday, June 26 and from Sunday, June 28 through Tuesday, June 30, with classes from 9 to noon and 1 to 4. It meets in the high school library. The trainer is Hania Kryszewska.
Complete lists will be available shortly. Everyone whose name is on the list is expected to attend every class and complete every assignment.
We are extrememly grateful to the Foundation, to Pearson Longman, to OUP, to CUP, to Kardeş Kitabevi, and to Macmillan for their financial support.

JUNE 11, 2009

It seems we get one piece of excellent news after another: first the ThinkQuest prize and now a remarkable achievement. I've been waiting with bated breath. Let's all celebrate. The number of words in the English language "officially" reached one million at 5:22 ET yesterday. If someone were to learn a mere 4566.21 new words every day from birth to age sixty, he (or she) could master them all -- except for the fact that the language keeps growing by 14 words a day (= an accumulated 306,600 words to learn overnight after the party).

And especially for those of you whose summer worksheets address the topic of chameleons, I've uploaded a neat video clip of what amounts to chameleon abuse of the show-stopping variety. Enjoy it and please include the link on the appropriate worksheet(s).

MAY 26, 2009

I happened to check out Teachers TV today and found a new video by Sir Ken Robinson. Some of you may remember that I shared his TED presentation on creativity with you way back in August 2007. He's an inspiring and talented speaker, and Teachers TV is worth looking into.

MAY 22, 2009

A few days ago, Nik Peachey shared one of his peachiest ideas, and I've just got to share it with you. If everyone here at TVO became a songwriter, the music would never end.

MAY 15, 2009

We can do -- and must do -- better than this, IMHO. TVO News? Istanbul News? Turkish News? Some in English, some in Turkish, some in French, and some in German, of course.

MAY 12, 2009

I've just learned that the European Center for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe developed the EPOSTL (European Portofolio for Student Teachers of Languages) about two years ago. [Some news doesn't travel all that fast, evidently]. Since the EPOSTL combines aspects of the ELP with pre-service training, I suspect we can find a great deal in it that will be helpful to us in our professional development.

MAY 11, 2009

¡ɯɐxǝ ƃuıuǝʇsıן ɐ 'ʎɐs 'uo ǝsǝɥʇ ǝsn pןnoɔ ǝʍ ʍoɥ ʞuıɥʇ ʇnq 'ƃuıʇsǝɹǝʇuı osןɐ 'ǝsɹnoɔ ɟo 'unɟ -- soʇoɥd ןɐɯıuɐ ɟo uoıʇɔǝןןoɔ ƃuızɐɯɐ uɐ s,ǝɹǝH

And, so that you can peek into the future, which is already happening, here's another video from TED.

MAY 6, 2009

Film? Science films? Not overly long and with complete transcripts? Eminently useful! From Europe = Athenaweb Hurray!.
And fans of wildlife will love the videos on OdyseeTV; no transcripts but animals galore.

MAY 5, 2009

Just in from the British Council: "The results of this research suggest that if teachers are to remain relevant and effective, then they need to use 'learning technologies' to help students reach the world outside the classroom." Read the article here Have you nutured your Ning today?.

MAY 4, 2009

An online convergence (aka an unconference) of webheads (and other such innovative educators) is scheduled for May 22-24. Check the ning (see the blog and video tabs, too) and/or the call for participation for more info. Become acquainted with Second Life, WiZiQ, and other great developments.

MAY 1, 2009

Here's a page full of excellent reports from FutureLab for you to download, read and comment on; I'm especially impressed by the range of topics and by the latest report on curriculum and teaching innovation..

APRIL 30, 2009

Of very high importance and definitely part of our discussion on Monday morning is this wonderful blog post about true e-folios for students. Please read it and comment (perhaps in the audio dropbox below.

Here's one more audio dropbox for you to try -- this time with explicit directions. Simplicity incarnate.

1. Enter your name.
2. Click "OK" and allow the widget to access your microphone.
3. Test the sound level.
4. Click the itsy-bitsy red button to record.
5. When you have said all you need to say, click the play icon to listen to yourself.
6. If you like what you hear, click the green check to submit the message.

APRIL 23, 2009

Here's the last word -- well, it probably ought to be but won't be -- on "learning styles." And here 's a utopic but evidence-based vision of the future of reading and writing. And with 338 videosharing websites to choose from, how could anyone go wrong?
Happy Children's Day.

APRIL 22, 2009

I cannot resist sharing these three sites with you. They contain probably the truest stories ever told and would make great listening homework for students at B1 and above; they're fun and informative for teachers, too: Story Corps, NPR Radio Diaries and Vows, from the New York Times.

APRIL 20, 2009

An online game? Full of parts of speech? Fun for the whole family? Why it must be "Mad Libs." How about embedding the widget in every class blog/ning/wiki? Each student can complete a story and email the result to you.

How about leaving me a voice message telling me what you think of the Mad Libs widget? Please? I know you're out there somewhere.

APRIL 13, 2009

Nothing is better than competition. (Yes, the sentence is ambiguous.) The British Council in Turkey has posted this link to a competition they are hosting. I'm betting that we will win -- if only for having the most entries.

APRIL 2, 2009

Assign speaking homework, why don't you? Students can leave you a message, read a text aloud, answer questions, describe a picture, sing a song, recite a poem, muse, or moan and groan. What's next -- horseless carriages?

MARCH 26, 2009

Here's the link to a two-part report by the the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) in the UK. Part A concerns the quality of ICT education and Part B concerns issues in ICT.
And below I've added a somewhat older and rather American video with a powerful, related message. Enjoy it.

MARCH 25, 2009

I recall mentioning Kindersite before -- it has great activities and resources for young learners, and it's free to join. Today I received an announcement about a new section of the site with educational games for children aged 7 to 12. I haven't finished exploring (or playing) yet, but I highly recommend these games.

MARCH 23, 2009

Webinars -- seminars delivered via the web -- are fast becoming de rigueur. Try these -- one a month (always on a Wednesday) from Macmillan, starring the brightest of their stars. Register now, assign popcorn procurement duties, watch as a group, and ask your questions live via a chat box.

MARCH 20, 2009

News (articles, video, audio, and transcripts) -- Euronews -- in English, French, German, and more! What a great free resource!

PLUS.....are our Hungry Planet projects still alive? Check out this site for inspiration and recipes -- the videos could be good for homework. [I'm looking forward to tasting lots of those lacy pancakes with lemon curd yogurt.]

MARCH 18, 2009

Can't go all the way to Cardiff? Well, the British Council has come to our rescue. They have online coverage, here, of the 43rd International IATEFL Conference (31 March - 4 April, 2009).

MARCH 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all who are Irish or wish they were.
Here are some dictionary resources to pique your interest: The Visual Dictionary helps you find words for all the parts of nearly everything, and The Free Dictionaries Project has links to loads of -- you guessed it -- free dictionaries. Am I the only person here who didn't know you could download an English-Turkish dictionary to your mobile phone?

MARCH 8, 2009

Here is the link to a presentation which gently reminds us what we're supposed to be doing here.
Then we need to equip our students with laptops and interactive whiteboards in the classrooms. From Birgul with love.

MARCH 5, 2009

Some Writing Each Day Keeps the Doctor Away
3/3/2009 11:54:47 AM
by Bennett Gordon
Tags: Great Writing, Science, writing, Very Short List
For years, studies have shown that people can derive significant health benefits from writing about their thoughts and feelings for 15 minutes each day. In today’s overly scheduled world, researchers from the University of Missouri tried to figure out what’s the minimum time commitment that people need to benefit from writing (pdf). They found that people were healthier after just two minutes of writing for two days, a total of just four minutes.
(Thanks, Very Short List.)

Now I understand why all of you are so darn healthy -- you're writing in your e-portfolios, of course!
[Was it Eliot's toilet I saw?]

MARCH 3, 2009


Istanbul workshops for teachers March and April 2009

Are you bored or uninspired in your teaching and looking for some new ideas? Do you feel that you’d like to get some practical ideas from real teachers on techniques that have worked for them in the classroom?

In response to a demand in Turkey to provide opportunities for self-development for teachers we have set up a series of free weekly workshops at our Maya office in Esentepe, Istanbul. These workshops are open to all teachers but you need to make a reservation first as places are limited. Please contact: if you wish to attend a workshop.
All workshops run from 16:00 – 17:30pm.

Date and time
March 4 (16.00 – 17.30)
Social networking sites: what are they, what opportunities and barriers do they create and how can they be used?
March 11 (16.00 – 17.30)
Using online video: exploiting video on the Web and using video to provide recorded feedback to students.

March 18 (16.00 – 17.30)
Using online audio: podcasting – what, why and how?

April 1st (16.00 – 17.30)
Webquests: What they are and how to make one.

Have you got a great teaching technique or activities that always work well for you? Why not share your knowledge with colleagues and do a workshop at the British Council. This does not have to be about using technology, it can be a workshop on any topic related to ELT. The workshops are 90 minutes long and you get the chance to use a state of the art classroom with support from British Council teacher trainers. If you have an interesting idea we would love to hear from you. Please contact:

[Do geese see God?]

FEBRUARY 26, 2009

Who among us doesn't have 43 minutes -- while walking on the treadmill, or washing the windows, or separating the sheep from the goats, for example -- to listen to a great webquest entitled Self Directed Learning, here? never odd or even

FEBRUARY 25, 2009

Forget the punctuation. Just enjoy it: "Cigar? Toss it in a can. It is so tragic."

FEBRUARY 20, 2009

1) Regarding the final presentations from this year's higly passionate project groups, we have decided it's best to have all your materials hosted on each project wiki. This way, not just your colleagues, but the entire world can benefit from what you've done. The deadline to have everything up with bells and whistles has been set fro Friday, April 17, 2009.
2) Here's an amazing teacher-created site for everything ESL/EFL. Check it out, please.

FEBRUARY 18, 2009

Pieces of the future keep trying to arrive, reminding one and all that tempus fugit:

FEBRUARY 17, 2009

English in Europe, as reported by The Economist, here, appears to be everybody's second language except for those who have no second language, in which case it's their only language.

FEBRUARY 13, 2009

I am newly infatuated with this website, and not only because of yesterday's post, which reproduces (with a snide comment) this page and headline from msnbc (which I have reproduced for your delectation).
Talk about fast animals!!! Talk about the need for editors with sense!

FEBRUARY 10, 2009

The second semester is off to a great start thanks to you. You deserve a conversation with someone who is not real, here, and so do your students, bence.

FEBRUARY 6, 2009

The British Council in Turkey has a survey, here, and participants are eligible for prizes galore.

FEBRUARY 4, 2009

Please take a look at this article entitled "7 Concepts of Natural Language Learning;" I find it nice to be reminded of some core principles.

JANUARY 31, 2009

Feel the need to help your students learn new vocabulary? How about doing it interactively via the Internet? Have a look at this example, and then sign up for free.

JANUARY 30, 2009

Here's the link to a great blog post that highlights sharing, opening our classrooms to the world, and connecting with our peers.

JANUARY 27, 2009

The kind and generous British Council sent the following email. Mark your calendars, submit your proposals, and carry on and on.

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Forthcoming ELT Conferences 2009

Below is the list of forthcoming English language learning and teaching seminars and conferences in Turkey. The conferences have been listed according to their dates. Please click on the links for further information.
Istanbul Bilgi University- EAQUALS AGM Conference- 23- 25 April 2009 IstanbulThe 2009 EAQUALS AGM and Conference will take place between 23rd and 25th April in Istanbul. The event will be hosted by one of the Turkish Accredited members of EAQUALS, Istanbul Bilgi University's English Language Programs Department who are actively involving in the planning and the preparations as well. Click **here** for details.

Fatih University- Deep into ELT- April 25-26 2009 IstanbulFatih University is holding its second international ELT Conference on April 25- 26, 2009 to explore new insights on teaching and learning English as a foreign language. Educators from all over the world are invited to present their papers and share their experiences. Click **here** for details.
The 10th METU International ELT Convention- 22- 23 May 2009 AnkaraThe 10th METU International ELT Convention will take place on Friday 22-23, May 2009 at the METU Culture & Convention Centre, in Ankara. The theme of the convention is GROWTH. Workshops, research reports and interactive papers addressing topics related to the growth process will be welcome. Click **here** for details.
Bahcesehir University ELT Conference- 23 May 2009 IstanbulBahcesehir University EPP (English Preparatory Program) would like to invite you to attend its second international ELT Conference which will be held on May, 23 2009 at Besiktas Campus. This year's conference is unique in that it draws together the challenges faced by ELT teachers and how these challenges can be turned into opportunities. Please contact Damla Satana by March 2, 2009 to present a 60 minute workshop.
If you have any upcoming ELT events, please forward them to ****

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The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organisation for educational and cultural relations.
Registered in England as a charity.
© British Council 2003. Privacy statement.
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JANUARY 19, 2009

What a lucky day this is! Something wonderful crossed my desk just a few minutes ago -- two students in 9F produced an incredibly professional poster related to our Hungry Planet projects. Other students throughout the school are doing or have done similar work. We need to host a major presentation and be justifiably and publicly proud, don't we?.
And then, this very informative file about holistic language learning arrived from a Comenius Network: ES_AreYouAHoklisticTeacvher.pdf

JANUARY 17, 2009

I always learn a lot from any post by Konrad Glogowski; that his thoughts seem about two beats ahead of mine can probably be put down to simple synchronicity, but the way he inspires action is pure genius. There are enough great ideas in this post to keep you busy through the semester break, so read, think, write, and apply.

JANUARY 14, 2009

Hi all. Here is the file from British Council: An Introduction to Web 2.0 workshop. I especially liked the "writeboard" which is a web tool that allows us to create a shared document with our students.

JANUARY 13, 2009

Here's a link to a local ELT Conference which will take place early in the next semester. Why not attend?

JANUARY 10, 2009

As part of my never-ending quest to lighten your burdens, here's a link to a fine service on which you can easily, attractively, and proudly host your e-portfolio. Check it out posthaste.

JANUARY 9, 2009

The discussion about e-portfolios within academia continues, here. We each need to reflect deeply on every point mentioned and then produce professionally acceptable current work. If we do not or cannot do so, how can we guide our students toward the same goal?

JANUARY 7, 2009

This week's recommended site for reading and reflection is part of the British Council''s superb effort to share their expertise, and Mario Rinvolucri's blog is chock full of his humane, humorous, and helpful tips. Why not read a few -- the most recent posts are about writing -- and then respond?

JANUARY 3, 2009

There's arguably no better way to start a new year than with 179 e-songs. And if you're young and innocent (or like to pretend that you are) so much the better. Click here.

JANUARY 2, 2009

E-portfolios, your very own e-portfolios.......what can I say? To help you narrow down your choices and to put the evaluation on an even footing, here's a brief presentation containing ten tips for e-learning. [Well, to make a long story short: access to the file was blocked using IE from school, but I got through easily using Firefox from home. I've just now saved the file and uploaded it here (E-learning_tips.flv).] Until I can discover a better method, it looks as if you'll need to save it to your computer and then play/open if with a flash video player such as VLC vlc-0.9.6-win32.exe or SoThink.]

Each one of the ten needs a prominent place in every instructor's e-portfolio; YES, this is now a requirement (but with plenty of room for individual choice - think of what you've done for the project groups). I'll try to post new ideas = appropriate stimuli for writing/speaking on a weekly basis.

For those with insufficient computers, is there a way in which you can post these ten tips written out? Thank you.

And for our students, here' s something pointed out by the inimitable Larry Ferlazzo. I, for one, would love to learn if Turks who employ the technology that enables them to speak words of love in English to a tomato plant can make it grow better (and thus help ensure the world's supply of ketchup). Plus, everyone can write about his/her participation in this bit of pseudo-research. Ultra-cool!

DECEMBER 30, 2008

Thank you -- thank ALL of you for yesterday's project presentations. Have a quick look here.

DECEMBER 24, 2008

'Tis the season.......please click here, now. And once you're there, happily increase your communicative competence and spread cheer, even in Crazanian.

DECEMBER 18, 2008

Here is another exciting piece of news from the British Council Istanbul. Take a look at it. Birgül

Dear all,
Here are the dates for the British Council Teaching English with Technology Seminars that we are planning to run to promote the use of cutting edge technology by EFL teachers in Turkey. These seminars are free of charge and we have designed them with primary and secondary teachers in mind, although they could be of equal benefit to teachers at a tertiary or Further Education level. Each seminar lasts 90 minutes and is very practical in nature.
They will take place at the British Council’s training room in the Maya Akar Centre, Floor 23 , Büyükdere Caddesi No:100/101, Esentepe, İstanbul.

Please bring an identity card for the security checkpoint at the entrance of the building
IMPORTANT: there is room for a maximum of 20 people in the room, so if you are coming to the workshops, please send an email to Sirin Soyoz ( ) to confirm your attendance for each date below. If, for some reason, you cannot attend, please contact Sirin, as well, so that we can offer you place to another teacher. Please note that there a no-smoking policy for the whole building.
Date and time
January 14 (16.00 – 17.30)
An introduction to Web 2.0: what is it and what can it offer us as English language teachers?
January 21 (16.00 – 17.30)
Collaborative writing using wikis: ideas on how to exploit wikis
February 11 (16.00 – 17.30)
Using blogs: what are they and how can they be used in the EFL classroom?
February 18 (16.00 – 17.30)
Cyber well-being: a workshop that raises awareness of the issues surrounding safety online such as cyber bullying and safe surfing.
February 25 (16.00 – 17.30)
Using online audio: podcasting – what, why and how?
March 4 (16.00 – 17.30)
Social networking sites: what are they, what opportunities and barriers do they create and how can they be used?
March 11 (16.00 – 17.30)
Using online video: exploiting video on the Web and using video to provide recorded feedback to students.

DECEMBER 18, 2008

Here -- verbatim and for your edification and general well-being -- is a copy of the missive I received today from the British Council in Istanbul:
Dear all,
I wonder if you can help me with a task I’d like to do. Could you ask English teachers in your schools to register (Free!) at the new British Council Global Portal for Teachers. I would mean that Turkish teachers of English would play a more active part on the website and enjoy the full benefits of having so many teaching materials and resources at hand. If you can help me to promote this, I’d really appreciate it.
They need to click on the “Create a new account link” and fill in the form to complete the registration process. Please pass this email on to as many teachers as you like!

Here’s the link:

Many thanks in advance
Raymond Kerr

Teacher Development Manager
British Council
Maya Akar Centre
Büyükdere Caddesi No:100/101
34394 Esentepe


DECEMBER 16, 2008

Pax vobiscum. This could be a great project for your students. Plus, it's a ning!

DECEMBER 15, 2008

Here's a link to a page -- you can read and listen whilst you're there -- with news about this year's European Schoolnet e-learning awards. The first prize winner is a teacher from a Turkish school; we neglected to enter, yoksa.....
And fresh from the British Council, some useful resources for teaching English to young learners:Developing_Primary_Resources.pdf

DECEMBER 8, 2008

Free on-line training is once again available; thus, we should avail ourselves of it:
The CALL Interest Section of the international TESOL
professional association is pleased to offer the
opportunity to participate in the Electronic Village
Online (EVO) 2009 sessions. This is a professional
development project and virtual extension of the TESOL
2009 Convention in Denver, CO . The intended audience
for this project includes both TESOL 2009 participants
and those who can participate only virtually.

You do not need to be a TESOL member to participate in
a free, six-week, wholly online session of the EVO,
Jan 12 -Feb 22, 2009. Please visit our Announcement
Web page to select one among the various offerings.

DECEMBER 6, 2008

Here's a link to a blog produced by a class of sixth-graders in Australia -- there's a sidebar with a blogroll of links to the individual student blogs. English is the students' mother tongue, but still, they're only twelve-year-olds. What's more impressive (to me, at least) is the accompanying blog which contains the reflections of their teacher. I hope to see our tech-savvy instructors produce similarly thoughtful posts about the process of employing wiki-enhanced learning with their classes. Also, please note the use of the Edublogs platform -- an ad-free service specifically designed for education and one less likely than Blogger to contain material liable to cause offense to censors.

DECEMBER 5, 2008

Regarding the interactive whiteboards,we haven't been much of a user yet, but here is the link sent in Oxford University Press newsletter. Have a nice Bayram. Birgül Bayraktar

Here is a link provided by OUP again where our students can practise English online. We may check them out and put them on our Grade 4 and 5 wikis for our students. Birgül

DECEMBER 4, 2008

Here's a wonderful section of a wiki created by a teacher for other teachers. She has considerable expertise in all areas of education, especially technology, and she shares it freely. Let's learn as much as we can from her, and let's get ready to share our skills with the world. And while we're visiting her site, let's not forget to look at what her students are doing.

DECEMBER 3, 2008

Yesterday I spent some quality time with friends old and new at the British Council; more about my visit soon. In the meantime, here are two essential links:
The first site will acquaint you with what the British Council has made available to teachers worldwide. There is an incredible amount of useful material in each of the site's four main areas. And the second site contains a link to a Bayram competition with chances to win valuable prizes.

NOVEMBER 30, 2008

Here's a page of links from a site specializing in French phonetics; as our luck would have it, one of the links is to materials from the French Institute of Istanbul. And, so as not to seem to favor one European language over another, here's a link to a page full of links just for learners of German.

NOVEMBER 28, 2008

This blog post entitled "Designing for Top Performance in the ESL Classroom (Part I)" caught my eye. The main point is that we must strive to expand our comfort zones. I especially like the illustration and the last sentence. The blogger, whose site is called Teacher In Development (and don't we all struggle in darkrooms from time to time? -- [forgive the pun]) kindly provides links to many other very interesting blogs. The only one of these I've had time to visit so far is called Learning Is Messy, and the post I read is entitled "One Reason We Blog - Finding and Clarifying Misconceptions." I cannot recommend these posts strongly enough -- we all need to read what some of our fellow teachers are writing and then put our thoughts (in writing or in podcasts) in our e-portfolios.

NOVEMBER 24, 2008

Here's news from the MacArthur Foundation -- the folks who give out the so-called Genius Grants.
"The most extensive U.S. study on teens and their use of digital media finds that America’s youth are developing important social and technical skills online – often in ways adults do not understand or value."
There's even a warning to those who choose to ignore this social change.
Obviously, everyone here needs to read the actual report and see how the findings might apply to Turkish youth. Let's spread the word.

NOVEMBER 20, 2008

I'm surely not the first instructor here to visit Lexiophiles, am I? You've been conspiring to keep it a secret, haven't you? Well, the site is full of material in English, French, German, and other languages. I 'd like to see in each of your e-portfolios multiple reviews of, or comments on, different areas of the site as well as on the blogs listed in their wonderful "Top 100 Language Blogs," but you may, of course, choose to review or comment on equivalent material.

Signs in English in non-English speaking countries are hilarious. It is time we posted here the signs we run into in Turkey. ( Birgul )

NOVEMBER 17, 2008

Here's a great slideshow on critical thinking. What's especially remarkable (to me, at least) is that I found it ıncluded on Ayşe Kok's blog from Oxford, and I found her blog because our own Özge noticed that Ayşe was included in Zaid Ali Alsagoff's list entitled "27 Inspiring Women Bloggers." Small world. Regarding the slideshow, I'm particularly enamored with the "Q-Chart."
Qchart is something we can easily apply to our classes 3-8, even 2s can handle it when the task is relatively age-appropriate. Forming groups of 5-6 students and having them work on one particular area and then prepare their own poster to show the rest of the class is a great idea. I will bring this up in my next meeting with the colleagues. Thanks, Philip. (Birgül Nov 17, 2008 )

NOVEMBER 15, 2008

Regarding our e-portfolios: I subscribe to a service that supplies nuggets of wisdom to my in-box every day. The following four quotations seem applicable to ongoing personal development.
  1. "If what you did yesterday still looks big to you today, then you haven't done much today."
    - Anonymous
  2. "It is better to create than to be learned; creating is the true essence of life."
    - Barthold Georg Niebuhr
  3. "When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece."
    - John Ruskin
  4. "You'll find that the only thing you can do easily is be wrong, and that's hardly worth the effort."
    - Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

NOVEMBER 13, 2008

Here's a link to eight short videos designed to help you help your students to have FUN learning English. These videos come from one of the very best video sites for EFL teachers. Once you have explored what's on offer on all his pages, I'm sure you'll give Russell Stannard a hearty TVO round of applause.

NOVEMBER 12, 2008

In the mood for a collegial EFL seminar by an engaging visiting expert? Why not make plans to go to Bosphorus University next week and then write up all you learn in your e-portfolio?

NOVEMBER 10, 2008

This morning, I received this e-mail from the British Council in Turkey. Since it contains such a wealth of information, I'm passing it along to you. It contains links to podcasts and grammar movies which your students might benefit from, as well as links to communities you as teachers may wish to join.
There's a discussion going on about podcasts, so I thought I would add this great tutorial link here as well as under Podcasts in the navigation list.

NOVEMBER 8, 2008

This morning I felt an urge to visit the Free Technology for Teachers blog.
There I found a page full of links to engaging grammar activities.
I also found this recently created rubric for grading blog entries, and while I'm not very sure how quantifiable blog entries actually are, as a means of supplying feedback and guidance, this rubric may be of use to the ever-increasing number of our instructors who are including student blogs in their activities. In fact, I'm exploring ways of adapting the rubric to serve as a means of giving you feedback on your e-portfolios. Obviously, when considering your sources of input and inspiration as well as when pondering the effectiveness of your posts, I'd also be looking at their respective ranges, types, recency and appropriateness. What do you think? Is anyone writing rap lyrics about Bloom's Taxonomy or creating mind maps of Chapter 4 of the CEFR or using Hot Potatoes to write verb stories about setting up RSS feeds?

NOVEMBER 5, 2008

N.B. This post on modeling "deliberate practice" is excellent -- perhaps better than that --- and might even be considered superb if only the ludicrous Dale's Cone were not juxtaposed next to a representation of Bloom's levels. Neyse. The ideas presented are worth reflecting upon; in turn, these reflections really deserve a place here in our discussions, in your meeting agendas, and in your own e-portfolios. Andragogy, anyone?

NOVEMBER 5, 2008

Once again, Larry Ferlazzo has reminded us of a great resource on a site full of resources: this time it's crossword puzzles with images as clues. I imagine our younger students will enjoy themselves while they practice spelling the names of, for example, the animals they know and love. Older students can start with simple puzzles with definitions as clues and work their way through everything on the site, including antonyms, proverbs, and all the words used in VOA's Special English broadcasts. Great for homework assignments.
And at the end of this rather long sentence, you will find links to just two examples of very useful materials courtesy of The Learning Page ; you can join for free and become entitled to a truly amazing amount of content for younger learners. zoo_animals_.fact_file.00.pdf and fun_sheets__for_animals_00.pdf.

NOVEMBER 4, 2008

Almost heaven! Her Excellency, Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada (their head of state = Queen Elizabeth II's representative to the 2nd largest country on our planet) has her own blog, and a very interesting one it is indeed. There's English, there's French, there's video, there's a forum, there are even occasional moderated chats with Her Excellency herself. If Michaëlle can blog, so can we all.

NOVEMBER 3, 2008

Nik Peachy supplies us with two links (the first and the second) containing tips on how to use Web 2.0 tools to improve the use of video in your classes.
And one excellent collection of "real, people-made" videos from the BBC; this site is worth exploring deeply since there's buried treasure galore. It's actually a sort of "anti-YouTube."

OCTOBER 25, 2008

Although the response to my item of two days ago has been next to nothing, I have chosen to believe that it left you merely temporarily speechless. In the meantime, here's the link to a new and very academic blog sponsored by the Encyclopedia Britannica ("where ideas matter," so they claim) that focuses on Classroom 2.0. I expect that it will be of greatest interest to instructors who wish to keep informed about what the "big guns" think.

And here is the perfect antidote to all these "let's move forward" posts. It seems that large numbers of teachers in the UK actually prefer a return to earlier educational methods and favor, albeit in only some cases, the use of proven, if primitive, technology to achieve desired results. So let's never forget that everything old can become new again and that even Plato felt compelled to deal with the mentality of cave-dwellers.

And finally, speaking of what our forebears knew, the following quotation reached me today via Stephen Downes ("Stephen's Web"), who found it on the "Speed of Creativity" site which is created and maintained by Wesley Fryer, whose podcasts some of you are familiar with:

"We are to regard the mind not as a piece of iron to be laid upon the anvil and hammered into any shape, nor as a block of marble in which we are to find the statute by removing the rubbish, nor as a receptacle into which knowledge may be poured; but as a flame that is to be fed, as an active being that must be strengthened to think and feel - to dare, to do, and to suffer. - Mark Hopkins, Induction address as president of Williams College, 1836."

OCTOBER 23, 2008


OCTOBER 22, 2008

How about looking into joining E-Pals, apparently an American organization that facilitates worldwide on-line interaction among students and teachers? The site is nicely designed and full of interesting topics and projects. As far as I can tell, the activities are most appropriate for students in our Lycee. And the exchanges are not done solely in English. A class of ours might connect with a class in France and practice French while learning about French people and French culture, for example.

" I have been a member of since 2002 and it is a great website which helps you find schools from all around the world to run projects together. I believe it is a Canadian website supported by the Canadian Government or ministry of Education authorities. BIRGÜL

Grammar Girl (not her real name) has generously made a chapter of her latest book freely available as a pdf file to subscribers to her educational podcast, and I'm passing it along to you (chapter9.pdf) because it contains such wonderful timely tips on proofreading and other language-based chores in which correctness is a virtue that you might decide to buy her book..

OCTOBER 20, 2008

I've been meaning to share this link to a wonderful video site for quite some time now. I've also added it under videos. The conversations are short, simple, yet varied, and are parts of genuine interviews with passers-by on city streets. There are exercises, too. I can see assigning episodes for homework and even showing some clips as the video-listening part of a test. Highly recommended for grades 4 and up.

OCTOBER 18, 2008

Gladys Baya, who is incredibly active in the on-line learning community of practice, has managed to import representations of nearly her entire professional life to this Pageflakes set up; be prepared to be mightily impressed as you click on each tab. We're all very familiar with Pageflakes from our assignment pages this year and last (are we not?), but Gladys's example shows how easily you might create your own e-portfolio on Pageflakes -- just embed a few classy widgets, upload to your heart's content, and Bob's your uncle.

PLEASE carefully review the information regarding your e-portfolios posted on August 25 (excerpted here)

*I've been asked to recommend cool websites you can use to easily host your e-portfolios. works well, even though it's a wiki. Three other friendly free sites are, and; there are a great many other options. The content, of course, is much more important than the form, so create and reflect (documents, podcasts, or videos), keep it very current, and experiment (or just ask for help) with the technical side of things. Remember, these are meant to reflect your ongoing professional activities.*

...and in all the previous posts, some of which refer, for example, to required readings and the nature, range, and currency of the necessary contents. Precisely what type of responses you include in your e-portfolios or how you present them is, of course, up to you. However, all the bases must be covered, so to speak, and covered to a "better-than-good" degree. Just think how much richer each one of us will be when we all share!

And last but not least, I can promise a fine dinner to the first three instructors who guide their Terakki students to become international virtual puppeteers. Not a chance to lightly be missed!

OCTOBER 17, 2008

At long last, something wonderful for our dedicated French and German teachers (and their students, tabiiki): a blog with great links and tips (some even in English, which is how I know they're great) that you can reach by clicking here.
Here's the link to an amazing web-based application -- MagazineFactory -- that seems perfect as a major project host for 2nd-semester Lycee Prep students. The site publishes magazines created by student communities. Of course, younger and older students might want to work as journalists and editors. too. I'm looking forward to reading all the publications that are produced. God bless the Finns.

OCTOBER 15, 2008

I have two pieces of wonderful news. The first is something of a secret, so I'll say only that truly marvelous
e-portfolios do get noticed and might change lives. The second is from Nik Peachy, "learning technology consultant, writer and trainer," who has told the world about a neat example, one that you and your students can follow up on the blackboard in class.
Here is a task that shows you how you can develop a simple sentence like 'I made tea.' into a detailed text.

  • Go to the website: ****. You will see the sentence with shaded words.
  • Click on a shaded and see that part of the sentence expand. Read the new sentence and then choose another part to click on.

  • Now create your own detailed sentences from one of these:
    - I went to the beach.
    - I saw a film.
    - I went to school

OCTOBER 14, 2008

Here's the link to a fantastic asynchronous on-line conference for K-12 that's just getting underway; the theme is "Amplifying Possibilities." The organizers have even arranged a cool way for people like us to participate in discussions using ........ Yep. You guessed it. VoiceThread! And they have planned a synchronous event for the end of the conference called "When Night Falls." It runs for 24 hours on November 1 on Elluminate. You can even volunteer and they'll teach you how to become an Elluminate moderator. There are plenty of development opportunities here just begging to be included in your own e-portfolios.

OCTOBER 12, 2008

More than a few of our much-beloved instructors are working on blogging with their students. If these instructors would click on the image below, they'll be whisked to a user-friendly article that may be beneficial to them as well as to their decidedly twentieth-century colleagues, who are also encouraged to click. [The image is here to whet your appetites and make you smile.]
external image blog_it.jpg

OCTOBER 10, 2008

Are you seriously "into" vocabulary? How about corpus linguistics and word frequency? How about neat Web Tools? Please read this wonderful post and then try out the Vocabulary Profiler. It's colorful, Canadian, and quite the rage these days! Your students will thank you.

SEPTEMBER 24, 2008

Please read about a FREE upcoming virtual professional development opportunity which uses Web 2.0 technology to bring you up to speed on Web 2.0 technology (a feed from Larry Ferlazzo's site cued me in) --- there are even coming attractionsthat you can watch, just like in the movies. Then, get busy and learn. Then, share your skills and knowledge with the rest of us. Can't beat the price.

SEPTEMBER 19, 2008

You really can't afford to miss "Effective Practice with e-Portfolios." Download it at your leisure here. This user-friendly guide addresses not only the needs of our students, but also our own needs as lifelong learners demonstrating competence. Just feast you eyes on the following graphic for a taste of good things to come.

SEPTEMBER 18, 2008

In regard to homework assignments on the Internet (reading, listening/videos, speaking, quizzes in Hot Potatoes, Webquests, etc.), as a group we are still using Pageflakes although teachers in some grades have already established blog pages for the grade as a whole and for each individual class. Bravo. Please email your Pageflakes assignments to me each week by early on Wednesday.

SEPTEMBER 13, 2008

For the visual learners amongst us (but please don't turn off the sound) and for all who ache for intellectual input, here are eight on-line videos lectures on learning theory given by an honest-to-God professor. You could review one or more, post your comments in your e-portfolio, and share them with the rest of us. [It goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway), that this semester's Performance Evaluation is practically right around the corner, and that all of our e-portfolios need to be up-to-date and impressive.]

SEPTEMBER 11, 2008

This essay, entitled "It's Not What We Teach, It's What They Learn," provides such highly pertinent (and well-stated) food for thought that refections on it almost beg to be included in your e-portfolios. I am especially looking forward to reading the many and varied cogent comments which our most recently hired teachers will undoubtedly share -- although, of course, everyone is strongly urged to connect in some way with Alfie Kohn's ideas. Why not post a podcast and let your voice be heard?

SEPTEMBER 10, 2008

Here is the link to TKT CLIL module. As some of us are going to take it tomorrow I thought maybe you'd like to do a sample test and read the glossary :)

SEPTEMBER 10, 2008

Warning! Graphic content! Are your students working with graphs and data in your lessons or in their other subjects? This site makes it fun to examine graphs and/or make them. Remember that turning visual data into words is a high-order language skill.


Classes are about to begin. Let's have a truly wonderful academic year together.
This link reached me via one of Larry Ferlazzo's ever-growing lists. It seems to me that some of these "Listen and Read" paragraphs would work well as dictations, and students could get extra practice at home.


OK. Here at long last is the proper link to that simple yet elegant e-portfolio site that everyone's been waiting for; thanks for reminding me. Since it's Cambridge ESOL, you can't go wrong. If you wish, you can use their complete portfolio creation and hosting service, or if you prefer to continue your work on another site, just use the full range of Cambridge ESOL folders as guidelines for determining what to include in your very own star-quality professional development e-portfolio.
And here's a short PowerPoint presentation covering e-portfolio basics.


Can e-portfolios replace standardized tests? Readers of "Learning & Leading with Technology" have spoken, and the results of the poll are here: 36206s.pdf . You, too, could be an member of ISTE (just like Dr. Helen Barrett) and make your voices heard.

There's no question about it: school is beginning in earnest. Please, as soon as you can, check out this site FULL of wonderful free resources that you can download, print, and use; you won't regret it, söz.


This link is to an archive of discussions from TESL-L on the topic of reading aloud; my interest here is in the unfortunate practice of having students read aloud in class, not in teachers who read aloud to students during the occasional story-time. There's a lot of food for thought here if you choose to think rather than to react or to believe. In short, dialogs for conversation practice or lines from plays, etc. are the only words actually written to be spoken out loud (poems, songs, and chants are another matter); ordinary reading materials are meant to be read silently (and rapidly without sub-vocalizing) and then discussed. Once students have learned to read -- say by third grade -- the focus needs to be on the content.


This little something (now gone for good) was for the native speakers of English to download and read in preparation for our meeting on Thursday.


Here's a link to my serendipitous contribution to the soon-to-be-proposed Hungry Planet units. Oddly enough, it segues into the topics of creativity and music without, as they say, missing a beat. And that leads to a particularly Swedish form of percussion, here. [As with all videos, let the files load in their entirety before you view them so that you get the smoothest possible experience.]

AUGUST 30, 2008

Here's the link to a neat and up-to-date presentation about Web 2.0 writing for students. Even though the intended audience is university writing instructors, I think we all can benefit from viewing it. Moreover, the presentation was created using a new on-line application named Flowgram that you ought to consider using yourselves.

AUGUST 27, 2008

Plans, Plans, and More Plans.
1) First, if you are not reading this, you won't be au courant, as they say.

2) Next week, a few group sessions have been cancelled so that you have enough time to produce yearly plans that can actually be followed. Only two sessions remain, viz//., Wednesday, September 3 from 9 to 11, when among other things you will present your "Hungry Planet" ideas, and Thursday, September 4 from 1 to 3. The TKT-CLIL pilot will take place in a classroom on Friday, September 5, starting at 9 AM.

For our native speakers of English, there will be a "culture session" on Thursday, September 4 from 3 to 4 PM; we'll decide on the venue soon. Required reading materials will be posted here; check back soon and often.

3) Everyone needs to log in, click on this link, and add his/her name to the list of presentation projects no later than Wednesday, September 3, at noon. Please choose just ONE group from: Bloom, or CEFR, or Technology in FLT. Members of each group will present to small groups of the rest of us more or less weekly beginning after the Ramazan break.

4) More documents -- examples of best practice, rubrics, and guidelines, to name just a few -- will be added soon to this wiki . PLEASE become very familiar with what's hiding behind the "our valuable documents" link on the right.

5) Have you got teriffic plans for Zafer Bayramı?

AUGUST 25, 2008

An awful lot of people (NOT a lot of awful people -- see how important word order is in English!) have yet to join this wiki.
The updated ELT Menu is available through the "link to our valuable documents" over on the right. You need to copy it to any computer you plan to use this semester, so explore the folders (very important) and follow the directions.
I've been asked to recommend cool websites you can use to easily host your e-portfolios. works well, even though it's a wiki. Three other friendly free sites are, and; there are a great many other options. The content, of course, is much more important than the form, so create and reflect (documents, podcasts, or videos), keep it very current, and experiment (or just ask for help) with the technical side of things. Remember, these are meant to reflect your ongoing professional activities.

AUGUST 22, 2008

Thank you for your attention and interest today; I know the weather is making everyone uncomfortable. Here's the PowerPoint on portfolios: elp-cefr-teachdev.ppt. Arguably, the portfolios our learners produce are more important than the e-portfolios we produce as teachers. Yet, if we are actively engaged in chronicling our endeavors, we'll be both good models for our students and active contributers to our profession; besides, this year's performance evaluations will take into account the work you've done (or have not done) on your portfolios.

AUGUST 21, 2008

On Wednesday morning during the presentation on Bloom's Taxonomy, I used these resources: essentials Bloom_2007_02_16.swf; Goldilocks; animation and more; basic and revised; creative thinking. I didn't know about this resource, but certainly would have used it if I had; a thoughtful classroom teacher (just like you or I) created it and put it on the Internet to share with the world, and it's one of the best I've seen, designed for today's digital natives and near-natves.
Today, I used the following PowerPoint for "The 10 Commandments": bland.ppt

AUGUST 18, 2008

Rarely have I seen an audience to compare with today's. Here's that PowerPoint for your delectation: The Story Continues.ppt.

AUGUST 17, 2008

Required Reading: (assignment number one of many). Please comment in writing or in a podcast on a part of this essay or on the essay in its entirety. And/or listen to David Nunan's expert opinion on how to best use technology so as to free up teachers to deliver more creative lessons..

AUGUST 14, 2008

Welcome to our current home. Don't hesitate to go back in time via the large link that heads this list.
And here's the first fantastic link of many to come, I hope. It bills itself as "a Virtual Encyclopedia of all major language learning links, Web dictionaries and Computer-Assisted Language Learning organizations in the world."

AUGUST 10, 2008

Here's a site that's begging to be used with students (maybe grades 9 and 10?) and commented upon.

So if your keyboard bores you and you'd prefer to sound off, then try this neat little widget.

AUGUST 7, 2008

Welcome Back. Intense Collaboration Ahead. Fasten Your Seat Belts.

JULY 29, 2008

Evidently, becoming a researcher enhances learning and the desire to learn. So, I think that in order to prepare ourselves and our students for 2010, when Istanbul becomes one of Europe's Capitals of Culture, we should CLOSELY examine this project and design similar modules regarding Istanbul's past, present, and future.
And for those with wanderlust, why not keep a record of your travels here? Actually, I have this dream that each TVO student will create an imaginary journey (based, perhaps, on their current geography or history lessons) and document it on line via this site. Think of the involvement and creativity!

JULY 28, 28

I've never been in love with a question before, have you? Please read (and re-read) the first question in this post by Tom Haskins. And I'm daily growing more and more fond of the answers and of the blog's title, too. Please go see what has sparked all this passion. And another post on this very same blog, (see the sidebar on the left) "Robust Curiosity in Practice" calls to mind your various reactions towards producing your professional development e-portfolios. If you require cogent and timely input to kindle the flame of your reflection, then add the blog's feed to your homepage and write away.
The French, as we all know, have a certain je ne sais quoi. They also have (and I learned this from the inimitable Larry Ferlazzo) a page of formidable resources for learning English. Much to my chagrin, I don't know of an equivalent site in Turkish.
And finally, take a look at this phenomenal presentation about making great presentations. By the way, there are two more here.

My main point? We, each one of us and collectively, need to have thought deeply about, discussed, and internalized all three parts of today's post before we begin planning for next semester.

JULY 16, 2008

The following message appeared in my e-mail; I thought some teachers might wish to take advantage of the training and the offer.
PBwiki Summer Camp
Build the ultimate classroom wiki and have it ready for the start of the fall semester. This six-week program will teach you how to create the best wiki for your classroom -- including how to integrate wikis in your lesson plans, what features work best to engage students and how to use the new PBwiki 2.0.
All educators who complete the program will receive a free platinum wiki that lasts the entire school year.
Sign up for PBwiki Summer Camp here

JULY 15, 2008

Sex has (once again?) become an issue; why not read all about it (you can even "listen all about it" -- except that for some reason you can't put it that way in proper English) here. Your observations in your e-portfolios would go a long way towards meeting your professional responsibilities.

JULY 11, 2008

Here's an interesting bit of summer reading entitled "Adult Teaching Methods in China and Bloom’s Taxonomy." Bloom and his taxonomy will occupy a goodly amount of our time this year. Feel free to check out some or all of the other articles in this latest issue of this wonderful online journal; I was especially taken with the approach to the teaching and learning of personal ethics described in "Superhero as Metaphor: Using Creative Pedagogies to Engage."

JUNE 28, 2008

As the month and the school year wind down, as the posts get fewer and farther between, I find myself finding more and more inputs that could serve as fodder for your e-portfolios. A practicing teacher maintains his/her portfolio to demonstrate continuous professional development (including reflection), and does so electronically in order to "share the wealth," so to speak. It would be great to read or listen to your views on "How to Prevent Another Leonardo da Vinci," an award-winning blog from 2007 that echoes thoughts I shared in 2006, when I first started at Terakki. What kind of school/program are we running? Can we formulate an action plan to change the cultural climate?

JUNE 24, 2008

Here's a link to one of Larry Ferlazzo's recent lists. Please pick a blogger or two (or more!), read through the recent posts (even subscribe to an RSS feed ), and then produce a summary plus reflection for your own e-portfolio. How can what you have read or listened to contribute to what we're doing here? Keep this up and your e-portfolio might make it on to one of these lists. Even if it doesn't work out that way right away, your efforts will have contributed to everyone's professional development. Obviously you can choose other sources of input -- and our French and German teachers must do so . By the time we return in August, we should be able to proudly present our e-portfolios officially.
And here's the link to "YouTube4Kids" -- I feel younger just thinking about it.

JUNE 23, 2008


With no intent to detract from the value of this award or from your collective accomplishments, I must publicly remark, in all honesty,
that despite a great many good attempts (almost everyone has something more than a name on the page), far too many teachers have e-portfolios which do not reflect any professional development whatsoever. I will post a list of possible items for inclusion; choose among them and work diligently over the summer, please.

JUNE 13, 2008

Well, I'm sad to say that my own e-portfolio is not in the shape I wanted it to be in, but then, neither am I. And while not exactly proud of my work, I have no doubt that a fair appraisal of it will accurately reflect at least some of my abilities. Anyhow, now I have work to keep me busy over the summer!
I've asked that the Vakif publicly display links to all our portfolios as prime examples of how Terakki embraces new learning paradigms.
Speaking of which, here's a link to an amazing web application that I'm looking forward to trying out; it's a sort of "project production helper," and I feel sure that we and our students will be making more and more use of it -- or of something very much like it -- as time goes by.
Ayse Kok has left us to begin her doctoral work in London; she will be sorely missed. But she has laid the groundwork for a more interactive and centralized e-learning management system, a Moodle of our very own , which we'll be using with the students.

JUNE 3, 2008

The TKT pilot results are available in my office for a limited time only.

MAY 27, 2008

Dictations are the thing this year, or so they say.

MAY 26, 2008

If your students are at least B1+, and you would like to set them free to learn, include something from this wonderful sitein your lesson plans. I'm particularly fond of the "recreate the text" exercises.

MAY 23, 2008

Here's the best news ever! The site owners need to be more careful with spelling, obviously, but the product is free and easy to use, so let's embrace it. Our students will think we're so cool.

We all know that according to the old saying, "Time flies like and arrow, but fruit flies like a banana." So in honor of the inexorable passage of time, the deadline for producing a meritorious e-portfolio has been extended to Friday, June 13, 2008. Peer observations should be completed and forms turned in by the same date. We can then spend the remainder of the month sharing and caring.

MAY 22,2008 Some more about e-portfolios.Please check your computer's sound system first,you can listen to and read it.

MAY 15, 2008

All of the die-hard Royalists (and others) who have been clamorously waiting for the IATEFL proceedings to be made available can rejoice and listen to their heart's content directly from this page (with links supplied by a kind cyber-friend) . Comments in your e-portfolios are most welcome and likely to impress.

MAY 14, 2008

"Clive on Learning" is a blog by Clive Shepherd, who "has spent the past 25 years working with computers trying to make learning things happen electronically. He's still trying to figure it out," but he's getting close. PLEASE READ this enlightening post. You might even comment on it in your e-portfolio and include specific examples from your own teaching experience. Share it with a colleague, why don't you?

Everyone enjoys a good movie trailer, right? How about a whole collection with activities? Good stuff for a quick change of pace.

MAY 10, 2008

EUREKA! I have come across something that -- with your cooperation, of course -- will add substance to your e-portfolios. If each one of us were to read this blog entry and were to respond to the author, and then put a link to that response (or even a full-fledged elaboration to that response) on his or her e-portfolio, we'd have a decent teaching-learning cyber-discussion of our own. And because the blogosphere is full of thoughts about learning, many by writers who spell better than Donald Clark, you're certainly not limited to only his ideas as inputs.

And this report, Interacting with Text.pdf, from way down under, pretty much covers the rationale of our reading program. Even if you read nothing else this coming week, be sure to go through the findings carefully.

APRIL 29, 2008

European Schoolnet wants YOU! If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

APRIL 22, 2008

1) Things appear to be coming full circle, so we must be near the end of the academic year. Remember "collaboration"? We'll here's something of value that crossed my screen yesterday: AnecdoteCollaborativeWorkplace_v1s.pdf .
2) And here's a link to the first step towards expertise in Bloom's Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain : Bloom_2007_02_16.swf This is an individual activity you can do in your browser and/ or download in preparation for the more rigorous and stimulating group activities related to implementing the Ta xonomy to be scheduled for the near future; keep your eyes peeled. Use sources from the Internet if you need a refresher course.

APRIL 21, 2008

1) Regarding the e-portfolios linked to this wiki: While it is natural that these individual statements contain personal information, the purpose of our e-portfolios is to record accomplishments related to professional development. For example, a list of favorite links, or any list at all, while definitely useful information, does not -- if there are no annotations, explanations, or details of use -- clearly show reflection or effective use of language; the same goes for photographs. Links to theory and models as well as suggestions for writing topics have been provided from time to time on this page (see various posts below). You can (and should) read some educators' blogs and share your comments, rave or fuss about your students' portfolios, reflect on books you've been reading, etc. Take a close look at recent developments in foreign language education, please, and make sure that your published work clearly represents you as a highly accomplished language teacher. And while it may be premature to ask that you be "proud" of your portfolio work, we each need, and know we need, MORE than a bare-bones beginning. Think "mediation." Have a look (again?) at some work of Dr. Helen Barrett's -- this time, metaphors for e-portfolios. Why not email her with your own metaphor?
2) Correction from last week: here's the link to the "news from the trenches," the proposed TESOL standards for newly graduated ESL teachers. . The clear implication is that experienced teachers working at Terakki will easily far exceed the standard for any given criteria.
3) At the risk of becoming the target of your ire, when considering curriculum, please consult the research-based General Service List, Academic Word List, and these exercises for the Academic Word List; organizing language learning by topic, word frequency, or function is surely better than resorting to some arbitrary notion of grammatical complexity! Would it be fair to say that the 2000 most commonly used English words are contained within CEFR B1, and that the AWL belongs in B2?

APRIL 15, 2008

It's wonderful to see so many developing portfolios, so many diverse approaches, so many stars.

MARCH 24, 2008

So it's encyclopedia-like texts in simple English that you want, or maybe texts with pictures and videos about the world around us; well, wait no more. Try the Simple Wikipedia and the Glossopedia respectively. These sources of information are perfect beginnings. Think how much more wonderful they would be if we added specially-created supplementary exercises for our students.

MARCH 20, 2008

I am so envious of Konrad Glogowski's practice and reflection, that I want to make you envious, too -- just to spread the appreciation around. I love the term "schooliness," but hate the practice. Quite seriously, this educator knows and shares all; I use an RSS feed to my start page so I never miss a post. You might wish to comment on his views in your e-portfolio.
And speaking of e-portfolios, here's a link to an EU project concerning e-portfolios and self-esteem, and here is a video by one of the project authors that's well worth your time.

There is, supposedly, a German version "hiding" somewhere in cyberspace.

MARCH 18, 2009

A nice visual representation of how we can naturally incorporate e-portfolios in our lives is here.

MARCH 17, 2008

Highly recommended by Esra and those in the know.

MARCH 14, 2008

Twenty eager teachers-cum-learners have signed up for the June Pilgrims Creative Methodology course. Detailed information will be available shortly.

Wondering about the world we live in? Wanna share that wonder with your students? Need visual support?
Try this site; you'll like it, I'm sure.

Your assignment (if you choose to accept it): Go to this site. Choose 4th grade from the drop-down menu and select the letter "L" from the alphabet. Answer these questions in complete sentences in your notebook.
  1. How many words are displayed?
  2. How many of them do you know?
    Click on the first word, look at the picture, and listen to all the audio files.
  3. How many children are in the picture?
  4. How many of them are girls?
  5. What are they doing? Why?
  6. What's the opposite of "next page"?

MARCH 13, 2008

Re: Pilgrims.
We have thirteen or so teachers who have committed themselves to eight days of "Creative Methodology" beginning on Monday, June 23, and finishing on Tuesday, July 1 (Friday, June 27, is probably the day off). Unfortunately, I did not receive word from enough of you to warrant a second course. I think fifteen is an ideal number of participants, but we can have as many as twenty, so please confirm your place if you haven't done so already. We're calculating costs and have thus far determined that for the Foundation to cover half the expenses, teachers will need to be returning to Terakki for at least the 2008-2009 academic year and will need to be ready, willing, and able to give training to others as needed . Most likely, the Foundation will deduct the course payments from participants' salaries beginning in June 2008.

MARCH 10, 2008

How we managed to miss National Grammar Day on March 4th I'll never know. But celebrations can continue (secretly, if necessary) for as long as the celebrants choose, right?
The news today is that Microsoft is providing (at last) free online storage (up to 5 GB) and free support for collaboration on online documents -- you simply need a Windows ID and you can sign up. We may never need to rely on public space again.

MARCH 7, 2008

You've raised your voices and nearly made your choices: Thirty-six people are interested in a Pilgrims course for June, so we can run two different courses simultaneously. "Creative Methodology for the Classroom" received the most "votes," so up to 20 of you (first come first served (a few less is better)) can choose that course. I have unilaterally decided that everyone else needs to agree on EITHER "Dealing with Difficult Learners" OR "Secondary School" -- the two runners up. I hope we can have two groups of happy instructors, happily learning.
So -- by Monday, March 10, 2008, please choose ONE of the three courses named above so that I can make the final arrangements. Tell me your choice. E-mail me at, and please do not erase pages on this wiki, intentionally or by accident. ;-)

MARCH 5, 2008

Pilgrims, Pilgrims, and more Pilgrims!
VERY GOOD: There is grant money available for teachers who wish to attend a Pilgrims course in Canterbury this summer. First, reserve your place through the web site -- choose at least two courses to increase your odds of getting funded. Then, contact Bruce Graves in Ankara ( for the grant forms and help in applying.
LESS GOOD: By this Friday, we must have at least 15 people committed to taking our Istanbul Pilgrims course in June or we will lose our chance (which will be a crying shame). From your responses so far, it seems as if we might be able to agree on a course combining the best of Expert Teacher and Humanizing Testing, or perhaps with 30 people, we could run each separately. A rough estimate of the costs is between 400 and 500 YTL per teacher. The dates planned are June 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, and July 1. As more of you sign up, content, exact dates, and costs will become easier to determine -- but time is running out.

MARCH 3, 2008

You may have to log in to this site -- it's free, and you can use your Ning account ID. Anyhow, take a good look around before going straight to the Stories tab. The other pages also have lots of useful stuff, but the flash stories are incredible. Try "The Paperbag Princess (Level 7)."

FEBRUARY 29, 2008

If it's not one thing, it's another.
  1. Ayse Kok will be in Barcelona all next week on official EU business, so she'll stay in touch virtually and will post links to Pageflakes, etc.
  2. I humbly request (re-request?) all those interested in the Pilgrims training planned for June to post their names and suggestions for course content here within the next week.

FEBRUARY 28, 2008

With an extra day this year, I'm sure my biological clock will get out of sync. To help me sleep, I might even ask you to sing me a European lullaby.

FEBRUARY 26, 2008

Here's a link to the penultimate VoiceThread; an absolute MUST-SEE. Why not write a review or reflection for your e-portfolio?
And by popular demand, here's today's presentation: PURPOSE.ppt

FEBRUARY 21, 2008

Just when you start to fear that Celine Dion is Canada's best export, you learn of a wonderfully rich site that will keep you and your students engaged for a long, long time. I especially recommend, for the young and the young at heart, the story links under Language Arts such as "Tumblebooks." Why not use some materials and write about the outcomes?

FEBRUARY 19, 2008

In honor of our second snow day, I'm posting a link to some free Web 2.0 course materials that you can download and work from at home. The idea is that you will become more comfortable with the various technologies so that you will be better able to create materials for our students. T he coverage is broad, with plenty of links to tools and examples. Just download, unzip, and click on files to open them in a web page.

FEBRUARY 17, 2008

This site, although it has courses you must pay to enroll in, has links to marvelous resources and slide presentations . The examples of productions by young learners and the materials for podcasting are especially relevant to our work.

FEBRUARY 15, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day. Here's some news (copied and pasted from the discussion) which deserves to be right here on the front page:
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The video on youtube has inspired me to organise a storytelling contest among our young learners aged 9-12.Please check it out
You might also wish to watch Kindergarten Students Reading Their Stories.

FEBRUARY 14, 2008

While your professional development e-portfolio is a project with no clear end, a true work in progress, there are some VERY IMPORTANT DATES established for this academic year:
1. By April 11, 2008, every foreign language teacher needs his or her portfolio to be a viable Internet presence.
2. By May 31, 2008, every foreign language teacher needs to have an e-portfolio that he or she can justifiably take pride in.

FEBRUARY 12, 2008

Hurry, hurry. Although it appeared here for a limited time only, the link is virtually immortal. These 10 minutes will surely change your outlook. EXTRA CREDIT IF YOU USE IT IN CLASS AND LIVE TO TELL THE TALE.

FEBRUARY 9, 2008

Here's a great little piece about professional development via personal learning environments.

JANUARY 24, 2008

Yet another one of Larry's lists. How can any one person manage to be so productive? This is a list of sites for beginning readers who are not especially young .

JANUARY 23, 2008

Here's a link to another of Larry Ferlazzo's amazing lists, this time to the best sites for beginning readers, many of them (the stories, not the readers) with accompanying audio files and activities . Go ahead and check out the stories; you know you want to. And while you're there, why not write a review for your colleagues? You can, hem, count it as your good deed for the day and, hem, add it to your e-portfolio.

JANUARY 22, 2008

1) Please be sure to check this wiki frequently. Each of us is responsible for "being in the know." BECOME A MEMBER! Membership is free and confers valuable privileges. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed and be automatically notified of any changes to the wiki.
2) Task groups are being formed for the following three areas: Electronic Learning, Writing, and Speaking. Volunteers (one member from each of our "major groupings," i.e., K-1-2-3, 4-5, 6-7-8. Prep, 9-12) should contact Philip Franklin immediately, if not sooner.

JANUARY 16, 2008

Hot off the presses: This link will take you to an online refereed journal that includes an article by Rebecca Fox et al about portfolios in teacher development. After reading it, you will understand why an e-portfolio is now required from every foreign language teacher. We can get together soon to brainstorm regarding the contents and the venue; obviously, all work must be original, available to the public, and contain your reflections. You may write or speak in English, French, or German (we might even ask our foreign language club instructors to use their Spanish, Chinese, Russian, and Greek). If we think, for example, about what we expect from a 9th grade student's ELP Dossier; then each teacher can produce a "more adult" version of that . The portfolio might contain, to list just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, book reviews, film reviews (books!, films!), restaurant reviews, techniques that work, presentations, mondegreens, wish lists, letters to the editor, interpretations of dreams, music, poetry, pageantry, and dance; not to mention recipes, fortunes waiting to be told, political commentary, satire, unusual travel destinations, jokes, band practice, plays, diary entries, decisions and indecisions. The old solutions are what have created our current problems; let's think outside the box. Try these sites for inspiration: a Global Summit presentation and/or the future is here.

JANUARY 12, 2008

This message might easily have been meant just for us. Larry Ferlazzo, that Web 2.0 phenomenon, has put together lists of the best writing and the best health sites for language learners. Now who doesn't need more good health and more good writing?

"Fri Jan 11, 2008 8:54 pm (PST)
I thought people might be interested in two more lists I've recently posted:
The Best Websites For K-12 Writing Instruction/Reinforcement
<http://larryferlazzo.edublogs .org/2008/01/11/the-best -websites-for-k-12-writing -instructionreinforcment/>
The Best Health Sites For English Language Learners
<http://larryferlazzo.edublogs .org/2008/01/03/the-best -health-sites-for-english-language-learners/>

Larry Ferlazzo
_http://larryferlazzo.edublogs .org/_

JANUARY 9, 2008

This year has been officially proclaimed the "International Year of Languages," employing the matchless slogan "Languages matter!" Check it out here, why don't you? Let's get well-prepared for February 21.

JANUARY 4, 2008

This link will take you to a site replete with Hot Potatoes-based interactive exercises. Students might be assigned individual exercises or sections for homework; instructors might construct practice materials using more authentic language .

JANUARY 2, 2008

A happy new year to everyone! Here's the link for the best web 2.0 applications for education- 2007. There are some tools which you are already familiar with like Voicethread.

DECEMBER 23, 2007

Here's a link to a blog posting; please read it through carefully as it concerns how we as educators could, ideally, interact.

DECEMBER 14, 2007

Here's a link to a marvelous set of videos for professional development. We are planning to have each foreign-language teacher currently working at TVO submit a complete electronic portfolio; a review of one or two of these videos might be included. More on this soon.

DECEMBER 10, 2007

Please fell us your suggestions about the usability for this wiki taking the following factors into consideration:

- Do you use it during hour lessons at part of classroom practice or does if mean just an extra burden for you:)
- What type of other resources would you like to see hare?
- Do you feel confident using the features of the wiki?

Thanks in advance for your collaboration. Have a mice leek!

DECEMBER 5, 2007

Two points of interest:
1) Not that Ayşe is working with us, teachers should send their Pageflakes items by email to her, each Wednesday by 9 AM. She's also going to be managing this wiki for us all.
2) Since last month's activity was so successful, I think we need to extend it to cover any and all entries in our wiki -- as always, one tiny letter at a tame. Congratulations to all participants; we have reserved a spade for you on our honor role.

DECEMBER 4, 2007

Below, you will find a message concerning participation in the EOL (Electronic Online Village) session. By becoming an EOL participant, you can get involved in collaborative online discussion sessions or hands-on virtual workshops fed by experts. Don't miss this opportunity:)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dafne <>
Date: Dec 2, 2007 1:53 AM
Subject: [weblogging] TESOL Electronic Village Online 2008 - Call for Participation Announcement

Dear all,

The CALL Interest Section of the international TESOL
professional association is pleased to offer the
opportunity to participate in the Electronic Village
Online (EVO) 2008 season. This is a professional
development project and virtual extension of the TESOL
2008 Convention in New York. The intended audience
for this project includes both TESOL 2008 participants
and those who can participate only virtually.

You do not need to be a TESOL member to participate in
a free , six-week , wholly online session of the EVO,
Jan 14 - Feb 24, 2008. Please visit our Announcement
Page to select one or two among the various offerings.

Feel free to distribute this annoucement.

Looking forward to having you in the EVO 2008 sessions,

Yours in TESOL ,

Dafne Gonzalez
On behalf of the EVO coordination team

NOVEMBER 13, 2007

Due to technical problems beyond our control, no new members of this wiki can be accepted until November 26. But for current members, here's your tusk -- play as often as you live:
  1. Choose from this page any posting written during October, 2007.
  2. Find a word that when you substitute ONE LETTER FOR ANOTHER, you produce a different English word.
  3. Make that change.
  4. Tell no one, but enjoy your mischief while seeing who, if anyone, notices the change,

And, on a more serious note, I highly recommend this blog posting. Konrad Golgowski, the author, eloquently explores teaching, blogging, and learning. Many of his ideas seem relevant to our work here. Perhaps we could start a few discussion .....

NOVEMBER 9, 2007

Well, there seems to be a bit more interest in Train-The-Trainer. For those of you who would like additional general information about Pilgrims, please visit their web site. We can, to some extent, tailor the course to our own needs, but I imagine we'll be hosting a course with only the most valuable components of "Skills of Teacher Training" and "The Expert Teacher." According to preliminary plans, the course will take place during either the first or the second week of our Winter Break.
On a completely different note, I came across an excellent resource with full-length documentaries. They seem most suitable for Lycee classes, perhaps with some viewing in class and some viewing from home. Some topics and/or approaches are clearly controversial. Check the site out and discuss you ideas, please.
HEADS UP! For all of the members of this wiki, there will be an exciting assignment to keep you engaged during the up-coming break. Join the wiki so as not to miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.


Larry Ferlazzo, whose work some of you admire, has moved his website. Will changes never cease? Follow this link to visit his new location.

OCTOBER 30, 2007

Time tries! (You can't; they fly two quickly!)
  1. It's hard to understand why there has been such little discussion regarding the Train-The-Trainer course. We'll schedule some small group sessions on the topic beginning nest week.
  2. Here's a copy of the email I b ent out today regarding Pageflakes and Internet-based assignments; perhaps some of you will enjoy re-reading it.
"We’ve got a lot to discuss concerning Internet-based homework, but it’s hair to say that we’ve made a lot of progress since last year. So keep up the wood work.
So that we can make the best use of our “Pageflakes Portal,” please be pure to get your assignments to me no later than 9 AM on the Wednesday before the worksheet is distributed.
You should include an appropriate variation on the following in your directions to students:

Go to
Lock in the box titled “Assignments nor All Students” and click on the link for “Students in [name that grade].”
On the nest web page, find the link or links for this week’s assignment for your glass/grade, click at directed, and follow the instructions given."

OCTOBER 17, 2007

Two items of news:
  1. Terakki may soon be hosting an intensive "Train-The-Trainer" course for ELT specialists. Right now, the dates and costs have yet to be determined, but we'd like to know how many teachers would be interested in taking such a source. So please click on the Discussion Tab above and shame your thoughts.
  2. I've been informed of a new initiative regarding "plurilingual, European, and international competencies," an outgrowth of the CEFR. I've added one pdf file to our documents, and I strongly urge all foreign language teachers to keep up with current developments.

OCTOBER 7, 2007

Nothing like missing (or forgetting about) something that's staring you right in the face. Danny (aka mrglasner), who has set up wikispaces for his 7th grade students, pointed out that the "Discussion Tab" on each page takes you to a forum that members can reply to.

OCTOBER 5, 2007

Listening links, as a category, seemed to be missing from the navigation sidebar. Actually, some crafty links have merely been masquerading as "audio tools." So, I've remedied the situation and have added a few links to listening sites, just to get the hall rolling, so to speak. Don't forget to check the video links, too.

Beginning the week of October 15, 2007, I'd like to see listening homework along with links to other web-based resources included on every weekend worksheet. Please be sure to give me the urls that the students will need so that I can add them to our Pageflakes portal.

Teachers need to be creating their own on-line materials, viz., documents I can post to the student assignment page, materials created in web-based applications (those of you "doing forums" are hereby commended; add your links, why don't you, so that we can all see the results), or interactive exercises hosted on-line.

OCTOBER 2, 2007

There are quite a few pieces of information to share, so, in order of importance.
  1. I'm available by appointment to discuss the feedback from the TKT Pilot.
  2. It's time to begin peer observations. A minimum of four observations is required each semester, but you are encouraged to do more. Please be sure to schedule them at regular intervals throughout the semester. The feedback form is on this site with our documents as well as on Public Space; turn each form in to your department head when you have completed it.
  3. Birgul, Ceyhun, and I will also be observing your classes.
  4. Another truly amazing resource has crossed my path. I'm sure you will find it useful, so please become well acquainted with it.
  5. I'm readying a website where we can post homework urls and upload files for students to view. Every week by 5 PM each Wednesday, please give me the url(s) and documents you need posted. This is the url for the student assignment page.[]. Check it out for yourselves. Once at the Pageflakes site, the students will need to follow the proper link to their grade and then check the homework assignments week by week.
  6. Our students need homework assignments involving listening and speaking = R P and I M tasks. Please be sure to regularly include such activities as watching videos, conducting interviews and surveys, leaving voice messages, and recording on Voicethread. Technology can help us to access resources, but face-to-face interaction is also fun and easy.

SEPTEMBER 24, 2007

Hot off the virtual presses, two links from teachers elsewhere who are collaborating and creating and who should be congratulated. The first onecomes straight from Bangkok, while the second, which has been "hiding" in our links, is simply a phenomenal achievement.

SEPTEMBER 14, 2007

TGIF. I have put a link in the navigation bar to a page where documents reside. This way, when you are far from Public Space, you can still reach your school files. Lest you have forgotten, may I remind you that any member of this wiki has the ability to post on it anywhere.

SEPTEMBER 10, 2007

Concerned about Spoken Production or Spoken Interaction? Try the links available on the Pronunciation page accessible through the sidebar. And, speaking of speaking, VoiceThread, an old favorite, now comes with wonderful instructions for getting your whole class involved. Be the first in the school to have an entire class online!


Not much communication/collaboration going on virtually lately.....perhaps it's just the lull before the storm. The TKT Pre-Test administered yesterday was, I'm sure, a beneficial exercise for those with a professional orientation and attitude. We await the results with bated breath. An amazing online resource came across my screen today; great, I think, for discussion of current events.

AUGUST 28, 2007

The most important component of the European Language Portfolio is the section known as the "Dossier," which serves as a "documentary collection" of student-made materials, projects, performances, products, etc. If a student were asked to "prove" that he/she can do this or that, he/she could point to the evidence in the portfolio. Here's one useful link along with a link further down that page, something more specific, but. perhaps, harder to get to. As teachers, we need to decide how we will implement this portfolio program grade by grade.

AUGUST 21, 2007

It's great that so many of you have signed up to become members of the wiki. Please let me know if you would like "organizer's privileges" so that you can play a more active role.
Here's a link to a continually updated list of relevant online events. You can plan ahead or just check it out when there's nothing good on TV.

AUGUST 17, 2007

Yet another link to required reading, this time about the value of portfolios.

AUGUST 15, 2007

1) A link for Friday = The Truth About Mediation (Press "pause" and let the whole clip download first.)

2) You, too, can be virtually Irish; scroll down to the bottom of the page. EUROCALL 2007

3) I envy their courage, but pity their teacher
Three foreigners of different nationalities are studying English in the USA and waiting for a bus after class. The first one says, "Gee, it sure is windy today." The second one says, "You're wrong. It's Thursday." The third one says, "I'm thirsty, too. Let's get something to drink."

AUGUST 14, 2007

Two links have been added to "Suggestions".One is a general introduction to using computers in education, the other has activities for "translating" sms/chat English into "real" English. Fun?
And there is one more new link: ONLINE RESEARCH - ENCYCLOPEDIA (also starred in the sidebar to the left) should take you directly to the resource if you're using a computer at school. If you wish to use the resources from home -- or if you wish your students to do so -- request the login info from the library or from the Foreign Language Department..

AUGUST 13, 2007




Let's Collaborate !
Link to today's short presentation.

Posted to by: "Andreas Büsing"

Sat Aug 11, 2007 10:39 am (PST)
Here are my two cents for the summer.
1) A collection of 50 + free tools to create a digital story.
2) A collection of teaching videos by Russel Stannard
3) Free PBwiki - Wiki Workshop video tutorials from Atomic Learning? Don't wait
too long. The trial expires at the end of September.
May the rest of your day be perfect.
Best wishes
Phone: 01801-63384604568
Fax: 01805-0068648058
Skype: bigfellow68
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
- attributed to Ben Franklin


Dying to be read and digested
This Wiki was created to share information.
Please have a look at the following links!
We will be glad to see your comments! Thank you!

You can also write your comment at our TVO Forum & Blog !

Links used by TVO Instructors 2007

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