I have been living and teaching in Turkey for more than ten years now, and for all of that time I’ve been working in the tertiary education sector in universities in Istanbul. I currently work at the School of Languages at Sabancı University, where I am a member of the curriculum development team. I am passionate about English for academic purposes and during my career I have been involved in many projects based around academic English.

My particular interests include corpus linguisitics, having been involved in the development of my School’s vocabulary syllabus, and in the development of flexibility in lesson planning. I’m also a strong believer in placing the learner at the center of the classroom and allowing lessons to evolve from the learner. I also love the notion of reflective practice; using what happens in my lessons as the basis for future planning. I’m an avid believer in what organizations like IATEFL are doing for our profession and am delighted to be attending the 2012 Conference in Glasgow.

Session Reports

Reflections on IATEFL Glasgow 2012

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Submitted by Adam Simpson on Wed 11 Apr, 07:01

So, a reflection on IATEFL Glasgow 2012...


Gavin Dudeney: Past IT – from CALL to EdTech: A History

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Submitted by Adam Simpson on Sun 25 Mar, 14:44

What justifiable connection is there between the development of technology and the advancement of teaching methodology?


Having worked with educational technology (EdTech) in teaching and training for more than two decades, Gavin has witnessed a wide range of tools come and go during that time. In his session He shared his journey through the history of EdTech. Central to Gavin’s session was an examination of where we are today, what have we learnt from the past, which technologies survive, and where we are heading in the future.


Işıl Boy and Beyza Yılmaz: TeCH-achers: Get your one-way ticket to tech islands!

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Submitted by Adam Simpson on Fri 23 Mar, 18:55

Where can the internet take us as 21st century teachers? The web, Işıl and Beyza noted, is now somewhat analogous to a ‘tech island’ resplendent with a variety of web tools. Nevertheless, if teachers aren’t aware of how to make the most of them, they won’t be able to guide students through their learning journeys.


In this wonderful presentation, Işıl and Beyza took us on a guided tour of the tech island, explaining online platforms like Virtual Learning Environments and Personal Learning Networks.


Joe Pereira: Using Interactive Fiction for digital game-based language learning

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Submitted by Adam Simpson on Thu 22 Mar, 18:22

The notion of Interactive Fiction is neither new nor innovative. Nevertheless, its use in language teaching is still new and not yet greatly explored. Interactive Fiction is actually what many of us would refer to as the original computer game; a text-based adventure in which the player works with the game to co-construct the story.


In the session Joe highlighted the origins of the format and how it became a worldwide phenomenon. He then proceeded to look at the conventions of playing and the type of language needed to progress through a typical game.


Vicki Hollett, Lewis Lansford and Gareth Rees: 21st Century Skills for ELT

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Submitted by Adam Simpson on Thu 22 Mar, 17:55

The Pearson signature event focused on three of the four Cs; communication and collaboration; creativity; and critical thinking.


Each panelist shared their views as to why each C was the most important.


1. Communication and collaboration


Vicki Hollett focused on communication and collaboration. Vicki noted that the degree of collaboration in the modern technological world is much greater than before.


Jon Rowberry: Putting the learner at the heart of the curriculum

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Submitted by Adam Simpson on Thu 22 Mar, 11:00

Traditionally, curricula have been documents created by teachers and institutions for classroom implementation and actualization. So, where does the learner fit into the grand scheme of things?


Given my ‘day job’ involves working in my institution’s curriculum team, I was naturally interested to see how Jon Rowberry was placing focus more firmly on the learner. Working in the context of Sojo University in Japan, Jon gave anecdotal descriptions of how the learner has been placed at the heart of his curriculum.


Anthony Gaughan: The Se7en Deadly Sins

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Submitted by Adam Simpson on Thu 22 Mar, 09:57

Everything you know is wrong! Well, not wrong, but I guess we could all do with a fresh perspective on our teaching practices every now and again.


As methodological and pedagogical notions progress, we are often in danger of throwing the babies out with the bathwater. This, noted Anthony in this lovely session, is what we have done on a number of occasions: many useful teaching and learning strategies are discarded without real reason.


Şirin Soyoz and Suzanne Mordue: Using e-portfolios in alternative assessment

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Submitted by Adam Simpson on Wed 21 Mar, 16:48

The future will require skilled and digitally aware learners. E-portfolios, Suzanne and Şirin suggested, would play a major part in ensuring this occurs.


Working with e-portfolios will enable learners to develop a wide array of skills, such as goal setting, engagement, motivation, ICT skills, reflection and collaboration, among others.


Suggested methods for developing an e-portfolio included something as simple as word documents, through to things like wikis, blogs, moodle, and even Facebook.


Russell Stannard: Tools for digital storytelling

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Submitted by Adam Simpson on Wed 21 Mar, 12:07

'Russell Stannard: doing the hard work of finding the best tech tools so you don't have to!'


Russell’s presentation was part of the YTL Special Interest Group. He reflected on the fact that we as ELT practitioners are already good at the flipped classroom, so today he wanted to talk about what he calls the ‘connected classroom’.


Olwyn Alexander: Who needs a teacher's book?

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Submitted by Adam Simpson on Wed 21 Mar, 11:06

As someone involved in EAP, I was particularly looking forward to Olwyn Alexander's presenation, as she is doing some wonderful work in the development of academic English.


In her session, she looked into how the teacher’s book has been viewed in our profession, with particular emphasis on the fact that up to this point they have been less important to publishers than the course book itself.