Upcoming conferences

Here are some of the conferences on education to be held in 2015. I will extend the list as new conferences are announced.

ICELLL: International Congress on English Language, Literature and Linguistics

21-22 October, 2014, Isparta/Turkey

IDEC: International Distance Education Conference

18-20 December, 2014, Doha/Qatar

GlobELT 2015 Conference: An International Conference on Teaching and Learning English as an Additional Language

16-19 April, 2015, Antalya/Turkey

Iconte: 6th International Conference on New Trends in Education and Their Implications

24-26 April, 2015, Antalya/Turkey

Atiner:  17th Annual Conference on Education

18-21 May, 2015, Athens/Greece

END: International Conference on Education and New Developments

27-29 June, 2015, Porto/Portugal

ECE2015: The European Conference on Education

1-5 JUly, 2015, Brighton/UK

ICEPS2015: 2nd International Conference on Education and Psychological Sciences

12-13 February, 2015, Amsterdam/Netherlands

INTED: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference

2-4 March, 2015, Madrid/Spain

IDEA: 9th International IDEA Conference: Studies in English

15-17 April, 2015, Malatya, Turkey

 INTCESS: 2nd International Conference On Education And Social Sciences

2-4 February, 2015, Istanbul, Turkey

WCES: 7th World Conference on Educational Sciences

5-7 February, 2015, Athens, Greece

ICEIT: 4th International Conference on Educational and Information Technology

19-20 March, 2015, Florence, Italy

ICLT: International Conference on Learning and Teaching

25-26 March, 2015, Singapore

FLTAL: 5th International Conference on Foreign Language and Applied Linguistics

7-10 May, 2015, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

International Education Conference

7-11 June, 2015, London, UK

RELC: 50th RELC International Conference

16-18 March, 2015, Singapore

ICCIE 2015 – The International Conference on Contemporary Issues in Education

17-19 May, 2015, Dubai

AACE: Gobal Conference on Learning and Technology

16-17 April, 2015, Berlin, Germany







21st Century Learning

In my methodology courses I always mention 21st century learning and emphasise the need to change the way we teach. Here are some sources explaining what is 21st century learning and discussing how actually classrooms should look like today.

On the website called Partnership for 21st Century Skills,  you can find plenty of sources explaining 21st century learning. The following graph illustrates the Framework for 21st century Learning, as explained on the website.


You can also find pdf documents on various aspects of 21st century learning. This document is specifically about 21st century learning in relation to foreign language teaching.

This blog post tells about 14 things that are obsolete in 21st century schools.

Here you can find a document listing 10 ideas for 21st century education.

This article writes about how 21st century classrooms should look like.


IATED stands for International Academy of Technology, Education and Development, an organism organising different international events to improve education in the field of Technology and Science. I have got two publications from the conferences they organised: One on the self-efficacy beliefs of pre-service teachers in relation to technology integration and one on the effects of  technology training on the attitudes of Turkish EFL teachers

On their website, there is a section called IATED Talks. You can watch some of the plenary sessions from different conferences for free.


TED Talks

As teachers, we need to be inspired so that we can actually inspire our students. TED Talks aim to “spark creativity” in teachers and challenge them to think differently. Here are some talks that might be inspiring for teachers. Please feel free to add other inspirational talks as a comment. Thank you.

Bill Gates- Teachers need real feedback

Bill Gates discusses that the feedback teachers receive do not go beyond the comment “satisfactory” and introduces the project called “Measures of Effective teaching” which is based on video recording the classrooms and reflection.

Rita Pierson- Every kid needs a champion

Pierson emphasises the importance of connecting with students and believing in them.

Amy Cuddy- Your body language shapes who you are

Considering the importance of verbal and non-verbal communication in the classroom, this inspiring talk tells us how our body language shapes who we are.


Free downloadable books- British Council

British Council shares a number of downloadable books on its website. Books on professional development, ELT research and resource packs for teachers are available in pdf format to download. Here is the list of the books I suggest for reading. I will give brief information about each book. For more downloadable books please visit the British Council webpage.

Resource Books for Teachers

Tell it Again! The Storytelling Handbook for Primary English Language Teachers by Gail Ellis and Jean Brewster

This resource book for teachers of young learners is divided into two sections: Methodology and teacher notes on stories. In the methodology section, teachers are informed about how to select a story, use a story-based methodology, create activities, develop language learning skills of learners and manage the classroom during storytelling. In the second part of the book, teachers are presented with ready-made lesson plans with photocopiable materials for 12 stories. Some of the stories are shared in the book so teachers and just copy and use them in their classrooms. There are detailed notes instructing teachers how to use each story in the classroom. Plus, teachers are provided with various types of tasks and materials ranging from puzzles to board games, puppets to songs and flashcards to bingo games.

BritLit: Using Literature in EFL Classrooms

BritLit is one of my favourite sections on the British Council webpage. It provides teachers with downloadable materials to be used with some literary work such as poems, tales or short stories. This book contains sections explaining why and how the stories should be used in the English language classroom. Teachers’ and authors’ views on BritLit are shared in two sections and finally there are some sample materials from BritLit authors.

Crazy Animals and Other Activities for Teaching English to Young Learners (Edited by Fiona Copland and Sue Garton with Monika Davis)

This is another resource book for teachers of young learners. There are 50 activities described in detail. For each activity, there is certain information provided. First, the suitable age group of learners and the time needed is mentioned. In the next section, necessary materials, suitable classroom organization, the aim of the activity, the description of the activity and ideas for preparation for the activity are listed. Then, the procedure explaining how to carry out the activity step by step is presented. Finally, there are sections called Alternatives and No resources? In the Alternatives sections, teachers are presented with different ideas for using the activity. In the No Resources? Section, the authors suggest ways of doing the activity for teachers who do not have an access to the resources listed.

ELT Research Books

Learner Autonomy: English Language Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices by Simon Borg and Saleh Al-Busaidi

The concept of Learner Autonomy has been widely referred to in the field of English language teaching and how to promote it in learners has been the focus of intensive research. This book provides theoretical background on this topic and shares the findings of a study which focused on the beliefs and reported practices of 61 teachers of English on learner autonomy.

Innovations in Learning Technologies for English Language Teaching by Gary Motteram

This book presents papers providing an overview of the current use of technologies to support English teaching and learning. Integration of technology is discussed from various perspectives: Using technology to teach English for specific purposes and academic purposes, integrating technology in the primary, secondary and adult English language teaching and technology in relation to assessment.

British Council ELT Research Papers Volume 1 (Edited by Susan Sheehan)

This book is a collection of papers on various topics in English language teaching. There are 12 chapters focusing on teaching young learners in different contexts, teacher qualifications and training, professional development, learner autonomy, etc.

Blended Learning in English Language Teaching: Course Design and Implementation (Edited by Brian Tomlinson and Claire Whittaker)

As I explained in my previous post, blended learning has been very popular recently. In this book, you can read about real practices of blended learning in various contexts such as English for Academic Purposes, Teacher Development, English for Specific Purposes, and English as a Foreign Language/General English.

Innovations in the continuing professional development of English language teachers (Edited by David Hayes)

This book offers a view of innovations in the professional development of teachers. Example innovations from the countries such as India, Uzbekistan, Australia, Brazil, etc. are discussed in detail.

British Council Survey of Policy and Practice in Primary English Language Teaching Worldwide by Shelagh Rixon

This books presents the findings of a survey conducted in 64 countries and regions including Turkey and discusses its findings in relation to the following topics: recent policy changes regarding primary English language teaching around the world, facts about the starting age for English, teachers teaching English in the primary level, curriculum and syllabus issues, support for English language teaching at primary level, assessment, transition from primary to secondary school and public and private sector relationships.

Innovation in pre-service education and training for English language teachers (edited by Julian Edge and Steve Mann)

The focus of this book is on the pre-service education. There are 14 articles discussing different issues in relation to pre-service teacher education programs.

Assessing and Evaluating English Language Teacher Education, Teaching and Learning (edited by Dr Philip Powell-Davies)

This book presents the reader with twelve selected presentations on the theme of Assessing and Evaluating English Language Teacher Education, Teaching and Learning. Presentations mostly focused on the assessment and evaluations of practices in the training classroom and the efficacy of teacher education programs.

Blended Learning and Flipped Classroom

In this post, I will be focusing on the terms Blended Learning and Flipped Classroom.

Blended learning has gained increasing popularity with the integration of technology in the teaching and learning environments. It simply refers to the combination of classroom instruction with computer technology (online/offline activities and/or materials).

Flipping a classroom is a blended learning approach in which traditional lectures are provided online while classroom time is spent on using active learning methods. More specifically, students prepare for in-class activities prior to class by watching online lecture videos and do homework in class! During the class time, students inquire about the lecture they watched before coming to the class, apply the knowledge they gained and participate in hands-on activities or collaborate on projects.

The following simple graphic (from here) illustrates the idea of flipping a classroom.


This infographic provides a good summary of flipped classrooms.

Here is a short but very informative article about flipped classrooms. The article begins with a scenario exemplifying a flipped classroom, continuous with its definition and ends with some implications for learning and teaching.

For more detailed information on flipped classrooms, visit this page and learn more about it.

Finally, this article presents an approach to developing flipped courses.

This year, in the department, I am planning to “flip” one of my teacher education courses. I will be sharing the details soon.


TPACK and Professor Mishra

The framework of TPACK has been the focus of my research for almost 5 years. TPACK refers to the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge.  The framework was introduced by Mishra and Koehler and has been developed/discussed over time through a series of publications (e.g., Koehler, Mishra, Hershey, & Peruski, 2004; Koehler & Mishra, 2005; Mishra & Koehler, 2006; Koehler, Mishra, & Yahya, 2007). TPACK describes “how teachers’ understanding of technologies and pedagogical content interact with one another to produce effective teaching with technology” (Koehler & Mishra, 2008, p. 12). Here is its diagram (from tpack.org):


Why did I focus on the development of TPACK in my PhD dissertation? As an instructor in the ELT department, I have been supervising pre-service teachers in their student teaching for several years. One of the very common problems I recognized in their micro and macro teachings was the ineffective use of technology. In many instances, I realized that PTs were using technology for the sake of using it. They did not have a “real” purpose for their technology integration. Besides, the technology they used did not bring any change to the teaching and learning process. I mean pre-service teachers were still using traditional teaching methods, classrooms were teacher-fronted and students were passive recipients of the input. Knowing about technology was not enough for teaching English with technology. In other words, teachers needed a specific type of knowledge for effective technology integration. That was TPACK. Since then, I have been designing my courses in the department to develop this specific type of knowledge in pre-service teachers. In the coming posts, I will be discussing how.

When I decided to focus on TPACK for my thesis, I contacted dear Professor Punya Mishra via e-mail and he was so kind to accept to help me throughout my study.  He guided me in the design of my study and provided invaluable help and support whenever I needed. I feel very privileged and lucky to have worked with him. He was present at my dissertation defence through Skype as one of the members of the committee. An unforgettable experience for me! Here is the post he wrote about my dissertation. He was also very kind to present a paper based on my dissertation at the SITE Conference (2013) held in New Orleans. Below you can find the abstract of the paper, its slides and the paper.

I owe a lot to Professor Mishra so I wanted my first post to be about him.

If you are interested in TPACK, please follow his page for the most informative posts and links to relevant sources.

Kurt, G., Mishra, P., & Kocoglu, Z. (2013, March). Technological pedagogical content knowledge development of Turkish pre-service teachers of English. Paper presented at the meeting of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education, New Orleans, LA. Abstract retrieved from http://academicexperts.org/conf/site/2013/papers/38476/

Abstract: Changes having occurred in the field of education have affected the body of knowledge that teachers need to promote successful language learning of their students (van Olphen, 2008). The present study aims to examine the TPACK development of Turkish PTs of English as they participated into a study explicitly focusing on the framework of TPACK and designed following Learning Technology by Design approach. Participants were 22 PTs enrolled in the ELT program of a state university in Istanbul, Turkey. During the 12-week study, PTs were informed about the TPACK framework, explored various technologies collaboratively, developed technological materials, designed technology-integrated lessons and taught in a real classroom setting. Data came from the adapted version of the Survey of Pre-service Teachers’ Knowledge of Teaching and Technology (Schmidt, et al., 2009). Results showed that there was a statistically significant increase in TK, TCK, TPK and TPACK scores of PTs of English from the beginning to the end of the study.

Here you can find the slides and the paper.




Welcome to my first blog post. Finally here it is! It has taken me a long time to begin blogging. I have been asking my students at university (pre-service teachers of English) to keep blogs to share their course related work and most of them are now very good bloggers! I will be referring to their blogs often here. Now it is my turn. I will be primarily blogging about foreign language teaching and learning, ICT technology for 21st century learners, effective technology integration for language teachers and teacher education in general. Your contributions and comments will always be welcomed and appreciated.