Reflection on MOCA 2018 by Saadet Şahin
- Conference Title: MOCA 2018 , TED University, “Meeting of Change Agents (MOCA) 2018”
- Participant: Saadet Şahin – Melisa Sarıgül( Student)
Brief information about the conference (location, the theme(s), keynote speaker(s), the length, etc.):
The “Meeting of Change Agents (MOCA) 2018” Event was hosted by TED University English Language School on 28th April 2018. 70 participants from 31 different institutions came together to the discuss the dynamics of preparation classes of higher education institutions. The event started with the remarks of Director of TEDU ELS; Dr. Nuray Lük Grove, TED Univesity student representative; Şevval Kır, and lecturer Taşkın Taş on behalf of the hosting team.
Brief information about my/our presentation: There were not individual presentation sessions in the event. We joined the focus group meetings to disscuss the questions related to ‘Learner Engagement’ during teaching and learning process in preparation classes. I was in teacher focus group while our student MS Melisa Sarıgül was joining the focus group designed for the students.
“Highlights from Conference”
As we all can agree one of the most important aspect of learning a foreign language is learners’ motivation. Both as a foreign language learner and teacher we know that intrinsic motivation of the learners help them a lot during their learning process to be aware of their needs and to take the necessary actions which improve them. MOCA 2018 event gathered the two parties who are students and instructors of prep schools to discuss this issue together. It was a very fruitful opportunity to share the perceptions and the expectations regarding the process. In different focus groups for the instructors and students the following questions were discussed:
“How do you define an engaging language lesson?”
“What makes it challanging to keep yourself/your students engaged?”
“How do you eliminate those factors and keep yourself / your students engaged?”
“ How can we develop institutional approaches to learner engagement?”
After focus group disscussions all participants came together to share and finalize the outcomes of the focus groups meetings. During the pleanary session more student centered teaching, using educational technologies actively, using social media efficiently for educational purposses, avoiding exam oriented sytems, enabling real life situations to use the foreign languge, having extra curricular activities and providing more internationalisation in prep schools were suggested as alternative actions that can be applied for more motivated language learners. In addition to these; having activities which can provide chances to make emphaty between students and teachers was suggested to foster the learners’ engagements.
The most important aspect of this event having the students who are the most important parties of prep schools in the event and providing them opportunity to share their feelings and expectations with their instructors.
Our student Melisa Sarıgül who attended this event as a representative of our students also agrees on this point. She expressed that mostly the students are not aware of how important their motivation is during this learning experience and mostly they expect everything from their school. Providing these kinds of opportunities which enables students to cooperate with their instructors can help a lot to create mutual understanding between students and instructors and create awereness for a more successful and active learning process.
Next year MOCA 2019 event will be hosted by Sabancı University. I do believe that using these kinds of events and opportunities can help us a lot to improve our learner engagement strategies. Sharing next year’s event with our students can be a nice opportunity to engage them more.
More information about the meeting can be found on the webpage of the event. The photos and videos from Moca 2018 are available in that web page. MOCA Turkey