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.



IATEFL TTEd SIG PCE- Participants’ Voices- PART 1

Gerry McIntosh, who is the Business Development Manager and Teacher Trainer for British Council in Kyiv, Ukraine, held the first session given by the voices from different parts of the world. His session was on the in-service teacher development project conducted by the British Council, Ukraine. Gerry started with some numbers representing the number of teachers and learners in Ukraine.

  •  There are 37,280 primary and secondary teachers whereas there are 1,122,579 primary school learners and 2,347,998 secondary learners.
  • Students get 3-7 hours a week of ELT in secondary schools, the norm is 3 years though.
  • Simple maths shows that the need for teachers is great in Ukraine.
  • Pedagogical universities and linguistic universities are available for people who would like to teach English.
  • Teachers are required to take an INSETT every five years to renew their qualification.
  • The last major reform was experienced in 2002 and the need for a reform was actually highlighted by teachers and the Ministry of Education in October 2011.

After setting the scene, Gerry listed the aims of the In-service teacher development project;

  • Encourage thinking beyond knowledge-based development
  • Encourage reflection on learning and teaching
  • Promote classroom-based action research
  • Encompass task-based learning
  • Develop classroom skills
  • Ensure long-term impact

They designed a common core syllabus and offered teachers some optional modules considering their various needs along with some elective specialist modules. They considered the British Council CPD Framework. Teachers were asked to complete Career e-portfolios. There was also the opportunity for a blended learning programme. They have been following the time frame below;

  • October 2011: initial concerns analysed
  • November 2011- March 2012: materials selection and editing
  • November 2011 – November 2012: training, piloting, monitoring
  • November 2012: programme launch
  • November 2012 – November 2013: monitor, evaluate + tweak

Gerry promised to communicate the comments and the feedback along with some outcomes in next year’s IATEFL. He can be reached at

MENA (Middle East and North Africa) REGION

The next session was held by a group of teachers who have worked in the MENA region, which was represented by teachers working in the UAE, Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Algeria. Nick, who is the project manager from the BC the region, did the introduction. There are 16 countries in the region of MENA.

Nick summarised their mission in the region: It is to create and provide training opportunities for teachers at all levels of (primary, secondary, vocational and tertiary) in the public and private sectors. They  aim to improve the teaching of English in each country in the MENA region. With this mission in mind, they offer the following services to the teachers in the region.

  • Face to face training courses
  • Online courses
  • National and international conferences
  • Working with Ministries of Education
  • Working with the private sector

Following are some of the projects they presented:

“LETUP was the best thing that had happened in Libya for years” Libyan Ministery of Education (2010)

1. Libyan English Teaching in Universities Project (LETUP): this started in 2006 to establish English language teaching in universities.The need for improved English language skills in Libya is growing rapidly as Libya’s commercial and other links with the rest of the world develop. However, since there was little or no English teaching in Libya for a considerably long time, there is a dearth of trained English teachers and very low-levels of English spoken generally throughout Libya.

So far, the BC have helped establish ten university language centres, supplying a core curricula, teaching & learning resources and classroom equipment: including Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs) & ELT software. Most centres are still developing the self-study rooms and computer labs but they are there and in use.

 2. Tunisia – Vocational Education: English for Employability

The teacher representing Tunisia, mentioned the the aim of the English for Employability programme which is to enhance the quality of vocational English training and through this the employment prospects for Tunisian youth in vocational education. The programme proposes to do this by creating a system of continuing professional development for English language teachers, creating a group of master trainers. These trainers will then be able to train new recruits to the system, as well as develop skills in curriculum development and materials design.

The programme is based on research carried out over the last three and a half years into Tunisia’s English language needs for the world of work and the availability of a considerable and growing resource of British Council English products. These trainers had not received any training for the best part of 15 years (!) so this project is a significant step forward for them. They are presently discussing what their status and job description will be as Master Trainers and look set to be part of the decision-making process, which theycannot imagined having happened before Jan 2011.

3. Morocco. the representative of Morocco mentioned two important things:

•ICT Marrakech Conference
•Teacher Learner Communities
The presentation was wraped up by the following notes:

MENA facebook site for learners – 500,000 likes

Sites for teachers in MENA and free resources for teachers and students such as / and

Participant Voices went on with presentations from India by Kalyan, the Americas by Gabriel and Turkey by Burcu. The summaries of these will be in the coming post.

TTEd SIG PCE Day Plenary 2 by Tim Philips

The 2nd Plenary of the TTEd SIG PCE Day was given by Tim Philips (Head, Teacher Development, Global English, The British Council, Manchester)

English Teachers Finding Their Feet

Tim’s talk looked at issues relating to the development of teachers of English in different contexts at the start of their careers. It presented research and thinking related to questions including what factors influence their attitudes to teaching and their development, how early training influences their development, and what support best helps them develop in these early years.

Tim started off by suggesting the features of teachers at different stages of their careers. He  wanted pairs to talk about the following questions which generated fantastic discussions and gave the audience a chance to get to know each other’s experiences.

  1. What initial ELT training did you have?
  2. What was your first job after training?
  3. What was most useful about your initial training?
  4. In hindsight, what would you change or add to your initial training?

Below are what groups came up wıth as useful and that may need changes.


  • Being observed
  • The Principles of ELT
  • Lesson planning
  • Micro Teaching
  • Learning about the resources
  • Reflections


  • Learning about Classroom Management
  • Learning technologies
  • Learing how to teach Strategies
  • Language awareness
  • Observing seniour teachers
  • Learning about how to assessm learning
  • The realtionship between Teaching & Learning

Tim Philips mentioned Michael Huberman’s study (1989) on Professional Life Cycles of Teachers

Career stages and beginning teaching – The concept of career stages or phases was paramount in early accounts of teachers’ careers. Huberman (1989) and Huberman, Gronauer and Marti (1993) portrayed the career of a teacher as, for the most part, a series of linear, successive, developmental career stages. Within this work, beginning teaching comprised the ‘career entry’ stage, a stage which was characterised by ‘recurrent themes of “survival” and “discovery”’ during which ‘survival’ was often a time of self-doubt and ‘reality shock’ (Huberman, 1989,p. 33).

Huberman associated experience and expertise, but the nexus between these two concepts was questioned by later writers like Berliner, whose concern was the development of expertise in teaching. Berliner (1995, 2001) designated career stages in terms of the development of expertise, and disassociated experience and expertise as necessary concomitants of one another. Berliner maintained that, although experience was usually a necessary component of expertise, it was by no means a sufficient one.

Tim Philips attracted our attention to the impact of teacher education referring to a few authors’ insights as follows:

  • Teacher education as a “low impact enterprise”(Lortie, 1975)
  • “Weak intervention” compared to trainees’ own school experience and later professional socialisation (Richardson, 1996)
  • What teachers have learned during their teacher education seems to be “washed out by school experience” (Zeichner & Tabachnik, 1981)

When a new teacher starts his/her new job, what do the experience? The following was shared as discussed in Novice Language Teachers: Insights and perspectives for the first year. Ed. Thomas C. Farrell (2008)

  • Encounter with reality – relationships, results
  • The job may be in a different context than focused on in training
  • Learning the culture of the school
  • Entering as a junior
  • Learning to teach as you teach
  • Applying principles to practice
  • Developing an identity as a practising teacher

Tim Philips also shared the experiecne of novice teachers as Prof Medgyes. Some are as follows:

Novice Teacher 1

I thought that my teaching would be the same as the books say, but it was not like that…the theory in the books…when I entered the classroom I thought that it is not the theory that you should follow, but you have to find your own way of teaching…I became aware of the fact that theory and practice are different.

Novice Teacher 2

We were taught many theoretical information, and when I did the micro-teaching and the internship I realized that theories do not work in the classroom…I had the chance to use the theories, because I was not the real teacher. I could do whatever I wanted to do, but I realized that not all theories can be applied to every class.

Novice Teacher 3

The teacher must have a perfect knowledge of his/her job, and field…s/he should have such personal characteristics…just to be a knowledgeable teacher is not enough, so there are some other personal characteristics like being friendly for example, sometimes students don’t need a teacher but need to see you as a good friend…at that time you have to behave as if you are a friend.

Novice Teacher 4

I want my students to do their best, and to pass their exam, and move to the second level…as far as I am concerned, I want to be known as a teacher who works hard, and who is creative and someone who has a good reputation.

Tim summarised the emerging themes from the novice tecahers’ comments as follows:

•Teaching as part of a strong educational and social culture
•Being a teacher is being a person
•Working as a teacher means working as part of a team
•Importance of creating “your own theory”
•Initial teacher education links 2 strong influences – prior experience of schooling and having a job as a teacher
•Need for initial survival skills and learning skills as a new teacher

Tim Philips asked the audience if the teaching certificate courses such as CELTa, or TEFL courses offered by universities address these emerging themes. And shared the following authors’ comments;

  • “professional development takes place through professional conversation” Garton & Richards (2011)
  • “there is a need for a more dialogic approach to training and practice”           Copland, Ma, & Mann (2009)
  • “knowledge of the language … is directly proportional to self confidence in a teaching situation or when interacting with colleagues”                                                                                                                          Banegas (2009)

Finally, Tim indicated the role of the British Council;  Teaching English website which was visited by over 4 million visitors in 2011/2012 and the UK CPD (UK Continuing Development Portal), Pathways in EAP.

TTEd SIG PCE 2012- Plenary 1 by Prof Peter Medgyes

Why won’t the little beasts behave?

Prof Medgyes started his session by indicating the importance of classroom management especially for novice teachers, and he gave examples from the journals of some trainee teachers that show their feelings and frustrations at times.

Trainee 1

“One of the students told my teaching partner that the group has conspired against us: they want to see which of us gives up first and leave. They’ve even made bets on either of us. The aim of the game is to misbehave as much as possible, find out what incidents irritate us most and focus on those to make them more efficient.”

 Trainee 2

“My only weapon is punishment. I can’t make them work unless I threaten them with a test they’ll have to do in the next lesson […] I want them to feel that they  hurt me a lot. I’m considering giving up. My teaching partner has already given up.”

Trainee 3

“To be honest, during these months I decided to throw in the towel at least three times, because I felt so disappointed. Nevertheless, I decided to stay because I thought giving up would mean that I was ill-suited for this job.”

Medgyes underlined the importance of “discipline” issue that causes most novice teachers to lose confidence and give up teaching referring to the following quote from Dry, 1977, p.200.

“A sure recipe for low learner performance is to set up a situation where the learner pities the teacher, and then pities himself for being saddled with a
pitiable teacher.”

Topic of discipline has not been mentioned in conferences as it is a “no go!” area for many methodologist.This important issue is sometimes ignored by the well-known authors and researchers as well. Medgyes gave the following quote (Whitney, quoted in Appel, 1995, p. 21) to illustrate what he meant :

“At the final round table, the panel of well-known experts, all with extensive lists of publications in our field, was asked by a teacher how they would handle a particular ’discipline’ problem.  The questioner described her problem carefully and sensitively. The panel was all but stunned into silence.”

The following can be listed as possible characteristics of the disciplined classroom in terms of general expectations, Medgyes says;

  • Learning is taking place.
  • It is quiet.
  • Teacher is in control.
  • Teacher and students are cooperating smoothly.
  • Students are motivated.
  • Lesson is proceeding according to plan.
  • Teacher and students are aiming for the same objective.
  • Teacher has natural charismatic AUHORITY.

 Following that: Medgyes gave some typical teacher types and their characteristics:

The strict and scary teacher

  • She demands perfect behaviour at all times.
  • There is a high level of control over the pupils.
  • She tends to shout at pupils when applying a sanction.
  • She makes frequent use of sanctions to control her classes.
  • She imposes a sanction at the first sign of misbehaviour.

 The firm but fun teacher

  • She tells the class what she expects in terms of behaviour right from the start, and sticks to these rules consistently.
  • She will shout if necessary, but normally does not need to.
  • She makes the work interesting, and sets her pupils hard but achievable targets.
  • She does use sanctions, but will give a series of warnings first.
  • She gets to know her pupils on a personal level.

 Then Medgyes asked if the audience were the former or the latter 🙂 and suggested that they should be the 3rd type which is Soft and Shaky Teacher suggesting the following to prevent misbehaviour:

  • Create a code of conduct with the approval of students
  • Observe
  •  Set boundaries and state sanctions
  • Convince them that you are a person of integrity
  • Make it clear that you are in charge
  • Don’t be on the defensive
  • Be fair and consistent
  • Be polite to your students
  • Be dynamic
  • Always look your best
  • Before the lesson, plan your lessons
  • Have extra material

and finished his session by the following quote (Crace,2000, p. 171) and saying CARPE DIEM.

 „[Yes, may friends, you’re fools if you] sacrifice the flaring briefness of [your] lives in hopes of paradise or fears
of hell. No one transcends. There’s no future and no past. There’s no remedy for death – or birth – except to hug the spaces in between. Live loud, live wide, live tall.”


TTEd SIG Pre-Conference Event, Glasgow 2012

The TTEd SIG PCE started with the opening speech of the SIG coordinator, Prof BirsenTutunis who introduced the members of the SIG committee, Gabriel Diaz Maggioli, the newsletter editor and Burcu Tezcan Unal, the publicity officer.

Prof Tutunis gave a summary of what the TTEd SIG has done since last year. See the power point presentation.

Gabriel mentioned the upcoming newsletters, themes and the deadlines and how articles can be published.

•SPECIAL ISSUE on the TT&Ed SIG Pre Conference Event will come out in Spring 2012
– Becoming a Teacher of Teachers Deadline: 31 May 2012  •Summer 2012
– Innovations in Teacher Training and Education Deadline: 31 July 2012 •Fall 2012
– Materials development for Teaching Teachers Deadline: 31 October 2012 * Winter 2012
– Mentoring and supporting trainees Deadline: 31 January 2013
Articles may be as follows:
•Invited articles
•Full articles
–700/– 1,000 words.
•Into the classroom
–200/ – 400 words.
•Book reviews
–200/– 400 words.
•News & Events

Please send your contributions to
Burcu gave information about the events in different countries and the facebook page for the participants to follow updates and like, facebook group for the participants to share ideas and join discussions and the events blog where they can follow the summaries of the events that they could not attend.

Prof Tutunis then invited Prof. Peter Medyges and introduced him to the audience. She said how realistic Peter’s approach to teaching is and that he has lots of followers and admirers all around the world. He is the author of “Laughing Matters” along with many of his achievements in the world of ELT.

The next post may you find the summary of Peter’s Plenary called “Why won’t the little beasts behave?”

The Summaries of the Concurrent Workshops from TTEd Istanbul Symposium 2012

After lunch, the symposium participants were split to join the following workshops for 90 minutes, they prepared the summary of their workshops and came back with two questions to the panel.

The first workshop presentation was on In-Service training in Different countries led by Tim Phillips. the session started with a discussion on the Purpose of the In-service Training:

The place where you’re in this continuum of To become the best I can be and To become what is required affects the “motivation” you have.

The workshop participants discussed the following questions about INSETTS:

•What is the purpose of INSETT?
•What are the factors for success?
•What are the similarities and differences between Turkey and Ukraine?
•What are the issues in INSETT?

The following points were listed as factors that affect the succes of the In-Service Teacher Training:

  • Motivation
  • Self-evaluation; reflection (reflective practitioner)
  • Continuity-sustainability
  • Clear outcomes, clear targets
  • Practical  results
    • Money
    • Promotion
    • Status
    • Recognition
    • Job satisfaction
    • Self-realization
  • Meeting real/individual needs
  • Flexibility
  • Collaboration
  • Evaluation +recordings (e-portfolio)
  • Environment
  • Staffing
  • Creating a community (FB; Twitter etc.) (Building rapport)

After these discussions, the workshop participants worked on the similarities and differeences between Turkey and Ukraine in terms of INSETs as there were almost equal number of Turkish and Ukranian participants in the workshop. The came up with the following:


  • Need for needs analysis as Needs analysis is the key to success
  • Observing Ts gives an overall idea of what is needed
  • •Everyone loves teachers
  • •Motivated & optimistics
  • •Lot of pressure for in-service
  • • Considering CPD
  • •Use CEFR
  • •Recognised concept of INSETT
  • •Support of NGOs


  • Turkey: INSETS  are organized on holiday time (Ministry of Educ.’s INSETS)
  • Ukraine: INSETS  are organized during school year
  • Turkey: INSET  participants receive Certificate of Attendance
  • Ukraine: INSET  participants receive Certificate of Achievement

The second workshop was Action Research, the session was led by Dr. Richard Smith.

One of the participants summarised the workshop as follows:

Richard Smith leading the workshop asked some basic questions regarding action research in universities and special institutions in which the participants study. He mentioned some important characteristics of action research and how it can be conducted efficiently. Smith demonstrated a video of his fellow researcher in terms of the effective sides of the lesson he performed. Lastly, he gave some certain types of clues about narrowing down the action research topic. Remarkable points discussed in the workshop were presented by one of the participants in the last section of the symposium. 

The representative of the workshop shared the following on behalf of the workshop participants: They discussed how to encourage teachers for doing more ARs, they also talked about the topics that can be turned into ARs. They watched a video and had a chance to hear some fellow researchers.

They asked the panel what may be the challenges while doing ARs.

The workshop called TPRS – Teaching Proficency through Reading and Storytelling led by Blaine Ray was the next to share their experience. The session holders presented a sample lesson that they had developed during their session. The audience was told what to do when they have got the instructions. The presenter asked lots of questions and acted out the story. The audience responded to the teacher building the story up with the help of the leading questions. The presenter wrote the words/ phrases on the board, used translation and ended the session by summarizing the story.

The workshop led by Evelyn Rothstein was called Skills-based teaching- Writing. The presenters started by saying that one can only write about something they know. So they wrote about what they knew about and made the others learn about what they knew. All the students get As, i.e. all of them are successful :).

One participant wrote a summary of the workshop: I attended the “writing” workshop. In this workshop, we were told about what is necessary before writing a paragraph, how to develop our thoughts in a paragraph (intro-body-conclusion) in an organized way and how to give feedback to students.

Before writing a paragraph, we make a list of items from A-Z related to the topic. Then, when writing a paragraph we start it with an abstract sentence, expand and explain the sentence by making it more concrete, and finish it again by writing an abstract sentence as a conclusion.

To give feedback to the student, we want him to separate the A-4 sheet to 3 columns. In the first column, student writes his paragraph. In the second column, teacher corrects the mistakes and rewrites the paragraph again. In the third column, the student reads and compares the paragraphs and writes the things he learned.

Another workshop was led by Prof. Birsen Tutunis called Training Learners – Learner projects and presentations. The presenters shared what they discussed and the model called K S 4 R, that is: Knowledge, Survey Questions, Recite, Read, Recite, Read.

They gave an example. The topic is Turkish Eurovision Contest History, so they go and research by means of Survey Questions then they recite the information they have worked on, then they read again to refine their research. They also mentioned possible problems and they asked the audience to come up with some solutions.

The next workshop presentation was about Skills-based teaching- Creative Teaching, Listening and Speaking led by Necmiye Karatas.

The presenter mentioned the importance of creative teaching and how our education system which is based on constant testing kills creativity. The presenter asked the audience about decisions and elicited some questions; What should I wear? Should I marry or not?, Career? Food? Then, he asked what the most important decisions are, and elicited some ideas. He asked the audience to imagine themselves as passengers in a spaceship, and that they are leaving the planet and they are going to start a new life. Suddenly, one of the engines is broken. The captain has to decide one of the passengers has to leave and you have to convince that your job is the most important to be able to stay on the spaceship. The presenter asked ‘Does it create interaction and creativity?’

Below is a summary of the session by one of the participans:

The presenter briefed the 20 participants of the workshop by using the slides on the issue of “Creative Teaching” before the group work activity. While
directing this phase of the workshop through a participant-based presentation she used cathetical method for the purpose of an increment in the participants’
knowledge and awareness about the topic. The topics discussed in this part were titled as:

  • 1-     Creativity in Education
  • 2-    Creative Thinking
  • 3-    Brainstorming
  • 4-    Encouraging students outside of the class
  • 5-     Using authentic materials
  • 6-     Increasing intrinsic motivation
  • 7-     Joy of learning

In the “practice” phase of the workshop four different groups, made up of five participants, were given the topics of “Love / Honesty / Colors / Future” and
they were asked to prepare 5-minute teaching practices by using Creative Teaching Method. The workshop was concluded upon the delivery of the presentations of the each group following the selection of the best one for the overall assessment of the seminar.

The next workshop presentation was on Professional Development- in- Service Training led by Aynur Kesen. They started of with metaphors and the necessity of PD and the kinds of PD. They also asked what goes on in Turkey in terms of PD. The same question was addressed to the audience. In what ways do you want to develop yourself? Some answers were as follows: Teacher training,NLP, more techniques and methods, how to implement technology.

One of the participants of the workshop summarised the session as follows: We came together with 10 people who came from different universities and
institutions. We started discussing the definition of Professional Development. Each participant defined the term “Professional Development” in their own words. Then we commented on ways of Professional Development. For Professional Development, desire and action were found to be essential and crucial.  It was also mentioned that we should be very careful about Professional Development because we could be discouraged if we didn’t choose right time and right way for Professional Development. It was also discussed that personal development and Professional Development are quite linked with each other. Each participant expressed in what ways they wanted to develop themselves professionally. Lastly, we talked about why we fail in Professional Development in Turkey. Each participant expressed their ideas on this issue and we finished the workshop.  

Another workshop was on Peer Observation called the Nitty Gritty of Peer Observations which was led by Burcu Tezcan-Unal. The presenters started with some metaphors representing the feelings of an observer and the observee in peer observation situations. Amongst many options, they said that they have chosen the photographer for the Observer and the newly weded bride who invited his in-laws to her house for a dinner party first time. They went on listing the topics they discussed like the difficulties and benefits of observations for novice teachers and experienced teachers. Finally, they asked the following questions to the panel:

„1. When the teaching approaches/beliefs and philosophy of the observer and observee differs, what happens?
„2. Should peer observation be voluntary? Should the partners choose who to observe?
Skill Based Teaching – Reading and Vocabulary

One of the participants contributed to the blog with the following summary of this workshop which was led by Prof. Veysel Kılıç. There were 13 instructors of English Language Teaching from various universities in İstanbul in the workshop about effective reading comprehension and vocabulary teaching. After a brief instruction about the basics of the above-mentioned skills by the leader of the workshop, the participants were divided into two groups to discuss the problems regarding reading comprehension and vocabulary teaching and ways to overcome those problems. As for the reading comprehension lessons, the most commonly encountered problem was that the students, in general, are unwilling to read texts and thus to deal with the activities related. As a solution to this problem, the instructors agreed on the idea that the texts should be designed or composed in a way that they fulfill the student’s needs and appeal to their interests.


TTEd Istanbul Symposium 2012 ended with a raffle and the participants left with lovely presents for teacher trainers from the British Council and the publishers as well as their certificates of attendance. TTEd SIG coordinator Prof. Birsen Tutunis thanked the presenters for their contribution.