WEEK 12: 11 – 15 Dec. 2017

Dear all,

here are this week’s news and updates:

1. Common Time Developmental Sessions:
As you know last week we had two sessions: ‘Teaching vocabulary in context’ by Halil İbrahim Gündüz and ‘Lesson planning’ by Gulcin Cosgun. They were fruitful in the sense that the participants had the opportunity to share activities or ideas to be used in their teaching. This week Gulcin Cosgun will be giving the same session again on December 14, Thursday at 09.00 in 220.
Please send an e-mail to gulcin.cosgun@ozyegin.edu.tr by Tuesday 16.30 if you would like to attend the session.

2. ScOLa Conference Call for Papers
Dear Colleagues,

Özyeğin University’s School of Languages cordially invites proposals for its inaugural conference. For this ELT conference, which will take place on 26 May 2018, we would like to provide opportunities for participants to reflect on their everyday practices in language teaching. The conference is guided by the following inquiry: as we try to keep up with the changes in education, we may believe that we are doing the right things, but are we doing those things right?
We invite papers which engage with ELT teaching and professional practice; in particular, we welcome papers focussing on the concepts of effectiveness, efficiency, and efficacy in the following areas:
• Learning and Teaching
• Curriculum
• Assessment
• Personal and Professional Development
• Management

We look forward to fruitful exchanges of research and experience, and lively discussions of challenges and effective results in these areas.
Following the conference, delegates are encouraged to submit papers based on their presentations for publication. Accepted papers will appear in e-proceedings.

For further information, please visit our website: http://scolaconference.ozyegin.edu.tr/

With kind regards,
The Organizing Committee

Deadline for abstract submission: 15 January 2018
Notification of acceptance: 5 February 2018

3. Eaquals Teacher Award Scheme 2018
Please find the announcement ıf the EAQUALS below:
We are thrilled to announce that applications are now open for the first Eaquals Teacher Award, which was announced at our member meeting last month in Malta.

Eaquals recognises the hard work and dedication required to be an outstanding teacher. The Eaquals Teacher Award was created to honour exceptional language teachers at all levels and in all contexts.

The main aim of the scheme is to promote and disseminate good practices in language teaching, to foster a culture of sharing and to appreciate those dedicated to the language teaching profession.

The winner of the Eaquals Teacher Award will receive:
* €1,000 cash award
* FREE registration, travel and accommodation to attend the 2018 Annual Conference
* A profile report in the Eaquals newsletter
* An article report in the Eaquals blog
To help you promote the scheme to your teaching staff, we have created a promotional poster, which you can download here to display in your school.

Full details of the award, including criteria, and how to apply can be found here.

We wish you the best of luck in applying for the award!

Have a great week,


WEEK 11: 04 – 8 Dec. 2017

Dear all,

here are this week’s news and updates:

Common Time Developmental Sessions:

As you know last week we had the session “Interactive & Colourful Activities” given by Selin Çolak. It was a fruitful session in which the participants had the opportunity to share activities to be used in their classes.


This week, there will be two sessions on Thursday. Please find the details below.
Morning Session:
Date: 07.12.2017-Thursday
Time: 9.00
Venue: ScOLa 230
Presenter: Halil İbrahim Gündüz
Title: Teaching Vocabulary in Context

Afternoon Session:
Date: : 07.12.2017-Thursday
Time: 14.45
Presenter: Gülçin Coşgun
Title: Lesson planning

Please send an e-mail to gulcin.cosgun@ozyegin.edu.tr by Tuesday 16.30 if you would like to attend the session.

Study Center Seminars:

Last week, Esra Çelik Soydan delivered a student seminar on “Vocabulary” which was noticed to be one of the most problematic area in language learning based on the Study Center figures. The participants had the chance to learn about the importance of vocabulary, which words we teach at ScOLa and why these words, how to learn vocabulary, and how to use vocabulary learning resources.

This week, Study Center seminars continue with the one on “Writing” given by Gülşah Tuna Herdem. You can find the details below.

Study Center Seminars: Writing

“Effective Ways to the Reader’s Heart”

This session aims at raising students’ awareness on the ways to improve their writing skills. There are tips and suggestions on how to study for content, organization, grammar and vocabulary. The session will be held in an interactive way. Students’ experiences and the challenges they face in the writing process will be asked and effective ways will be discussed together with the students. There will be two sessions on the same day.

Date: 07.12.2017 Thursday

Time:11.45-12:35 (A2&B1)

12:45-13:35 (B2)

Venue: Scola 229


Webinar: EAP and Language: What do learners want?
Live webinar on December 4th @ 15:00 GMT

Research into the needs of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) learners has indicated that an explicit focus on language is a priority for them. While Second Language Acquisition research has not shown conclusively whether language instruction leads to acquisition, more attention is now being given to EAP learners’ self-perceived needs in relation to learning grammar and discourse.

Learners consistently report that good language skills will allow them to express themselves more effectively when they move on to full-time tertiary study in English. This raises the question of what language these learners should study and how they should study it. This presentation will look at examples of native speaker and non-native speaker academic writing and then look at the kind of grammar and discourse that can help EAP learners produce written and spoken language that is more sophisticated and complex. It will also consider the issue of subject-specific EAP language.

The presentation will also look at learners’ methodological preferences when they do engage with language and then explore approaches and principles that can lead to more effective noticing of language in authentic academic texts.

If you would like to register, please follow the link.


Wish you all a fruitful new week,




WEEK 10:27 Nov.- 1 Dec. 2017

Dear all,

please find the updates for this week in ScOLa.

  1. Update on Study Center Figures & Sessions: As of Week 9, we have had 154 visits (A2-70, B1-24, B2-28, Pending-31, 1-Law, 2-Architecture, 1-International Relations) and students have visited the center with the needs of Writing (59 Visits), Grammar (50 Visits), Vocabulary (34 Visits), Trace (23 Visits), Listening (18 Visits), Study Skills (16 Visits), Reading (10 Visits), Resources (6 Visits) and Speaking (2 Visits).The workshops on two most common needs –Vocabulary and Writing will be held this week and next week. Esra Çelik Soydan is holding the workshop on Vocabulary this week. Gülşah Tuna Herdem is going to hold the workshop on Writing next week.Study Center How-to session: Vocabulary“A mission to Mars?”This session aims at raising students’ awareness on the ways to improve their vocabulary in an interactive way.  In the session, students’ experiences and the challenges they face in learning vocabulary will be explored. There will be information on the importance of vocabulary knowledge in language learning, general and academic vocabulary we provide in ScOLa, and tips and suggestions on how to study for vocabulary.Time and Venue:29.11.2017-Wednesday at 11.45-12.35 in FEAS 102 (B2 Level students)29.11.2017-Wednesday at 12.45-13.35 in FEAS 102 (B1 Level students)

    30.11.2017-Thursday at 11.45-12.35 in SCOLA 229 (A2 Level students)


    Study Center How-to session: Writing

    “Effective Ways to the Reader’s Heart”

    This session aims at raising students’ awareness on the ways to improve their writing skills. There are tips and suggestions on how to study for content, organization, grammar and vocabulary. The session will be held in an interactive way. Students’ experiences and the challenges they face in the writing process will be asked and effective ways will be discussed together with the students. There will be two sessions on the same day.

    Date: 07.12.2017 Thursday

    Time:11.45-12:35 (A2&B1)

    12:45-13:35 (B2)

    Venue: Scola 229

    2. Common Time Developmental Sessions: This week, there will be two sessions on Thursday. Please find the details below.

    Morning Session:


    Time: 9.00

    Venue: ScOLa 231

    Presenter: Selin Çolak

    Title: Interactive & Colourful Activities

    Afternoon Session:

    Date: 30.11.2017-Thursday

    Time: 14.45


    Presenter: Halil İbrahim Gündüz

    Title: Teaching Vocabulary in Context



Reflections on Macmillan Education Training Event by Gülçin Coşgun and Esra Çelik Soydan

As TLDU members, we joined Macmillan Education training event entitled Continuing Professional Development: Perspectives and Options. The training was given by Rod Bolitho on 15-16 November 2017. Rod Bolitho (after nearly eight years as Academic Director and M.A. Programme Leader at Norwich Institute for Language Education (NILE) is now freelancing as a trainer and consultant. He has been involved in teacher education and trainer training for over 30 years. He has been consultant to a number of British Council projects in Europe and beyond since 1989, and is currently involved in ELT reform work in Uzbekistan. He has authored many articles and a number of books, including (with Brian Tomlinson) ‘Discover English’ , (with Tony Wright) ‘Trainer Development’ and (with Amol Padwad) ‘Continuing Professional Development’.
In this two-day training we had a chance to discuss the following topics with the other participants who are involved in CPD activities from different universities.
• Ways of defining and locating CPD
• Teacher perspectives
• Learner perspectives
• Institutional perspectives
• Where to focus CPD and its possible impact
• How a policy helps
We took part in various activities such as pair/group discussions, analysing case studies and reflecting on our own CPD journey. It was a good opportunity for us to reflect on our CPD practices in our school. In most of the activities we were proud to see that what goes in our institution is based on the universal principles regarding CPD. Specifically in one of the tasks which determines whether the institutions are CPD friendly or not, it was nice to see that our institution meets all the 12 requirements in the task. We hope to continue our school-wide effective and successful CPD journey .


Week 9: 20-24 November 2017

Dear all,

here are this week’s news:

 1. IATEFL Web Conference : the spectrum of English language teaching

IATEFL invites you to the 2017 IATEFL Web Conference.

Join the two-day web conference encompassing a range of different topics and areas of English language teaching, presented by IATEFL’s Special Interest Groups (SIGs).

When is the Web Conference?

Friday 24 November 2017 15:00 – 21:15 UK GMT time (Day 1)


Saturday 25 November 2017 10:00 – 18:15 UK GMT time (Day 2)


Download the two day schedule now to see the programme of talks and to find out more about the presenters or visit the website:


How to register

To register for this event please follow the links below:

  • Register now for day one
  • Register now for day two

You must register seperately for each day you wish to attend.

Please note: registration does not guarantee you a place at the Web Conference. Places in the room are limited and virtual seats will be allocated to the first 500 participants attending on the day.

How do I check the time in my local area?

The event times are in UK GMT time, to check the time in your location please look at the world clock.

More information

To find out more about the event and our speakers, please visit the website.

For more information about Adobe Connect and further assistance, take a look at our Participant’s Guide.

2. Using digital tools to bring the outside world into the language classroom

Join the latest Cambridge Asssesmnet webinar for teachers on Bringing the outside world into the language classroom through digital tools.

* Check the times of the webinar where you are

Monday 27 November 2017, 14.00 – 15.00 (UK time)

Wednesday 29 November 2017, 10.00 – 11.00 (UK time)

What is this webinar about?

Access to authentic language can now be achieved at the click of a button. Learners can not only exploit digital materials for language learning, they can also better connect language learning with the real world.  This gives them the opportunity to acquire English when engaging with other topics of interest or when accessing different digital environments.

In this webinar, we will discuss different activities and projects that teachers can integrate into the classroom that exploit digital tools such as mobile apps, MOOCs and virtual reality. We will also look at how digital tools can be used by learners to share language they learn in the outside world, or different language landscapes.


Please visit the website.

3. Elena Napolnova’s presentation at  XXV Dmitrovskiye Çteniya Turkology Conference

MLP Russian Instructor Elena Napolnova attended  XXV Dmitrovskiye Çteniya Turkology Conference in Moscow State University, Asian and African Institute on October 6th 2017.

She presented her paper titled: – ”-iş ekli adlandırma ve fiil semantiğinin gelişmesi”

The Turkish abstract for the presentation is below:

-iş ekli adlandırma, modern Türkçede en aktif gelişen morfolojik ve sentaksik dil araçlarından biridir.  Farklı yıllarda yayımlanan Türkçe Sözlük bilgilerinin ve son zamana ait yürümek ve kalkmak fiilleri örneklerinin analizi, yeni leksik anlamların önce -iş ekli adlandırmada oluşup sonra bu fiillerin diğer formlarına geçtiğini gösterdi.  Yürümek fiili için bu şekilde ‘bir amaça yönelik bilinçli yürümek’ anlamı, kalkmak fiilinin ‘toplu taşıma araçlarının duraktan ayrılması’ anlamının dışında kalkış adlandırmasının ‘havalanma’ anlamı oluşmuştur.

4 Happy Teacher’s day!

We would like to take this opportunity to celebrate our Teachers’ Day.

FOAI 9 Reflection by Nurgül Keskin

On 3rd-4th November I had the opportunity to attend the 9th FOAI (Forum on Assessment Issues) event at Social Sciences University of Ankara. FOAI is a platform specifically for representatives from assessment teams of a range of universities in Turkey and North Cyprus to come together to discuss assessment issues in university foundation EAP/preparatory programmes.
The themes of the events are chosen considering the responses of participants to the surveys conducted at the previous FOAI events. And the theme of this event was designing speaking rubrics. The event started with a plenary session about speaking rubrics by Dr. Keith Hoodless, the director of operations and qualifications development at Learning Resources Network in Britain. He discussed many advantages and disadvantages of using scoring rubrics in performance assessment, specifically ESOL speaking exams. The plenary session was followed by a workshop on speaking rubrics by Dr. Reza Vahdani, the head of professional development unit at Social Sciences University of Ankara. The workshop generated a meaningful dialogue among the participants and the presenter concerning the methods and logic for developing an in-house speaking rubric.
After the workshop, we formed focus groups in which we discussed several questions on speaking rubrics as well as our current practices and issues regarding speaking rubrics in our institutions. Each group focused on a different aspect of speaking rubrics:
Focus Group A: Design of Rubrics
Focus Group B: Levels and Assessment Types
Focus Group C: Implementation of Rubrics
On the second day of the event, each group prepared a presentation about the outcomes of their discussions and gave a 15-minute presentation to the whole group. The presentations were followed by a reflection session in which we reflected on our own practices and the suggestions offered. At the end of the event, the next hosting institution was announced. It will be Eastern Mediterranean University in North Cyprus. We also discussed the next event’s theme, but we could not reach a consensus on it.
Overall, this event gave me the opportunity to meet other professionals in the field of assessment and learn about the activities and approaches to assessment and evaluation of speaking in other programmes. It was great to see that we, as Özyeğin University, are on the right track in terms of using appropriate speaking rubrics for different speaking tasks in different levels. Our practices here are in line with both the literature and what is expected in reality.



ScOLa Conference Announcement & Website

Dear all,

as you know, last summer we started working on organising our first ever ELT conference.

We are delighted to announce that our conference website is now LIVE! 🙂 As the organising team, we have been working on the pre-stages of “Call for Papers” and you can find all the details now on our website. It is going to be more active once the details about the different aspects of the conference are finalized.

Please join us in the promotion of this event by sharing the info in your own circles.

Website: http://scolaconference.ozyegin.edu.tr/  

(+Selen Şirin Dülger and Serkan Aras, who are not in the photo 🙂 )


The conference organising team

Testing, Evaluation and Assessment Training, Module 2 by Emine Merdin and Nagihan Aydın

Dear all,

Two of our assesment specialists, Nagihan and Emine, attended Testing, Evaluation and Assessment Training 2 which was held in Kadir Has University between October 19th and 21th.

Below, please find their reflections:


Testing, Evaluation & Assessment Module 2 was organized by Gordion Akademi and Dünya Education and hosted by Kadir Has University. The 3-day event involved three cherished speakers from Sabancı University all of whom shared their valuable experiences in the testing field.

This event’s sessions started with a short revision of basic testing terms and continued with testing reading and listening skills. A sufficient amount of time was spared for the hands-on practice on writing good quality questions on well-chosen texts to properly test students’ reading and listening comprehension. To do this, we worked in groups, where we shared ideas and wrote questions. Following each group work, we had the chance to share our ideas and questions with the whole group. As they did in the previous module, some quality time was allocated for the questions from the audience. This allowed me and everyone else to once again ask follow-up questions. Compared to the first module of the event, the hands-on test writing time was very well-directed and resulted in some very intriguing discussion within the group I worked with and helped me to gauge what other universities’ practices were regarding the specific item writing matters and how assessment components were organized depending on level, genre and test specifications.

On the whole, I believe this was another fruitful course which gave me the opportunity to discuss issues regarding text selection and item creation and learn different practices at other universities as well as reflecting on our practices at ScOLa. I’m looking forward to the last module whose main focus will be on testing speaking and writing skills.


The second module of Testing, Evaluation and Assessment Training, ‘Capacity Building for the Next Generation’, was held in Kadir Has University between 19th and 21st October, 2017.  In this 3-day event, organized by Gordion Akademi, we had the chance to meet colleagues from different universities around İstanbul again.

The core themes of this module was assessing receptive skills. Determining the ideal reading assessment and text difficulty for reading texts was the main discussion of the first day. Practical issues such as backwash, grading, exam security, exam shelf-life, exam recycling, finding suitable content or sources, item analysis and interpreting the results were discussed in a detailed way.  In the hands on part, instructors from different institutions teamed up and worked together to produce items for a reading test.

The focus of the next two days was assessing listening and the CEFR. Course facilitators shared their ideas on how to use CEFR to create rubrics and test specifications. After that, we had another reflective discussion on reliability and practicality of various listening exams. At the end, different groups came together to produce items for a listening test.

Throughout the training, Zeynep Ürkün, the course facilitator from Sabancı University, reminded that finding out the ideal way of assessing reading and listening depends mainly on institutions’ own contexts. There are many variables to think about while determining the ideal and the most feasible way of assessment. For this very reason, the reflections of instructors coming from different contexts were enlightening and provided me with invaluable experience.



Week 6: 30 Oct.-3 Nov. 2017

Dear all,

please find the updates and news for this week.

1. Common Time Developmental Sessions: This week we have two sessions; one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. According to your timetable, please make the necessary arrangements and inform the presenters via e-mail so that they can get ready accordingly.

Session 1:

Date: 02.11.2017

Time: 9.00

Venue: ScOLa-220

Title: Writing Feedback-Using Learner Texts as a Remedial Teaching Tool

Presenter: Esra Çelik Soydan

Session 2:

Date: 02.11.2017

Time: 14.45

Venue: ScOLa-220

Title: Student Centered Teaching

Presenter: Kezban Altuntaş Özben

2. Study Center Update:

Number of Visits:  As of Week 5, we have had 94 visits (A2-40, B1-17, B2-14, Pending-21, 1-Law, 1-Architecture) and students have visited the center with the needs of Writing (46 Visits), Grammar (36 Visits), Vocabulary (23 Visits), Trace (22 Visits), Listening (13 Visits), Study Skills (11 Visits), Reading (8 Visits), Resources (6 Visits) and Speaking (2 Visits).

Workshops:  Although the students visit the Study Center for all the skills, we observed that how to study writing and how to study vocabulary are the common areas that our students have difficulty in. From the numbers, it seems that grammar is a more problematic area than vocabulary. However, these visits mostly include the questions about specific grammar topics while visits for writing and vocabulary is about how to study them in general. Therefore, we are planning to start Writing and Vocabulary workshops as of week 10 so as to guide all of our students including who haven’t been able to come to Study Center yet. The announcements will be done through posters and short visits to the classrooms by Gülşah Tuna Herdem and Esra Çelik Soydan.

Special Needs: Apart from individual support, we provide support to the groups of students with special needs in Study Center. This semester we have provided support to YDO students. Thanks to İlknur Sarıoğlu, these students have had the chance to gain the objectives they missed in the first two weeks of the semester.

3. ScOLa at Conferences: “ScOLa at conferences” section on our blog has been updated regularly with the information of upcoming conferences and the reflections of our colleagues who attended a conference recently. You may refer to this page in order not to miss a conference that you would like to attend or the reflections of our colleagues.

Have a great week,




Week 5: 23-27 Oct. 2017

Dear all,

we’ve finished the first month of the academic year. As they say, “time flies”. Below you can find the news for this new week.

1. Common Time Sessions: This week we will have the 4th session of our Common Time Developmental Sessions. The session entitled “Writing Feedback: Using Learner Texts as a Remedial Teaching Tool” will be given by Esra Çelik Soydan on Thursday at 14.45 in ScOLa-220.  The session will be in the format of both idea-sharing and workshop. If you would like to join, please send an e-mail to esra.celik@ozyegin.edu.tr by the end of Wednesday so that she can make the necessary arrangements for the session.

2. IATEFL WEBINAR: If you would like to join the IPSEN SIG WEBINAR, you can find the details below.

Dear Members,

Please join us for the next…
 IPSEN SIG WEBINAR 29th October 2017 3PM CET

Which will cover the following topic:

SEBD (Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties as a SEN  : the effects of loss, trauma and poor early years attachment on learning and behaviour in the classroom and how English language activities can help to address this.
Access the Webinar room here 

Click here to access the World Clock

Children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties in our classrooms can seem unteachable and unreachable. SEBD is also a Special Educational Need. By understanding the underlying reasons for poor behaviour and often emotional blocks to learning, we can begin to develop strategies to engage them in learning. This webinar will look at

  • understanding the effects of loss, trauma and disrupted attachment on the brain and learning
  • recognising and changing negative patterns of behaviour between these children and the teacher : the effects of unconscious defence mechanisms
  •  recognising emotional blocks to learning :the importance of understanding children’s internal worlds, fears and anxieties
  • Strategies and activities which can be used in the English language class to address emotional blocks to learning and to help with behaviour

Marie Delaney
Marie Delaney trained in the UK as an Educational Psychotherapist, English Language, Modern Foreign Languages Teacher and Teacher Trainer. She now lives in Ireland and is Director of the Learning Harbour, Cork. She has extensive experience of working with pupils with special educational needs and the teachers who teach them.  She has worked on community projects with young offenders, gang members, and in primary and secondary mainstream schools with pupils considered ‘unteachable.’ She has worked in special schools and alternative education provisions. She has been Director of Studies for International House, Course Director for Teacher Training at Pilgrims, and has trained teachers in several countries for Pilgrims, UNICEF and the British Council.   Her main interests are helping schools create inclusive learning environments, to deal with challenging behaviour, furthering teacher and student well being and engaging all students in meaningful learning.


Attachment for Teachers ( Worth Publishing 2017)
Into the Classroom : Special Educational Needs ( OUP 2016)
‘What can I do with the kid who…’ (Worth Publishing 2010)
Teaching the Unteachable (Worth Publishing 2009)
Contributing chapters in ‘Teenagers and Attachment’, (Worth Publishing 2010) and ‘Why can’t I help this child to learn?’ (Karnac Books, 2012)

Online courses
SEN online course for teachers
Co-author with Sally Farley of the British Council SEN online course for teachers. Available on www.teachingenglish.org.uk Oxford Teachers Academy OUP online SEN course for teachers

Sent on behalf of 

The IPSEN SIG Committee


Wish you all a smooth new week!