Our Educational Message

Hi, and welcome to our blog. This space is designed to share ideas and methodologies that we use to teach Turkish teenagers. In particular, there is a strong focus on ICT-ELT, which means if you like visual and technological support for your style of teaching, this blog is for you. My colleague, Brentson Ramsey, has been working alongside me for three years. He is also a big proponent of the ICT-ELT Paradigm, which means he will also be posting from his own teaching perspective on the blog.

2010 was the beginning of this new journey, and although there is no definitive ICT-ELT road map available for everyone to follow, it is exciting to explore the technological means to make teaching more fun and affective for students. Our main message is for teachers to ADOPT & ADAPT the paradigm shift for their own needs, and remember that

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

IF YOU WERE A BOY, There WOULD BE Certain ConditionALS...

Even with all the frustrations teaching a foreign language brings, I have to be honest when I intimate that deep down I really love it.  One of the most plausible reasons for that is the explicit grammar instruction I include in our syllabus.  I have always enjoyed exploring, reading and listening to myriad of student grammatical errors, so that I could help them eliminate them in future work or correspondence.  

So, thankfully, in my own case, gone are the (horrifically ineffective, yet forced upon by line managers and badly written curricula) lessons with no explicit grammar instruction..., ONLY facilitated communicative activites, then "acquisition will happen, don't worry", no matter how poorly this gave forth support and instruction to a micro-generation of Turkish EFL students.  Indeed, this approach was heavily supported and blindly promoted in the late 90s-early 2000s as the 'best' way to teach EFL-Students.


Nowadays, many more people agree that explicit grammar instruction is also required, especially at the beginning stages of learning a new language, if the learners are to become genuinely proficient in the medium to later stages of their studies.

With grammar back in vogue I co authored, and now implement a strongly-focused syllabus on language-in-use, i.e. the mechanics; especially during the first semester of the year (approximately 350 contact hours). That does not mean other skills and attention to detail are neglected. On the contrary. We are strong proponents of Grammar-in-Use (not the Murphy version btw) through practice & drilling of exercises & speaking, plus grammar instruction through reading and writing in context.  In the first semester, we use explicit grammar instruction as the primary focus, with the other skills used to support the grammar being taught at that moment.  It is that approach which leads me to the validity of this post...

THE SECOND CONDITIONAL (as a label) or THE CONDITIONAL used to describe unreal or unlikely events for the present and future. I think this picture sets the tone perfectly :-)

So, using songs has long been a favourite of most language teachers, since it definitely
taps into the students' 'likeabilty' and 'engagement' of grammar factors.  It all depends on the student audience for which songs you can use, but generally, with teenagers, it has to include a catchy upbeat, or emotional downbeat, a likeable singing-hunk or gorgeous- primadonna, tacky boy or girl group, and most importantly, a cool YouTube promotional video.  

If you have any or all of the above you are off to a flyer!

The song we use for this Conditional is Beyonce's,"If I Were A Boy".  It has all the cool elements required by teenagers.  For older students it would also suffice, since the lyrics are very powerful pro-feminism and anti-mysoginistic in their tone. Truly emotive for both sexes to eagerly and enthuisastically respond.  However, with younger teens, and at pre-intermediate levels, the following worksheet is what we use, and we found it to be very effective and had all the students joining in.

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