2021-2022 Academic Year Spring Semester TLDU Update

Dear all,

Please find ScOLa Teaching and Learning Development Unit update for 2021-22 Academic Year Spring Semester below:

1. Professional Development Activities

1.a. Common Time Sessions

There were three individual and two series of common time professional development sessions in the spring semester of the 2021-2022 academic year as listed below.

  1. “I Have a Voice: B1 Class Speaking Project” by Nurgül Keskin
  2. “A Glance at Flipped Classroom: Hands-on Experience” by Can Danışmant
  3. “Reconsidering Second Language Education: Touching the Untouchable” by Sedef Güzelyurt
  4. TLDU INSET– Vocabulary Teaching at ScOLa Context
  5. ScOLa Reading Club by Kezban Altuntaş Özben

All the sessions and meetings were held online synchronously. In total, 34 participants attended these sessions. We would like to thank our colleagues who gave the sessions voluntarily and the ones who attended and contributed to these sessions.

The presentation recordings and session materials are archived in  Z-Drive – TLDU folder.

We are looking forward to sharing our ideas and expertise with each other in the future.

1.b. ScOLa Induction Program – Spring Semester

We have successfully completed 1-year-long Induction Program with our new colleagues.  In addition to the developmental activities that we had during Fall Semester, we continued with peer-observation cycle, induction lesson observation cycle and follow-up actions based on the individual needs of our new colleagues.  We would like to congratulate them on their cooperation and wish them all the best in the future at ScOLa.

1.c. ScOLa Modern Languages sessions

We continued our developmental activities designed and delivered specifically for Modern Languages Program. In the Spring semester, in addition to the lesson observation cycle, below sessions were delivered by Deniz Kılavuz with the active participation of our Modern Languages Program Instructors.

  • Demo lesson watching and completing the accompanying task
  • Follow-up Q&A Session based on the demo lesson
  • Error Correction Session

We hope that we will continue organizing tailor-made sessions for the arising needs in our institution in the future.

2. Extra-curricular Language Development Activities for Students

2.a. Study Center

In the Spring Semester, ScOLa Study Center – Study Slots were visited 81 times & Speaking Slots were visited 97 times by our students. Out of these 81 visits for Study Slots, 42 visits focused on writing and 20 visits were to get grammar support. In addition to our speaking slots, the students also visited the study slots 10 times to practice speaking.

As in the Fall Semester, we continued to offer face-to-face meeting opportunities for our students in the Study Slots in addition to the online ones. 6 out of those 81 Study Slot visits were face-to-face ones.

We hope to continue giving this individualized guidance in the Study Center in the areas where students need extra support.

2.b. ScOLa Student Development Sessions

We offered the following developmental sessions to our students in the Spring Semester:

  1. How to Revise Vocabulary Effectively by Babak Jahanaray
  2. To Be or Not to Be Motivated by Nergis Uyan
  3. A Workshop on Creativity in Speaking by Ezgi Öner
  4. Fixed or Growth? by Özlem Baykan
  5. Language Learning Online by Esra Çelik Soydan
  6. Tips and Tricks on How to Improve Fluency in Speaking by Wioleta Wenclawek

In total, 232 students attended these sessions in the Spring Semester.

All the sessions have been recorded and the recordings are available on Z Drive for your reference under:

Z:\z_old_SELI\AAA Level Folders\LS READ ONLY FOLDERS\TLDU\Extra-curricular Activities for Sts\2021-22 Academic Year\Spring Semester\Student Development Sessions

2.c. ScOLa Clubs

In the Spring Semester, our students had a chance to attend 4 different ScOLa Clubs:

  1. B1 Speaking Club by Mojgan Ziaeenejad
  2. Discover Far East Club by Betül Selcan Şentürk
  3. Writing Fun Club by Olcay Ergülü
  4. Engineers’ Club for B2 Students by Özlem Kaplan Snyder

In total, 8 students attended these clubs and completed them successfully by attending at least 60% of the relevant club sessions.

3. Blended Model Instruction – Evaluation Questionnaire

For our first attempt at blended instruction, we have collected data both from our students and our instructors in the form of questionnaires administered both in the Fall and Spring Semesters along with focus group meetings.  We presented all the data at relevant meetings as one of the sources of information, after collecting and analyzing them.

It was our hope that the data collected would be useful to all of us in planning for the future. Thank you to all of our colleagues who responded to the questionnaires and shared their comments with us in focus groups.

Week 2: June 20-24

Dear all,

Welcome back 🙂

We hope you all had a nice short break, effective prep days and had a good start to the Summer Semester on Thursday last week.

Below you can find this week’s news and announcements:

1. Student Strand

1.a. Study Center

This semester, we will keep supporting our students with their individual needs through ScOLa Study Center both online and face-to-face. It’ll be face-to-face sessions from Monday to Thursday in the Library, Floor -2. On Friday, the Study slots will be online. For both types of sessions, students will need to make appointments using the instructor links on the Study Center poster below:

2021-22 Summer Semester Part I – Study Center Poster

This poster is just for the first half of the Summer School. A new one will be prepared and shared before Part 2 starts.

This semester, we have also prepared a Student Guidelines document for Study Center use, which you can find below:

Study Center – Student Guidelines

Please go over these two documents with your students in class while promoting Study Center this semester and upload both on your LMS class pages for students’ reference. They have also been uploaded on our ScOLa Extra-curricular activities LMS page where all prep students are registered.

1.b. B2 Faculty Projects

In the Spring semester, Özlem Kaplan Snyder ran a ScOLa club “B2 Engineers’ Club” for B2 students who will study Engineering when they go to their departments. This club aimed to bridge the gap between ScOLa and faculties to some extent by focusing on the students’ language development while at the same time including some faculty content into the club sessions. These sessions included the analysis of faculty and department websites, an interview with a freshman, reading about design process and evaluating some modern designs in the light of its principles, analysis of a course description form and a syllabus of a faculty class, introduction to the fundamental laws of Newtonian mechanics, listening to and having discussions with guest speakers (a UGE instructor, an experienced engineer), etc. The students who were able to finish the club activities successfully were extremely satisfied with the fact that they did something relevant to their departments while they were studying at the prep program and found out some important details about what was waiting for them in the future while developing their skills in English at the same time.

In the next academic year, we are going to do this for the other faculties, not just Engineering. And we would like to know if you are interested to run a similar club for any of the faculties below:

  1. Faculty of Business
  2. Faculty of Architecture and Design
  3. Faculty of Social Sciences
  4. Faculty of Aviation and Aeronautical Sciences
  5. School of Applied Sciences

As TLDU, we’ll be working together with the club teachers while they are planning and running these clubs, so you’ll be getting support during both stages.

If you are interested, please email Özlem Kaplan Snyder at ozlem.kaplan@ozyegin.edu.tr by the end of this Friday, June 24 and state which faculty club you’d like to run in the 2022-23 Academic Year.

Thank you very much for your contributions in advance.

We wish all of us a great Summer Semester.

EAQUALS 2022 International Conference Reflections

Dear All,

This year, Eaquals International Conference was held at Venice. Nergis Uyan, Sultan Zeydan, Özlem Baykan and Serkan Aras attended this conference and kindly shared their reflections with us. We would like to thank our colleagues for their attendance and for sharing their reflections. You can find them below:

2022 Eaquals International Conference was held at NH Laguna Palace, Venice from 28-30 April, 2022 with around 200 delegates representing language schools, publishers, exam boards, national quality associations and other organisations expected to attend. Conference sessions were organised around five main themes: language teaching & learning; course design, CEFR & assessment; staff development; leadership & management; and business & marketing.

Serkan, Sultan and Özlem attended the ‘Management Training’ as a Pre-Conference event and Nergis joined the Board Meeting and the ‘Inspector Training’ on the same day. Throughout the conference,  we all attended different sessions on a variety of areas, Sultan and Özlem delivered their sessions and Serkan supported the Eaquals social media presence. Our reflections and highlights from the conference are as follows. 

The Management Training Workshop on the first day of the Conference.

The Management Training day focused on the range of potential uses of the Eaquals Academic Management Competency Framework in different organisations and at different levels of organisational structure. Drawing on the participants’ individual contexts and experience, the training explored the ways in which the AMCF can provide practical and relevant support in areas as diverse as e.g. clarifying possible manager roles, assessing the quality of management, or planning professional development opportunities and career paths in academic management. As we will start using this framework in our school to evaluate the performance of the management team in ScOLa, it was a good opportunity to have the answers for the questions in our minds.

The session given by Sultan Zeydan: In the session entitled “The Magic of Remote Observations in New Normal” I aimed to share the details of how the remote observation cycle was planned and carried out for developmental purposes at ScOLa and present the results of the study conducted with the teachers in my team. The main purpose of the study was to identify how teachers felt about remote observations and to investigate the implications of this observation practice for school managers, teacher trainers and teachers seeking ways to ensure an effective teaching and learning environment.

It was a great pleasure to give a presentation at the Eaquals International Conference this year, which was my first in-person conference since the (Covid-19) pandemic. It was delightful to have some catch-up conversations with a few old colleagues and see some familiar faces in ELT. During the three days, we reflected over the past two years and shared the lessons that we have learnt in language teaching & learning, leadership and management in difficult situations. 

The session given by Özlem Baykan: 

“Quality Talks: Considering Quality from Multiple Foci” was a session given by Özlem Baykan and Dr. Semih İrfaner from Macmillan Education. The aim of the session was to focus on  a broader understanding of quality in learning and teaching by giving the audience an insight into the implications of the “Quality Talks” series which started to be held in 2021. Highlighting the key issues raised in each session of “Quality Talks”, important factors affecting quality were discussed with specific reference to the post-pandemic era. 

Attending the Eaquals conference and giving a presentation once again face-to-face after a long period of time was a great experience. Being involved in such a well-organized event with a professional and welcoming atmosphere, listening to the experiences of other institutions, catching-up with a lot of people from the ELT world, and socializing in the social events with the great atmosphere in Venice made me feel alive again personally and professionally after the challenging pandemic period. 

As for a couple of highlights from the conference, the management training gave me an insight into various ways of applying the AMCF at an institution as well as helping me reflect on my own skills and practices as a team leader. The sessions I attended about management/leadership helped me reflect on our own practices to manage the remote working process effectively, and a few sessions focusing on development made me think further about the competencies that would be necessary in the post-pandemic era. With the new dimension that language provision has gained, there are definitely a lot of new skills, strategies and practices  we need to consider for the  future.  

The resources from the sessions in the conference can be found in the following link:

https://www.eaquals.org/eaquals-events/event/eaquals-international-conference-2022/resources/

“We’re All in This Together” by Mohammad Khari

Dear all,

Our colleague, Mohammad Khari, wrote a review on how students’ and teachers’ well-being impacts their learning and teaching in the latest issue of JALT’s Mind Brain Ed Think Tank+. The issue offers practical advice on ways to promote well-being in teachers and students,  both in and outside of the classroom, with a focus on inclusion, resilience, reflective dialog, hybrid teaching and well-being.

To access the materials, please follow the links below:

June issue: https://www.mindbrained.org/june-2022-well-being/

Mohammad’s work: https://www.mindbrained.org/2022/06/were-all-in-this-together/

Four E’s of Quality

We are happy to announce that Ozyegin University School of Languages has been granted the Equals Member Event Fund for a training course designed by Nergis Uyan and Özlem Baykan. This training course, titled Four E’s of Quality, is a training course designed to offer a unique opportunity for different parties in language education institutions to gain a deeper insight into establishing and maintaining an institutional quality culture. The course helps to achieve this aim focusing on four E’s – namely, Encourage, Excel, Evaluate, Ensure – which are believed to be the essential elements of quality that help to follow the right path towards a quality culture. In collaboration with Eaquals and also Macmillan Education, the course will be initially piloted with participants from different higher education institutions and then it will be developed further. We hope this initiative will help to spread our institutional expertise further to contribute to quality in educational institutions at a national and international level as well as contributing to our institution in various ways. Below is a flyer for the initial course planned to be delivered in June.

“The Celestial Openness” by Mohammad Khari

Dear All,

Our colleague, Mohammad Khari, wrote an overview of the work done by Dr. Patricia K. Kuhl and her colleagues on pronunciation for the latest issue of JALT’s Mind Brain Ed Think Tank+. His review entails following issues:

  • Pronunciation
  • Sound detection and acquisition
  • Mapping sound prototypes through statistics taking
  • Social Gating
  • Neural Commitment
  • The Native Language Magnet
  • Ambient language (Caregiverese)

To access the materials, please follow the links below:

May issue:https://www.mindbrained.org/may-2022-pronunciation/

Mohammad’s work: https://www.mindbrained.org/2022/05/the-celestial-openness/

Week 14: May 16-20

Dear All,

Please find the news and updates for this week below:

1. Common Time Professional Development Sessions

a. Last Week’s Session

Last week, our colleague, Sedef Güzelyurt, gave a session on using literary texts in EFL classes considering critical pedagogy, which was pioneered by Paulo Freire. 7 instructors attended the session. Before the session, the participants read the short story Desiree’s Baby by Kate Chopin and answered questions addressing topics such as social class, gender, inequality, race, or sexual discrimination. In the session, the group discussed their answers to those questions and then reflected on their reading experience. In the final stage of the meeting, instructors discussed the use of literature and critical pedagogy in our classes and what advantages and limitations such a practice might entail. The session recording and tasks can be found in Z-drive TLDU folder.

b. This Week’s Session

This week, ScOLa Reading Club will have its final meeting of the academic year to discuss the issue of “prejudice” in education.

TESOL Turkey Webinar: Developing as a Teacher, Growing as a Person

TESOL Turkey continues its series of monthly webinars with Developing as a Teacher, Growing as a Person. The webinar will be delivered virtually on Zoom by Burak Aydın from Katip Çelebi University. Please find the details of the webinar below:

Time: 14 MAY 2022, Saturday between 11.00-12.00
Member of TESOL Turkey: Free of Charge
Non-members: 30 TL
Registration Link: https://forms.gle/KiwzfwX7NjHJKYDV7

Abstract:

“I believe that professional development (PD) does not only meet our professional needs; but does more than that. In this talk, I will be sharing what life skills I have gleaned out of my PD activities so far. I do believe the points I will make can resonate with the audience and we might therefore embed some fruitful discussions in the talk. Join me in this session and let us all reflect on how PD grows us as a complete human being beyond the narrow-sense understanding of knowledge building.”

Presenter:

Burak Aydın is an Instructor of English and a licensed teacher trainer for SIT TESOL Certificate Course. He teaches preparatory English classes at İzmir Katip Çelebi University, School of Foreign Languages and is also involved in mentoring and supervising language teachers. In the field of teacher education, he has been conducting research, facilitating courses and presenting at ELT conferences, INSET PD events and various educational institutions.