Category Archives: General

School of Foreign Languages, Eastern Mediterranean University, Workshop Festival

Thanks to the School of Foreign Languages, Eastern Mediterranean University, for running a one-day workshop festival to share new ideas and research conducted the SFL instructors.

  • The depth and breadth of content in the workshops demonstrates the level of expertise and commitment of SFL instructors to the profession.  It also highlights the status of SFL-EMU in North Cyprus (and indeed Turkey) and is a tribute to the ongoing support for teacher development and innovation by the SFL-EMU administration.
  • The School of Foreign Languages at EMU  certainly offers a great deal of inspiration to sister institutions in North Cyprus and abroad, in how the investment in teacher development yields such a wealth of experience and expertise.

Here are links to the PREZI content that formed the basis of the two plenaries I was privileged to share with my former colleagues at the School of Foreign Languages, Eastern Mediterranean University.

  1. The Grammar Translation Method is Dead! Long live GOOGLE translate!
  2. Technology, teaching and training: pragmatic issues and concerns

For those of you who wonder ‘why’ not ‘how’ to use technology in teaching, have a look at a short history of educational technology.

Cankaya University – 2nd ELT symposium

The symposium entitled “How to Cope with Digital Bees: E-learning Practices in Secondary Education” brought together teachers, directors, and professionals to exchange and discuss ideas and experiences regarding e-learning in English Language Teaching. Teachers and directors from secondary schools shared their relevant applications, observations, reflections and practices. See for the conference web site.

The symposium’s theme covered the following topics:

  • Web-based learning & teaching
  • On-line education
  • Blended learning
  • Web 2.0 Tools
  • Multimedia Tools
  • Moodle

I was invited to give a plenary session on pragmatic issues and concerns in using Web2.0 tools in teaching.  Here is a slidecast of my plenary session.  Any comments or observations about your own teaching practices in this context would be welcome.


For those of you who don’t have time to watch and listen to the slidecast, here is a transcript.  Inshallah, the numbered paragraphs correspond to the slide number in the presentation. 🙂 Continue reading

Digital music

I’ve mostly used AUDACITY for sound recording and editing, usually dealing with EFL-type listening tasks.  However, there are some good sites that focus on creating digital music.  This can open up some interesting projects for students, and could even have a specific focus in language teaching when it comes to stress and intonation, or producing a digital ‘jazz chant’.

Top 10 Sites for Creating Digital Music

1. Myna – Far and away my favorite online music editor. This is very similar to Garageband and a nice alternative for those who do not have the Apple application.
2. Soundation – Very easy to use, with a drag/drop interface for creating excellent-sounding music.
3. Jam Studio –  Fun site that lets users select a “key” to play in and a theme to match.
4. Loop Labs
Nice time- line editor; learning curve is a bit higher than most sites.
5. Your Spins – Great site for mixing prerecorded music and sharing with others.
6. Indaba –  Unique site where users can create collaborative music pieces to make one final product.
7. Creating Music
Very user friendly website shows kids how to create digital music.
8. Contrapunctus Variations –  Wonderful site for creating orchestral music by selecting an instrument and clicking on a time line.
9. iNudge –  Fun site for kids, who can make music by drawing shapes.
10. Glitchscape – Create sound by drawing vector shaped rectangles.



I was really amazed at the Lost Generation ‘play on syntax’.  Thanks to my EMU colleague Filiz Bodi for passing that on to me.  Watch this video from beginning to end…don’t stop half way through! (Visit if the embedded video doesn’t load.)

I wondered how difficult it would be to do, so I made a couple to try it out using the theme of ‘success’….it is an interesting language development activity:

Everyone knows it
is the secret to success
to know the right people
to be good at what you do

Here is the second:

Success is a state of mind
with the proper education and training
the wealthy and educated
are destined to rise above
the poor and the impoverished

If you read these from the top down they have the opposite message as when you start reading from the bottom up.  Writing this as prose would demonstrate the function of punctuation.   Maybe there is some term for this in creative writing? I was in the maths and sciences stream, so I know little about such things.   I don’t know what to call it so I will coin a phrase: reversyntax.

  • It might be interesting to have an competition between students to see who can create the most memorable reversyntax?  The winner could get ‘published’ in the class blog. Maybe it could be turned into a rap song by other students? Even put to music an published on YouTube. Talk about creating an audience to write for! 🙂
  • Might be nice to challenge the really able students to do something creative with English–and it is probably something that even a lower level student could do with some simple structures.   A interesting twist on teaching the concept of inversion.


Great to part of the METU family, if only as a part-time instructor.  I’ll use this blog to explore my interest, experience and growth in applying blended learning in the courses I’m involved with at METU-NCC.