Call for Proposals for the 11th METU International ELT Convention

The 11th METU International ELT Convention is going to be held on the dates 31 May – 02 June 2012 at Middle East Technical University Convention Center, Ankara, Turkey. We are looking forward to receiving proposals on topics of interest that include, among others:

- methods and approaches,
- teaching strategies,
- assessment policies,
- development and evaluation of materials,
- technology use,
- development of skills,
- teacher cognition,
- English as an international language

We accept proposals for research papers, interactive papers, workshops, e-sessions and poster presentations. Information regarding the details of the presentation types, proposal guidelines and submission address is to be found on our Convention website: dbe.metu.edu.tr/convention2012.


01 November 2011 Opening of registration and proposal submission

13 February 2012 Deadline for proposal submission

11 May 2012 Deadline for early registration


Zeynep Akşit - Başak Ağın
Address: ODTÜ – TİB, Ankara, Turkey
Tel.: +90 312 210 3978
Fax: +90 312 210 7985
E-mail: elt2012@metu.edu.tr
Web: http://dbe.metu.edu.tr/convention2012


YouTube Launches Site Specifically for Teachers!

You can now easily use YouTube videos in class.

Deniz Kurtoğlu Eken is joining us in May 2012!

Dr. Deniz Kurtoglu Eken is the Director of the School of Languages at Sabanci University, Istanbul. Over the years, she has been involved in teaching, curriculum development, research work, teacher and trainer training including formal training courses with UCLES, the British Council in Turkey and in the UK, the U.S. Embassy, the Turkish Ministry of Education and with different schools and universities in Turkey. She has designed and directed formal trainer training courses at private Turkish universities and provided consultancy to many institutions on a wide range of topics. She has publications in teaching methodology, classroom research, teacher and trainer training and development, which are also her main areas of interest. Her biggest interest and challenge, however, is to look deeper into individual growth through personal and professional development.

Dr. Eken is going to give a talk on personal and professional development and also be a member of a panel discussion on teacher training during the Convention.


The Mentoring System: Introduction

Teacher training is an essential part of teaching a foreign language. Keeping this in mind, Department of Basic English provides its instructors with an opportunity to improve themselves as teachers during their first year. The Teacher Education Unit (TED) employed an in-service teacher training system, some years ago, which involved several trainers' holding sessions, observing lessons, having pre- and post-observation meetings with trainees, and assessing the overall professional development of the teacher through a final jury-observation.

However, with the changing demands of professional life, the TED Unit was also renewed in the 2009-2010 academic year, thanks to the great work of Jade Trust. :) What she has planned to achieve and she did achieve in the new mentoring system is to create an opportunity for a more supportive and reflective environment of teacher training. In this multi-dimensional atmosphere, not only the trainers, but also the teachers are involved in the training process.

Now, we'd like to give you an idea about how this system works. One of our mentors, Münire Vecdi, describes the system as follows: "This mentoring system involves the trainer unit that holds sessions for mentors and mentees, and numerous classroom and staffroom mentors. It may sound a bit complicated but basically, the new mentoring system can be defined as follows: We have two types of mentors at our department: staffroom and classroom mentors. Basically, the first type of mentors, classroom mentors, are visited by mentees to observe their lessons for a specific aspect in their teaching experience that might benefit them in their own classroom. They learn from this shared experience. The second type of mentors, staffroom mentors guide the mentees through academia, administrative issues, preparation for observations and their integration into the department’s culture."

In order to better analyze the positive sides and the drawbacks of the new mentoring system, we have asked a few questions to some of those who undertook the responsibility of being a mentor and to those who were trained as mentees during the last academic year. Their responses will self-evaluate the system and our readers will have a chance to compare and contrast the two systems.



Conference Theme

The theme of the Convention is Embracing Challenges as we acknowledge the social transformation the world is going through. Advancements in social sciences as well as the advent of technological tools have changed the way we learn, use and teach languages. Learners are ever more exposed to other cultures and are in contact with people from diverse backgrounds through the wonder-gadgets of the 21st century. Therefore, there is a need to familiarize learners with concepts outside their cultural contexts, engage them with higher level mental skills related to language use, and foster critical perception, in general. Throughout the Convention we will try to identify and address challenges that emerge from the changing needs and growing demands of learners as members of academic, social or business communities in a globalised world. We hope that the Convention will become a platform conducive to enhancing the teaching and learning experience of all the participants involved.