Valentine’s Day Special :)

Valentine’s Day Special

Here are the some of the best Valentine’s Day Activities:

Number 1. ESL Library: In here you can find Valentine’s Day Cards, and Lesson Plans.

























Number 2. Online TEFL Training

This website gives three lovely activities for Valentine’s Day.

Number 3. Lesson Plans Page

The Lesson plans page supplies games, lesson plans, and ideas/

Number 4. Teacher Vision

There are plenty of printables, slideshows, worksheets, quizzes, and art projects that will make all your students feel included in this holiday of romantic and platonic love.

Number 5. Teach Hub

There are ideas for different levels,  for basic subjects.


Additional Resources:

Add some spice to your classes series 3

Humor in ELT classes is an ımportant topic but Telling a joke is generally a hard situation. Comedy Central’s Comedian Constructor aims to take some of that pain away. With this magnificient elt tool you can customize your comedian’s look and background to set the scene, and then wrıte his/her lines, and finally, watch them take the stage.

To give your comedic avatar a voice you can use text-to-speech, record with a mic or by phone, or used one of their canned acts. (Very unfunny ones at that.) I tried out the text-to-speech function and it sounded very robotic (see more images after the jump). Once you’ve customized your avatar you can put them on the stage in front of an audience and see how they do. You can then email your comedian to your friends or post it on the site.

It wasn’t created for educational purposes but we can use this tool as a class helper. Our students can create a stand up comic, record their best joke and perform in front of a virtual audience. Students can then post their performance to a gallery, blog or send it to their teacher.

Project Suggestion!

Grab the mic get on the stage project!

You can create a contest between your students. They can record their jokes with the help of their imagination and creativity . They can vote each other and choose the best comedian at school. 

Gedik University Anish Kapoor Trip

I was at “British Council’s Blog” and wrote about field trips! :) Here is the LINK! 


School trips are actually very common in Turkey but they are not used as in other countries. In other countries educators connect schoolwork with the world, making it memorable and meaningful. A good planned school trip can stimulate questions and ideas at the beginning or end of a unit. Field trips also provide an experiential “text” for students to study and interrogate.

Two weeks ago Gedik University, School of Foreign languages students went to Anish Kapoor exhibition. There were three instructors and their names are: Ayşegül Liman Kaban, Ayşegül Altınkaya and Semanur Gökkaya. Before the trip we carefully prepared our students to visit to the Anish Kapoor Exhibition through readings, a video, and photography. By the time the students reached the site, they absorbed background knowledge and had questions to investigate. They also had handouts to guide them in making notes and answering questions. The trip helps the students to focus on the question: “What does art tell to us?”

MIXBefore the Trip, Teachers Should:

  • Develop a schedule for the day, evalute potential problems, and plan how the students could best use their time.
  • Arrange for special equipment such as video camera, digital camera.
  • Give as much context as possible so that the students will understand what they see.
  • Create a trip sheet. It should concern prompts. Students can draw, write responses, answer questions, or find items for a “scavenger hunt” of the location.

During the Trip, Teachers Should:

  • Build in opportunities for students to view from their eyes. On a trip to a museum, for example, the students could be asked an open-ended question like, “Find a work that represents you and give some reasons”.

After the Trip:

  • Allow the students to synthesize their experience creatively. For example, they might create trip brochures for other classes. They might present their experience orally on Voicethread.
  • Students can also write blog articles.
  • In the USA there is an online map of teachers’ favorite field-trip destinations. Maybe we can create an online map of our favorite field trip destinations in Turkey.

Benefits of Field Trips

  • Field trips bring classroom study alive for students and help them remember and relate to what they have learned.
  • They provide rich resources that can rarely be approximated in the classroom. Their learning will be more meaningful.
  • Field trips provide new cultural contexts provoke questions.
  • Field trips stimulate and focus class work by helping students synthesize information.

Aysegul Liman Kaban

Gedik University, School of Foreign Languages, English Instructor

Super Duper Dice Games


Firstly, I want to give basic vocabulary for playing dice games in the classroom.

Useful vocabulary: roll, dice, counter, team, winner – runner up, shuffle/ mix (up)

Useful Expressions: Throw / Roll the dice

Whose turn is it? / Who’s next?

Is it my turn? / Am I next?

It’s your turn. / You’re next.

Take it in turns to throw the dice.

Giving instructions:

Who would like to show the game with me?

Does anyone already know dice games?

Instruction checking questions:

How much time do you have to create a story?

Can you ….?

What does dice mean? Who can show….?

Getting started:

Which team wants to start?

Are you ready?

Finishing the game:

Go back to your seats.

Time’s running out!

Ten, nine…

Hurry up!

Time’s up/ Three, two, one, zero! /

Game over!

Let’s listen your stories!

Did you like the game?

Game Instructions for the teacher: Divide the class into 4 groups.

Each group should have at least four students. (Esp. mix strong and weak learners)

To each group give one set of dices.

Ask each group to roll dices and create stories.

The most creative and interesting story is the winner.

1476525_10151954667000318_1753205979_n 1455026_10151954665050318_87704042_nYou can also check out these links for more dice games :


Speaking Assessment fits for the future

pizap.com10.012957844417542221391759314500Designing a speaking assessment rubric that meets the needs of the present and prepares students to meet their own future needs is a challenge. This presentation is based on a study  which primarily aims to explore the effect of speaking training, secondly to determine whether  there is a relation between training and performance and finally to find out the impact of  speaking strategy training on the effective use of time in speaking assignments. The participants  of the study were 80 Prep School students who study at Gedik University. Two groups were  formed: an experimental group in which 40 students received a structured, five-phase speaking  strategy training, 30 hours speaking course, and a control group in which 40 students received  general assessment without speaking strategy training (They didn’t have any speaking class,  they just took skills based course.). In this experimental study, quantitative research methods  were employed. The quantitative data, which consisted of interviews conducted with students  from each group, aimed to clarify the relationship between speaking strategy training and effective time use.



Add some spice to your reading and writing classes


Do your students find reading and writing activities boring? Have you ever wished practicing reading and writing could be more fun for you and your students? If you say yes, this session is for you. As we already know it is not easy to motivate the students who are easily distracted and only think about surfing on the Internet. In this workshop we will look at ways to use technology to make your classes more fun.


There is a place where you can find webinars and online seminars…


A while ago, I set up a group for sharing/finding #webinars to professional development and ELT webinars and online courses for English teachers. This is not a group for learning English. If you want to keep up with the recent practices in ELT, this is the group to join. We’re there, what about you?



Catch if you can because emotions are contagious…  


Try…if you can watch this wedding ceremony clip without smiling. It’s almost impossible not to be influenced by the joyful emotions…

Hatfield, Cappiolo and Rapson (1992) define emotional contagion as: the tendency to mimic another person’s emotional experience and thus to experience / express the same emotions oneself.

Try if you can watch this wedding ceremony clip without smiling. It’s almost impossible not to be influenced by the joyful emotions we are witnessing. Researchers have proven what we have sensed intuitively: that emotions are contagious. They infect not only individuals but entire groups so why don’t we use it at school, while teaching ? Before you try it I have some suggestions for you…


1. Although  positive and negative emotions are contagious, negative ones spread even faster than positive ones. This has important results at school. If you don’t enjoy while teaching, your students can smell it.

2. You are a teacher,  You must be “walking mood inductor”  because your mood impacts how they feel, and, consequently, how they perform.


3. Set a positive mood atmosphere at school or in your class.  For example: you can design your class door.

4.  Talk about positive things.  For instance if your topic is children, show them a short happy children video.  According to Schachter and Singer theory there are three important ancillary propositions:

(=) In the event that an individual has no causal explanation for an arousal state he or she will label arousal in terms of available cognitions.

(=) In the event that an individual has appropriate explanation for arousal alternative cognitive labeling will be unlikely.

(=) Under identical “cognitive circumstances” an individual will only respond with emotional experience to the degree that he or she is physiologically excited.

If students don’t have a reason to be happy or depressed, they may start to mirror your feelings.

4. Raise your awareness of your moods. Researchers tell us that recognizing emotions and acknowledging their cause can be one way to avoid spreading emotional contagion.


5. Eliminate your energy drainers. Don’t let others contaminate you with their moods.If you have a colleaque who always criticizes you or  other things try not to see him or her. download

6. Re-evaluate your email before hitting the send button because sometimes when we are in bad mood we can also transmit our mood to the message .

Finally in order to have a positive athmosphere at school you have to love your job. The mood generated is directly related to how you made people feel. Maya Angelou said it right: “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Oldies but goldies …(Learn by doing projects for Bussiness English Classes)

Oldies but goldies …(Learn by doing projects for Bussiness English Classes)

Designing a dynamic lesson is a challenging task to accomplish and as a teacher I have concerns about this issue. In my teaching experience, teaching integrated language skills through mechanical exercises and traditional fill-in-the-blank, error correction and multiple choice assessments do not interest students as much as we think. Media has allowed anyone to become a video producer. People share their videos on YOUTUBE and gain an income. The result is an explosion of high-quality teaching videos.

Our students can learn and interact with their peers outside so we designed two projects for our students at Gedik University, School of Foreign Languages. These two projects can be applied to all levels but of course you need to change the content. The first project below is for elementary level teenagers and the second project is for intermediate to advanced level adult students.

Sultan Ahmet Interview Project

Making an interview at a historical place was a great idea at our context. Because our students generally don’t have a chance to practice English other than at school. With the assist of this project we give our students an opportunity to use English. We supply them a real, and meaningful experience. This is a one-month project and we ask our students to shoot an interview at a historical place in Istanbul. Anyone can change the content of the project and have great videos.

The name of the project is Sultan Ahmet Interview because with its six minarets and sweeping architecture the Sultan Ahmet or Blue Mosque in Istanbul impresses from the outside. While still used as a mosque, the Blue Mosque has also become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Istanbul. Every year approximately five million tourists visit Sultan Ahmet Mosque. That’s why I thought that Sultan Ahmet was the right place for this project. Three years ago, I wanted my students to go there and make an interview with tourists.

In each interview they have four stages. First week teachers introduce the project and give the details of it. You can find our rules below:

•          Students should have a group name.

•          Student videos shouldn’t be longer than 30 minutes.

•          Each group should have 4 members. Each student should interview at least 3 tourists.

•          Student videos should be audible.

•          Student videos should be in English and have an English subtitle.

•          The content of the video completely depends on their choice as long as it does not offend anyone in the class.

•          Students can add or omit sentences.

•          It should be entertaining and creative.

Of course we have an intention not to disturb tourists so our students’ first stage is introduction. In this stage they introduce themselves to the tourists and take permission to make an interview. They launch their conversation with “Hi! We are university students and we want to ask some questions to you for our homework. Do you want to join in our interview and answer our questions?”

Our next stage is interview. Interview stage has 4 parts.

1.         Asking general questions such as: Do you speak English?, Where are you from?, What is famous in your country?

2.         Talking about music: What kind of music is popular in your country?, Do you know any famous singer in Turkey?, Do you know any Turkish song? If you know, can you sing us?

3.         Asking what they know about Turkey and Turkish Culture: Did you hear any good or bad things before you came here?, What do you know about Turkey?, Why did you choose Turkey?, Do you want to come again?, Did you learn any Turkish words?, If yes, what are they?, Do you know belly dancing?

4.         Having fun: Do you know any tongue twister?, Can you say that tongue twister?

Tongue Twister: Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked, If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

This is the longest word in Turkish can you try to say it for us? ‘çekostavakyalılaştıramadıklarımızdanmısınız?’

Some poster examples from my students

Shoot an Advertisement Project

We all like watching advertisements. Advertisements employ a variety of techniques: celebrities and spokes persons, fantasy characters, children and puppies, music, drama, significant imagery, and creative media buying. I asked to myself why don’t we use advertisements in our classes. It is actually a six week school event.

Week Number 1: Teachers give information about the project and useful tips. Students form up group which consist at least 3 people. Then they choose a product and draw an outline of their campaign. It can be an environmental awareness raising campaign or a product advertising campaign.

Week Number 2: Students need to find a catchy motto, design a poster, and write a text for it. Motto should be short, unique and easy to remember. It shouldn’t be longer than six or seven words. Whatever it is, it should grab the consumer’s attention and convince him or her that their product is different from everyone else’s.

Students need to think about the following statements:

I know my customer or target audience.

I use persuasion techniques.

I connect with the desires of customers to what I am advertising.

Week Number 3 & 4: Now they need to write a script for their advertisement and it should strike the target audience. Videos shouldn’t be longer than 5 minutes.

Week Number 5: Students start their campaign at school and vote them on facebook by clicking the campaign poster. They can advertise their product wherever they want.

Week Number 6: All products are given to class teachers and evaluated by teachers.


Prensky, M. (2001) Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants, On the Horizon 9 (5),%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf [accessed 4 October 2006]

About the Author: Aysegul Liman Kaban works as an EFL instructor and testing officer at Gedik University, School of Foreign Languages, Istanbul, Turkey. Having received her BA in TEFL from Marmara University, she is now studying for an MA in Interpersonal Communication with the University of Marmara. Her interests include designing speaking assessment systems and educational technology.