KOTESOL 2016, Burcu Tezcan-Unal participated as IATEFL TTeD SIG representative



I, Burcu Tezcan-Unal (TTEd SIG committee member, responsible for events, publicity and membership), attended this conferences with two talks as an invited and featured speaker thanks to my affiliation with IATEFL Teacher Training and Education Special Interest Group (IATEFL-TTEd SIG). My first talk was called “The demands of the 2020 job market, transferable skills and ELT”. I approached the theme of the conference2016-10-15-10-02-49 from a teacher training perspective focusing on why and how to teach the required skills. My second talk was called “Timeless interplay between learners, teachers and learning”, here I focused on the factors that impact or impede learning in a learning environment as well as the importance of teacher’s interventions that make a difference and I lead the participants to reflect on their contexts around these issues.2016-10-15-10-08-01

As a whole, the experience was so refreshing for me, for one, it was the first time I attended a conference in Ko2016-10-18-19-37-59rea, I met colleagues working in that part of the world so well as Japan and Singapore, which was interesting. Also, I was the only IATEFL representative in the whole conference, which is interesting because normally there are a few people from IATEFL in every conference. So I felt honored and special. Finally, I was the only Turkish ELT professional and the only one representing the Middle East region, which was also interesting and added to the popularity of my sessions. groupphoto

I went to the sessions of the other invited speakers mainly as I wanted to accumulate knowledge and information related to 21st Century skills to enhance my own understanding and share them with the IATEFL TTEd SIG members via our blog and website. There were two plenary speakers; Prof. Thomas Farrell from Canada whose focus was on reflective learning and reflective inquiry- being a prolific author in the field of reflective practices. Further information about him, his work and books could be obtained from this link: http://www.reflectiveinquiry.ca/  His session at the conference was called : Reflective practice for 21st Century Language Teachers

He advocates that reflective practice should not be ritualized mechanically, and states that the old idea overlooked the inner lives of teachers. According to his new framework, teachers’ practice should be holistic, and integrate mind, body and soul, it should also be multi dimensional, should not be egocentric but eco-centric.

His cyclical framework involves these five things: philosophy-principles- theory-practice-beyond practice

One should first reflect on his/her philosophy, perhaps looking into auto-biographical stories. One should ask ;“What is my legacy as a teacher? Teachers should allow silence in class, should not answer their own questions. Teachers should make use of the critical incidents as opportunities in which they can learn a lot about their students. Classroom is a rich environment for inquiry and recommended teachers to video tape themselves and transcribe their interaction to reflect on their teaching. Teachers think students are happy and learning the whole time- Instead of exams, quizzes, tests we should ask these questions to students:

2016-10-15-11-28-45What was the class about?

What did you learn?

What was difficult?

Prof. Farrell concludes by saying that” Reflective teaching is done by teachers and for teachers as opposed to research done by academics for the academia. We can create our own theory by reflective practice.


traceyThe second plenary speaker, Tracey Tokuhoma- Espinosa, was an amazing educator, and a very knowledgeable speaker who focused on teaching from the newest brain studies perspective emphasizing their impact on teaching and learning pedagogies. Her talk was called “The neurobiology of leaning and sustained change”. She advocates that all your learning is based on previous learning, and believes that teachers have the power to change, a good language teacher is a good teacher with knowledge of language, the more you know the more you can know and we should focus more on how and why of the learning than the what of the learning which is googlable.

She recommended a couple of resources “the smartest kids in the world” a book by Amanda Ripley that may be an interesting read for educators, and the blog on Committed sardines referring to the teachers who believe in students and that they can make a change even in test driven societies. Tracey Tokuhoma also shared her slides https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B8RaPiQPEZ9ZaGNna0lvMEU1aEE?usp=sharing

the video summary of my book, Making Classrooms Better:

Part 1 Introduction (‪23:19minutes): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8RaPiQPEZ9Zb3hxVDY2OXlxNTQ/view?usp=sharing

Part 2 Interventions 1-23 (41:44 minutes): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8RaPiQPEZ9ZOWRMSkFTNFJVcDg/view?usp=sharingPart 3: Interventions 24-50  (43:12 minutes): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8RaPiQPEZ9ZdVREY041VW8yMzg/view?usp=sharing

Tracey Tokuhoma states that we make presumptions about how we learn, and how others learn. Teacher prejudices about intelligence influence students’ learning, in fact, it is the single most important thing that affect learning according to the extensive studies of Hattie (2012, 2016). Teachers should be given information on the fundamental information about how brain works. For example, the time in class should be used to teach skills and attitudes instead of knowledge that could be flipped. Teachers need to know that learning hinges on memory and attention, emotions impact cognition and the should be honest with themselves. Are you a 21st century learner, autonomous, critical thinkers? Do you have intellectual humility, intellectual curiosity, intellectual courage, intellectual perseverance, intellectual generosity, intellectual empathy, intellectually honest, are you a lifelong learner? Can you handle ambiguity, innovative creative, open, or tech savvy? She recommends that teachers should iidentify what they should work on and several other interesting activities to reflect on. It was a great pleasure to meet this wonderful and like-minded educator.

There was one more session on brain studies and ELT, which I found interesting. Robert Murphy’s session called Connecting ELT and brain studies. He states that our brains are not computers and we cannot memorise verbatim and then reproduce the content without engaging in it. Therefore, knowledge is not transferable and we need to change our assessment. Our brains evolved for survival “in the jungle”, we have not evolved to to sit in classrooms.  Classroom teaching is an artificial construct, it is pragmatic but not ideal. Instead of top down teaching, for more brain friendly classes, we need to add prediction activities into our daily routines because prediction is the root of motivation. Making associations thanks to simple networks building into complex networks that would bring deeper learning (if the context requires it). Emotion drives learning and personalization is necessary for captivation.

I also attended sessions on extensive reading, project based learning, EAP and 21 century skills. I met Todd Beuckens, who developed a popular extensive listening website called www.elllo.org , and I was also introduced to the resources that were made available by US Embassy in the region. Their website americanenglish.state.gov an
d facebook page https://www.facebook.com/AmericanEnglishatState/provide useful resources to teachers. Additionally, their publication called English Teaching Forum invites articles and promises that there is no rejection.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed this experience as a professional and created new networks of collegues some of which will be attending TESOL Arabia including Prof. Thomas Farrell. The only downside is the distance and the jetlag issue. Other than that, I could recommend this event to colleagues who are after a variety of good quality speakers, and a friendly ELT environment in a vibrant city of the Far East.




imageUsing a design theory to explore how teacher learning works

Professor Donald Freeman

University of Michigan


In this session, we will explore a ‘design theory’ for teacher training and development, meaning a set of simple principles that describe how language teacher education activities and programs work and what makes them more (or less) impactful for teacher learning. There are two aims in using this design theory: To describe what goes on as we do training and development for and with teachers; and to organize those efforts more productively so that they realize our intended goals. The session introduces the five elements of the design theory—the parallel notions of communities of activity and of explanation, how they define and use certain social facts to articulate what they do, and how tensions in doing so can create opportunities for teachers to learn. We will use presentation, discussion, and hands-on activity to meet and explore these ideas both conceptually and concretely. Participants will be able to work with the ideas in a set of case studies, and then will have the opportunity to develop applications to their own situations.

We will be pleased to see you there.

TTEd SIG Coordinator

Prof. Dr. Birsen Tutunis

TEd SIG PCE, Manchester 2015

Exploring Trainee and Trainer Beliefs and Practices


Based on 2014 Harrogate TTEd PCE feedback, 2015 Manchester PCE aims to provide participants with an updated view of various issues in the field of teacher training. Our PCE theme is:-

Exploring Trainee and Trainer Beliefs and Practices

It is now well-established that ELT professionals’ beliefs influence both how they learn and how they behave and in teacher training and education contexts the beliefs of trainees and trainers will thus interact in defining the impact that the training has. In this interactive event we will investigate how beliefs impinge on teacher training and education and how attending to beliefs can enhance our work as teacher trainers and educators. In the first part of the day we will focus on trainees’ beliefs, on how they shape trainee learning, and on specific strategies trainers can use to understand trainees’ beliefs; in the second part of the day the focus will be on the beliefs that trainers have and how these influence their work. Throughout the day, the focus will be on critically reflective discussion and debate through which participants will be encouraged to make explicit and challenge their own beliefs about and practices in language teacher education. Discussion will be supported with input that draws on contemporary research and theory in the field of teacher education.

The facilitator will be Professor Simon Borg , who is well-known internationally for his work on language teachers’ beliefs- see


In addition to Simon’s sessions, a slot will be allocated to TTEd SIG Committee members in which the same issues will be looked into from different perspectives.

So if you are a pre- service or in-service teacher trainer; teacher of teachers responsible for implementing curricular reforms in your context; or an aspiring teacher willing to become a teacher trainer, we believe our PCE at Manchester will bring up much food for thought. We will be pleased to see you there.

All are welcome!

Birsen Tutunis IATEFL TTEd SIG Coordinator, email TTEdSIG@iatefl.org

The Journey from Input to Interaction in English Language Learning

PosterDear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the  IATEFL TTED SIG International Conference  “The Journey from  Input to Interaction in English Language Learning”, to be held at Gaziantep  22-26 April, 2015.  Our desire is to provide the grounds for a large number of scholars and presenters in our field to discuss the theoretical and practical aspects of the past and present ideas and practices in English Language Teaching and Learning. Gaziantep University will host the event in an excellent venue located in the southern part of Turkey.

We plan to cover all the hot ıssues concerning a foreign language acquisition and learning with the topics:

 Applied Linguistics and Language Education

 Language Learning and Acquisition

 Approaches and Methods in English Language Education

 Materials Development in English Language Education

 Culture and Literature in English Education

 Early English Language Education

 English for Academic Purposes

 Language Testing and Evaluation

 Life-long Language Learning

 Multimedia and ICT in English Education

 Teacher Training and Education

 English as an International Language

 Intercultural Communication

 Language Policy

 Distance Language Education

 Translation Studies & Language Teaching

Keynote  Speakers:

Prof. Dr. S. KRASHEN

Elena Bins ( TPR)

Blaine Ray ( TPRS)

Prof. Dr Miroslaw Pawlak

Prof. Dr. Richard Smith

Prof. Dr. Birsen Tütüniş

We hope to fullfil the participants’ expectations of food for thought. We also promise to offer you a great time in Gaziantep with excursions and wonderful food for your taste. So, Teacher candidates, Teachers, Teacher Trainers/ Educators, Researchers and scholars!! COME AND JOIN US to OUR JOURNEY of our QUEST for PAST , PRESENT and FUTURE!!!

We are looking forward to welcoming you in Gaziantep, in April 22-26, 2015.

Important Dates:

Abstract Deadline : January 25, 2015

                                            Final Registration : April 22, 2015

Full Article Deadline : June 30, 2015


For registration please visit http://secure.iatefl.org/events/

For Presentation papers . http://elt.gantep.edu.tr

TTEd PCE Harrogate 2014- Programme


The Basics and Beyond: A day of trainer development’    


Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 2.37.09 PM

Tessa Woodward

10:00- 10:15 Opening remarks (IATEFL TTEd SIG Committee)

10:15- 10:45 Input (Tessa Woodward)

# Terminology. (How we can talk to each other: names and roles.) What do we share? Core tasks of teacher trainers: Sharing information with teachers, helping with lesson planning, observing, giving feedback, giving support.

10:45- 11:30 Group work

# Task one: to find out about others in the group in terms of the initial input, part one (Terminology) . Task two: take one core task and discuss all the practical ways those in the group know for doing it. Prepare a poster on this.

11:30- 12:00 Coffee break

12:00- 12:30 Group presentations

# Washing line poster presentations and discussion

12:30 – 13:00 Recap (Tessa Woodward)

# Building repertoire and building understanding

13:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00- 14:40 Committee members slot

Burcu Tezcan-Unal

Learning technologies and affective elements of language teaching from a teacher training perspective’.

14:45-15:15 Input (Tessa)

1# Different supervisory models and how these affect terminology and the core tasks of trainers.

15:15- 15:45 Coffee Break

15:30- 16:00 Group work

# Task one: Looking at teacher observation sheets to exemplify the last input.

#Task two: How to line up different ways of doing a core task with different models

16:00- 16:30 Group presentations

# Core tasks done in differing ways according to different models.

16:30 – 17:00 Recap and feedback (Tessa Woodward)

# The four column analysis applied to this session

TTEd SIG Mugla Event, September 2013

IATEFL TTEdSIG conference supported by YLs SIG was held in Muğla/ Marmaris, Turkey on 20-21 September 2013 at Muğla POSTERSıtkı Koçman University.


Carol Read at her session

The main aim of the conference entitled “Projecting onto Teaching Young Learners” was to create a platform in which Young Learner specific issues, teacher training and education, learning and teaching dynamics are discussed.

IATEFL Young Learners& Teenagers SIG supported our event with their representative Dr Janice Bland, University of Paderborn. Our distinguished speakers Carol Read, the president of IATEFL Board of Trustees, Prof. Dr. Aydan Ersöz, the president of the Turkish teachers association (INGED)  Prof. Dr. Birsen Tutunis, the coordinator of IATEFL TTEd SIG  shared their insights and invited us to think about the latest teaching, training and assessment methodology in EFL for young learners.

The conference  aimed to attract local and international teachers, teacher trainers and EFL practitioners whose expertise is mainly based on young learners in EFL.

Proposals for oral presentations, workshops, and poster presentations were done on the following  themes:

1)   School experience and the mentoring of student teachers


Carol Read and Birsen Tutunis with some delegates

2)   Alternative evaluation for young learners

3)   Literacy and young learner foreign language teaching

4)   The new 4+4+4 system and the new young learners program in Turkey

5)   Drama and young learners

6)   Teaching English to young learners through ICT materials

7)   Parental involvement in teaching English to young learners

8)   Pre-service and in-service young learners teacher training

We believe that this event provided an occasion for us to gain insights, leading to better understanding and appreciation of our profession.

TTEd SIG 2014- Harrogate

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 2.37.09 PM‘The Basics and Beyond: A day of trainer development’

The day will be lead by Tessa Woodward, the founder of this SIG, and will alternate 30 minute slots of presentation with 45 minute slots of group work and discussion so that participants can learn from each other and make sure that the day is relevant to their own needs. The topics floated in Tessa’s part of the day will include:

– Establishing communication and terminology with teacher trainers, teacher educators, and mentors in differing settings,

– Core roles and tasks,

– Different ways of doing our core tasks, building a repertoire of process options,

– Different supervisory models and how these affect terminology, core tasks and process options,

– Teacher observation sheets analysed according to supervisory model,

The afternoon session will be led by IATEFL TTEdSIG committee members and will include a session given by Burcu Tezcan-Unal. The theme is ‘Learning technologies and affective elements of language teaching from a teacher training perspective’.

We will finish with

– Tessa Woodward’s  sessions of input, workshop, group presentations and feedback.

All welcome!

For more information stay in tune with us 🙂

Session 1- Observations and Feedback

Penny Ur’s Input

 Penny started off by attracting the attention to the importance of GOALs while conducting observations. There may be two main goals:

  •  Appraisal (i.e. for a promotion or for general reasons)
  • Formative (for development)

 Once the goal is clear, there are several pre-conditions to consider: time, pre-conference and during observations.

  • Time: allowing enough time for the different stages is a must. Setting aside about 30 minutes before and after the observation would be necessary.
  • Pre-conference meeting: should be conducted in a comfortable, friendly and supportive atmosphere between the observer and the observe, and it is advisable to establish aims and set objectives in advance.

Penny underlined the importance of the following:

  1. Comforting the observee: ask general questions, perhaps about mutual friends, etc. and then discuss their teaching context.
  2. Learning about the Background: Ask questions like “Anything you want to tell me about this class?” “Your feelings about your teaching here?”  “Any particular problems I need to know about?”
  3. Establishing goals: Ask questions like “What I’ll usually be looking out for?” “What you would like me to look out for? General? Specific?” Maybe not a certain methodology but focusing on whether or not students are learning is important.
  4. Planning the lesson: You must decide whether you want a written lesson plan or an oral description. Ask the observee if they want to involve you in the lesson. 

 * During observation: It is necessary to be inconspicuous in the classroom. Although it is almost impossible not to be conscious of the observation, trying to be as unobtrusive as possible for the observer is important.

 A few points to consider here:

  • Introducing the observer to the students.
  • Where the observer should sit: If the observer sits at the back, there is a chance that s/he may not catch student activities well. Penny suggested to sit at the side as a compromise. She also mentioned that at the back you can see what students are not doing J. For example, the teacher asks them to do task X, but students may be checking their social media accounts, so you can report these during the post-observations.  
  • How to record the class activities: Penny says that checklists are popular. She suggests that observers should use a table as follows. Making mental notes may not be reliable. Making rough notes on the table would help the observer to organise the notes and the questions when there are ambiguities.
Time Events Comments / questions



 * Whether the observer should intervene: Penny says there is no such a thing as “never”. There may be occasions, such as discipline, for the observer to intervene in order to comfort the observee.

 Penny’s References

Lasagabaster, D., & Sierra, J. M. (2011). Classroom observation: desirable conditions established by teachers. European Journal of Teacher Education, 34 (4), 449–463.

 Stronge, J. H. (2010). Evaluating What Good Teachers Do: Eight Research-Based Standards for Assessing Teacher Excellence. Eye on Education. 6 Depot Way West Suite 106, Larchmont, NY 10538.

 Jeremy Harmer’s input

 Jeremy started with an anecdote. Once he was giving the feedback as an observer with all his excitement but the teacher’s eyes were glazed after the first 11 minutes. He said he understood that what he was doing was not useful as the observee was not listening any more. So he said “Small is beautiful in giving feedback.”

Jeremy added that nobody can look at everything that is occurring in a lesson. It is advisable to limit it to 3 things to think about.

 Some ideas on observations from Jeremy:

  • Video-taping the lesson and talking through it with the teacher.
  • Giving only positive feedback, he refers to Deniz Kurtoğlu-Eken who applies this method. Teachers feel great at the end of the observation. Jeremy comments that everybody needs a medal so this may be a way to go. For areas to improve, perhaps the trainer can give missions to the observee. So giving positive feedback and suggesting a way to go can be applied.
  • The way we end the post-observation meeting also matters. A positive and friendly closing would be the best.
  • Jeremy mentioned Heron’s 6 categories of intervention. The observer must identify which one may be the most favourable for the observe. Some people may prefer authoritative intervention whereas others may prefer a facilitative approach. The level of experience may also affect the choice.

 Jeremy also recommended ELTJ articles on teacher development as great resources for teacher trainers.

Following the input sessions, the participants were invited to discuss these points to consider in their groups referring to their contexts and come up with a short summary of their discussion.


Our members and general ELT Public can reach the summaries and resources of this year’s PCE Liverpool 2013 entitled “What it takes to be a Teacher of Teachers” shared by the participants and the session leaders in this blog. Your comments will enhance our activities.


Birsen, TTEd SIG Coordinator

The PCE started with the opening of the SIG coordinator Prof. Birsen Tütüniş’s welcoming remarks and introduction to the committee members.

Gabriel, the newsletter editor

 TTEd SIG Newsletter editor, Gabiel Diaz Maggioli, invited everyone to send articles to the newsletter which will be produced in a pdf format to cut down on costs and increase accessibility. Gabriel encouraged the participants to share their ideas using our newsletter platform and told them how to reach the guidelines.

Gospel, Discussion List Moderator

TTEd SIG Discussion List Moderator, Gospel Ipkeme introduced himself and invited the participants to open discussions using the yahoo group channel.

Burcu, Events, Publicity & Membership Officer

The TTEd SIG events, publicity and membership coordinator, Burcu Tezcan-Unal mentioned the structure of the PCE which would have two parts, the first one would be focusing on Observation and Feedback and the second one would be on Coordinating Professional Development Activities. Both parts would start with the Penny and Jeremy’s input on which groups would be conducting discussions that would be followed by wrap-up stages by the session leaders’ comments.

Burcu said that the participants were welcome to contribute to the blog that would be shared by all those who could not make it to the event. She also gave the twitter hashtag channel as #TTEDPCE2013 as a new way of collating short summaries. Luckily the Free Wifi in the room allowed the participants to chip in the channel. Burcu also encouraged the participants to be the members of the IATEFL TTEd SIG facebook group and check the blog for the summaries of the previous events.

Participants are getting to know each other.

This is followed by a mingling activity which aimed to create a warmer and collaborative atmosphere amongst this multi-national group consisted of more than 25 nationalities.

Shairng their training contexts.

Breaking the ice.



TTEd SIG PCE Session Leaders: Penny and Jeremy

We would like to thank our PCE sponsors: Cambridge University Press for Penny Ur’s participation and Pearson Education for Jeremy Harmer’s.

Penny Ur was educated at the universities of Oxford (MA), Cambridge (PGCE) and Reading (MATEFL). She emigrated to Israel in 1967, where she still lives today. She is married with four children and five grandchildren. Penny Ur has thirty years’ experience as an English teacher in primary and secondary schools in Israel. She has recently retired from the headship of the M.Ed program in foreign-language teaching at Oranim Academic College of Education, but continues to teach M.A. courses at Oranim and Haifa University. She is interested in all aspects of language-teaching methodology, but in particular issues of fluency and accuracy in language teaching, language-learning activity design and the implications for teachers of the development of English as a lingua franca. She has published a number of articles, and was for ten years the editor of the Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers series. Her books include Discussions that Work (1981), Five Minute Activities (co-authored with Andrew Wright) (1992), A Course in Language Teaching (1996), and Grammar Practice Activities (2nd Edition) (2009), all published by Cambridge University Press.

Jeremy Harmer