Posted in Useful activities

Taboo in the Class!

Last year, I had one hour of free time in my two classes. Then I thought to make my students create something for themselves. That’s how I came up with the idea which was to make them prepare their own taboo cards! 🙂

I gave them small note cards and asked them to find 4 words from their coursebooks which was at elementary level at that time. I also asked them to find 3 words which were related to each main word and write them. The instruction was simple: Write these words and then bring them to me to check. They had 50 minutes to finish their task. If their words were the same with someone else, they were going to change them. Then, I added some energetic songs to our classroom environment and they started preparing those. During the lesson, they brought their words and I checked. Some of them found great words!

At the end of the lesson, I collected those cards. The next day, I did the same task with my other class. Then, I copied all of these words on the computer and printed them out. The last stage was puttig those taboo cards on colorful cardboards. Everything was ready!

The following week, we played it in the class. I divided the classroom into two groups consisting of 8 people. I explained the taboo rules and asked them if they wanted to add any other rules. They added one rule and we started playing it. You know what? It was fun! They loved it! While they were playing, sometimes they were saying “Who wrote this word for God’s sake?!” 😀 My answer was simple: You and your friends. Everything was their responsibility and their product.

If you have any free time in the class, you can try making your students prepare those cards. The result will be great 🙂 The age or level doesn’t matter. Just do it!



Posted in Story Writing

Story writing experience

On December 17, I tried story writing in my class thanks to a suggestion by my dear colleague Dinçer Demir. Until that time, I had never thought it would be that much fun. However, by trying it in the class, I realized that it can a really useful activity for all ages! 🙂

The link below will take you to the sounds which my students listened and then wrote their stories. At the beginning, I had given them 20 minutes but then they asked for some more time. It took nearly 40-50 minutes to write their stories. After they write their stories, I asked if they would let me use their stories here and got their permission to publish them here. After this post, I will publish each of their stories without correcting their mistakes since this is an activity for creativity (at least for me). (It depends on your purpose at the beginning.)

They were free to write anything they wanted. I told them to listen and write their own stories. There weren’t any expectations from them. therefore, they were really comfortable during the process.

You can also use this activity during a lesson, at the beginning of the day as a kind of energizer, at the end of the day, to motivate students to be more creative or to improve their writing skills. I didn’t correct their mistakes since it was an activity used to increase creativity and motivation in my experience. It depends on your purpose as I said before 😉

Thanks a bunch to all of my students who participated in the activity! 🙂

Thanks a million to Dinçer Demir! 🙂 If you want to get creative ideas like this, you can visit his blog.

Posted in For fun, Reflections & Career Development, This and that, Useful activities

Movie Club

I was teaching something about education in my class last week. There was a question in the book: Do you know any movies on education? When I asked this to my students, I realized that they are really into watching something. I stuck a blank sheet on the wall and asked them to write their movie suggestions there to share with their friends. Then I suddenly asked myself: Why don’t we watch these movies at school after classes? I shared this idea with my students immediately and said that we could stay at school one afternoon and watch one of the movies both from the list and included in top 250 movies in IMDb list. They loved the idea and agreed! 🙂

We started our “Movie Club” with that step. We held our first movie session last Thursday with “Snatch” by Guy Ritchie. We used English subtitles while watching. This Thursday, I mean yesterday, we watched “A Beautiful Mind” and they loved it! By the way, I share the movie I choose on Monday or Tuesday and they decide if they want to watch it or not. It’s not obligatory 🙂

I think these kinds of activities are helpful ways to improve their general knowledge, language skills and our communication with each other. My students are from the preparatory classes of English Language Teaching and English Language and Literature departments so they can understand English subtitles- at least they do their best to understand 🙂 They are also aware of the fact that they need more general knowledge so they are willing to join our movie days. I can suggest this if you have a chance. It works 😉

As for the third week, I am planning to choose either “The Shawhank Redemption” or “Pulp Fiction”. I haven’t decided yet. The best movie of all times or a Tarantino movie? A difficult decision is waiting for me! movie_club

Posted in For fun, Useful activities


Today, I was too tired to do something in the class and I needed some energy! Then, I decided to use the energiser in my pocket 🙂 I took my students outside and we had so much fun. Having a video of the activity was suggested by one of my students by the way. I would like to add that I got permission from my students to share the video here 😉 Finally, I am the one who is giving instructions 😀 (There are a few Turkish words; apologies for that.)


There were cars and people passing by but I realized that while watching the video 😀

I am so lucky to have such willing students to do something new all the time. They inspire me every single day! Thank you guys!


Here is the link:


Posted in Useful activities

Reflection: Getting the whole class talking activities

I had shared a poster on October 10 related to speaking activities and promised to share my experience with you. Now that I have time, I can do this 🙂  (

I used the second activity-the experts- in the poster last week. My students had a lot of fun thanks to it! I explained the process and then asked for volunteers. There were five volunteers! We arranged the class as if it was a TV show and they were guest speakers in my show. The rest of the students were the audience of the show 🙂 I took the experts outside for a few minutes so that we were going to decide their field of expertise with the audience. The audience chose a topic: Relationships. Then, I called the experts and others asked their questions. It was an enjoyable and easy activity to be used in class since the experts weren’t stressful. I asked my students’ opinions after finishing the activity and they said they enjoyed it and want to use it again the class! 🙂 After getting that positive feedback, I used the activity with another class and they said they loved the activity, too! So guys, I can suggest you to use it in your classes 🙂



Posted in Conference & Seminar Notes, For fun, Reflections & Career Development

SLTEP Alumni

As I mention in my bio, I attended a trainer education program in 2012. It was a program called SLTEP (School of Languages Trainer Education Program) conducted by Sabancı University School of Languages for two weeks. There were three trainers and they shared lots of things with participants. I can say that those two weeks were probably the most enjoyable times of and for my career! I miss those days so much that I can’t find appropriate words for my feelings. Special thanks to dear Deniz Kurtoğlu Eken! 🙂

The program was so challenging that I felt the need to read many articles and search something all the time. Also, there was a lot of input related to classroom research, methodologies, giving feedback, technology, songs, etc. In addition to improving my skills as a teacher and trainer, I also met lots of special people from various institutions.

On November 1, there was an alumni organization for the participants of the years from 2004 to 2014. It was a great pleasure to meet more colleagues and share experiences with each other. Although it was a one-day event, there were many sessions to get new ideas.

Thanks to those precious people there, it was a pleasure to be there! It was so enjoyable and inspiring that we decided to have another organization again.

If you live in Turkey and want to become a (better) trainer, you can attend the program and feel the difference! For the ones who are interested:

I want to share some photos and a video from the event here 🙂

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Looking forward to the next event!!! 🙂

Posted in Upcoming webinar announcements

Using comics in the EFL classroom

While I was checking the latest webinars, I came across this webinar announcement. I have always thought of using comics in my classes but I haven’t come up with a creative idea and opportunity yet. That’s why, I am curious about the content and looking forward to learning more about the topic.

Comics are parts of students’ lives so using them in our classes may help us to motivate our students and make them participate in the lessons more willingly 🙂 The presenter says that he is going to share materials for all ages and levels which makes the webinar more beneficial. The webinar will be held on November 5, 2014.

All you need to do is:

1. Click on the link below.

2. Become a member (free)

3. Wait for the webinar time 🙂

From webinar description:

“Using comics in the EFL classroom is a terrific way to incorporate the target language in a fun, engaging way. This webinar will demonstrate the universality of comics for any language classroom, showing how multi-skill comic activities can be used with students of all ages and ability levels. Webinar participants will experience several materials they can use in their own classrooms: they will learn how to use comics as an effective, real-world formative assessment measure and as a springboard for vocabulary and grammar acquisition. ”

Posted in Useful activities

Another fun energiser

In my previous post, I had mentioned a speaking activity which I was planning to use today; however, I changed my mind in the morning. Therefore, I can’t give you feedback related to it for now. When I try it, I will share my comments here.

I want to share another energiser activity today. It is really fun to use 🙂 For this energiser, I take my students out of the building to give them more space for the activity. I especially use it in the morning since most of the students are sleepy at that time of the day. However, you can also use it towards to end of the day to make your students energetic and ready to concentrate on the lesson again. Please have a look at the video below to understand the procedure not to make your students confused 🙂

By the way, I especially love the last part 🙂 Students are dancing and jumping around! The most important thing is nobody is sleepy after the energiser. If you use the activity with your students, please share your comments here.

Posted in Useful activities

Getting the whole class talking

I know it is Friday and nobody wants to hear anything related to work now but you can use these activities any time you wish. If you have free time in your class like 45-50 minutes, you can make use of these activities. The time depends on your students’ level and number so you can arrange the time for your own use.

Here is a poster for speaking activities in your classroom. There are three different activities and all of them can be fun to use in classroom environment. Since they require involvement of all students, nobody will get bored during them 🙂 I have just found this poster so haven’t experienced it yet. However, I believe everybody can get fun! I’m planning to use them as soon as possible and that means Monday. I’m looking forward to seeing my students’ reaction and feedback 🙂

The poster is prepared by You can use the link below to see and download the poster.