A Film Review

The Theory of Everything
Biographical drama, 2014

The Theory of Everything is about the scientist Stephen Hawking. The film is based on a book, ‘Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen’ by his wife, Jane Wilde Hawking. The film is set in England and starts in the early 1960s. It tells the story of Hawking’s relationship with Jane, the diagnosis of his motor neuron disease and his success as a physicist.

I love the acting in this film. Eddie Redmayne stars as Hawking and Felicity Jones plays the role of Jane. My favourite character is Stephen Hawking because he is very clever and brave.

I think this is an ideal film for people who like true stories. It is a bit sad at times but the story is very interesting and there is a lot of action. I give The Theory of Everything
★★★★. Go and watch it soon!

★★★★★Fantastic!
★★★★Really good!
★★★ OK
★★ Bad
★ Terrible!

Dear Students,

1. Think of a film you have watched.
2. Write your review using the your notes and the model text. Use some of the words and phrases in bold. Write between 100 and 150 words.

Thanks,

Instructor Nazmi

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Çevre College 14th ELT CONFERENCE

 

I am interested in conferences about ELT since it is a good way to be updated. Two years ago, I participated in a conference of Çevre College in Istanbul. It was worth it, for sure. I highly suggest my colleagues to see that conference this year on 24th February. There are expert Plenary Speakers who are Paul Seligson and JJ Wilson for this year and veteran teachers in concurrent sessions.  You can benefit from workshops. Also, you will find almost all of the publishing houses there. That’s a good chance to examine the books and get example ones. The lunch is available between 12-1 pm. Furthermore,  you can register for the busses in the website.The fee is quite affordable, 60₺. You can buy tickets in biletix or cash on campus. At the end of the day, certificates will be distributed.

Plans for the Summer

Dear students,

All of you study hard to learn English.  You spend most of your time for it. I am really proud of you and appreciate your effort.  As you don’t have enough holidays to relax and rest, I am sure that you are longing for the summer holiday. I wonder what you are going to do in summer.  You can get help here for “be going to”.

Could you please write your plans for the summer?

  • What are you going to do?
  • Where are you going to go?
  • Who with?
  • When?
  • Are you going to work or study?

The Digital Nomad

Today was the final day of my bus journey from Lhasa to Kodari, at the border with Nepal. It’s the highest road in the world. It’s also a very long journey. You travel for three days through the Himalayas and you can see the north side of Everest.

This afternoon, we were only ten miles from Kodari and suddenly the bus stopped. The driver got out and looked at the engine. For the next three hours, he tried to fix it, but it didn’t start.

Finally, a lot of the passengers got out and started walking to the border. I felt sorry for the bus driver because he looked a little sad. However, I also wanted a good hotel and  a hot meal so I left the bus and walked to Kodari too.

Dear Students, the article above is from the website of Andrew Evans who is a digital nomad. Could you please write a short travel blog about a journey or place you visited. Think about these questions:

  • Where were you?
  • When was it?
  • Who was there?
  • What happened?

An email massage

Dear students                                                                                                                                                             Sorry I didn’t post in my website last week. I was really busy! How are things with you?  How was your weekend? My weekend was good. On saturday morning , I went shopping  with my brother. We bought a lot of new clothes. I got really cool new jacket!  In the afternoon,  I watched television  and then I went for a walk in the park with our dog, Lady.  On Saturday night, I stayed at my brother’s house. We watched DVDs and stayed up until 2 o’clock in the morning. I didn’t get up until midday on Sunday. I had lunch at a cafe with my brother and in the afternoon, I went to a basketball match with my father and some friends in Istanbul. It was really interesting.

I am looking forward to hearing from you! Could you please tell me about your weekend? Say hi to your friends.

Love from Nazmi

Learner Autonomy

“You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself”

Galileo Galilei ( 1564-1642)

In 21st Century, education has been going  through some changes in terms of methods, perspectives, tools, settings etc. In the past, the teacher was the  only authority and the only resource for students to provide information. However; with the advent of internet,  access to information gets easier.  The internet has been growing quite fast in terms of tools, content and resources. So, students have almost everything they need for their education. The question is ”  Are we going to need teachers in the future?”.  The studies and researches show that we need teachers to be a guide or a facilitator. They have to help learners to reach the correct content in a faster way and how to benefit better from the internet etc. Students’ role have to change, as well. They need to be AUTONOMOUS. Continue reading

Seating Arrangements

Seating arrangements of the classes tell us about approaches and activites that can be used in classes. Ignoring the effect of seating arrangement may cause  boring lessons. Do you think that is there a best arrangement for classes? As a teacher, I always change the seating arrangement according to activites and materials. Each pattern has advantages and disadvantages. For instance;

Orderly Rows

Students and teachers have a clear view of each other.

Enabling the teacher making eye contact with people.

The teacher working with the whole class.

Some activites are especially suitable for this organisation such as explaining grammar rules, watching videos or powepoint presentations. However,  some students in the back can make noise.  In this pattern, it is not easy to create a good class dynamic. Teachers have to keep these students involve the lesson.

Continue reading

Challanges of non native speakers

Since English became Lingua Franca of the World, people who do not share the same language and  for whom English is not their mother tongue has been trying to speak English in anywhere of the world with each other. Sometimes we can see some surprising characteristics of these conversations. Barbara Seidhofler  at the university of Vienna  has noted some of them, including:

  • No use of third person present simple tense -s ( she look ver sad)
  • Interchangeable use of the relative pronouns who and which ( a book who, a person which)
  • Definite and indefinite articles where they are obligatory in native speaker English
  • Use of all purpose of tag questions such as isn’t it? Or no?  instead of shouldn’t they. (They should arrive soon, shouldn’t they?)
  • Heavy reliance on certain verbs  such as do, have, make, put, take
  • Pluralisation of uncountable nouns ( informations, staffs, advices)

Non native speakers are not conforming to a English standard. Actually, they seem to get along well despite missing some things.

Warm up

Teachers have to start the lesson with a warmer to calm down kids and get them focussed on a lesson. It is the essential part of teaching. Since it is the first activity of the lesson, the warm up sets the tone for the next hour. It should be 3 to 5 minutes with an engaging, fun activity.  It doesn’t require time consuming planning in advance. You can use songs, flash cards, mimics, puzzles, games like bingo etc. Continue reading

Connect with English

Connect with English is a website for English language teachers.  It helps students learn the language in different contexts. It is a story of Rebecca Casey, a young woman who lives in Boston. It has 48 episodes under four differet sections. Videos are very engaging. Every episode includes interactive activities. Also, the website is free. You can integrate the videos into your plans according to your topics.

Learner Strategy

The text below is from a student in Hong Kong. It is a good example how learning strategies affect students. What do you think about the case below? What kind of learning strategies do your students use?

“When I was in secondary school, I seldom asked questions. The reason was that the teacher always tried to explain the stuffs as detailed as possible, leaving no queries among students. Only the most curious student will ask questions. This method is well-known as the spoon-feeding education system in which we are fed with piles of notes and text books. Continue reading

Canva

Canva is a tool for teachers and students to create posters, cards, infographics, certificates. It allows students to use their creativity to  show their knowledge.It is very popular website, which has milions of users around the World.  In the website, there are millions of images and also you can upload your own pictures and images, as well. Furthermore, photos can be edited by using filters or advanced edit tools. Free icons and shapes with different fonts can be used for your designs. It is available in eight different languages.  I usually use it to design my own certificates for kids and give assignments to students to create multimedia posters in some specific topics. Continue reading

Wizer.me

Wizer.me is an online platform for teachers to create interactive worksheets. It allows teachers to create quickly different types of questions; open questions, multiple choice, matching, fill in the blank etc. The content depends on teachers. For example, I prepare vocabulary quizzes for my EFL classrooms. Students enjoy it. Teachers can add different themes and background pictures to worksheets, which makes it fun for studens. Teachers can also put videos and multimedia materials to worksheets easily. It can be assigned to students via Google Classroom ,Edmodo a link or a code. If you prepare the answers  beforehand, papers are automatically  marked , which saves time for teachers.

Google Classroom

Google Classroom is a website for teachers and students. It takes some of the work  from classes to online platform. It allows teachers to create classes and add students in the website and creat quizes, send homeworks or announcements online. It’s going to let teachers have more time in classes. It is a kind of flipped classroom.  It has a really useful and easy interface. You can easily add students, send assignments, check them, switch classes etc. Also, apps for mobile phones are available. For more detailed information about how to use it, you should watch the video below.

Principled Approach

Our approach of learning and teaching language affects everything that goes on in the classes. It is the cumulative body of knowledge and principles that enable teachers, as “technicians” in the classroom, to diagnose the needs of students, to treat students with successful pedagogical techniques, and to assess the outcome of those treatments. I’ll list some of the most accepted principles which should shape your approach to teaching. Continue reading