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Saturday, 11 March 2017 18:31

Rıdvan Sağlam

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"Level Up! Learn by play!"

Could you tell us a few things about your presentation and how it relates to this year’s Convention theme? 

Gamification is one of the buzz words in education and in business. It has been changing the way we learn. We wanted to apply its mechanics into our teaching and motivate students more by helping them. In our presentation, we will share our experiences about this process.


Briefly tell us a few things about yourself as a professional.

I have been teaching English in language courses for more than ten years and working as an Instructional Designer for two years.  I have always liked to combine my different skills with teaching.  I create e-learning games and e-learning courses for our school. I am also responsible for implementing new tools into our course programs and running a blog where I share my experiences with new tools and some practical ideas with teachers.


Is “keeping it practical” an important part of present day EFL classrooms? Why, do you think, this is?

The advances in technology and the fact that more people are accessing them more easily seem to have increased the ways we can use them in education. But, if they are not easy to use and user-friendly, they can become an extra source of stress for both the student and the teacher.So, the materials we use should be related to real life and the targets we set for students should be reachable.


Are there problems when new practices are applied in the classrooms?

From time to time, we can all agree that an understanding of what is new is good. However, if your students do not really need it, your classroom environments and your curriculum are not ready for new practices, it will be a burden for both you and the learning environment.


Has it become easier or more complicated to teach English these past decades?

I have been teaching for 10 years and I can say that it has become more enjoyable for me. I can color my lessons more easily with different tools and unlimited extra resources. This is actually both good and bad. You need to get out of your safe zone, try new things, keep yourself updated. People come to you to learn English, but do not want it to be as it has been for years. It's a challenge, and I enjoy it.


What is one piece of advice that has been a beacon for your teaching over the years?

Don’t stop trying. Read, observe and apply what you have learned. If you have 20 students in your class, it means that there are 20 different stories, needs, and learning styles. We should try to know them best and find the most appropriate way to reach each individual and keep them motivated.


How important is CPD (Continuous Professional Development) in the teaching of languages?

If we ask people in our classroom to change their habits and to be eager to learn, first, we should be the first example of this. While lifestyles, attitudes, and reactions of people are changing, you can’t keep going on using same methods and activities to teach. We, as teachers, must be the best students and show that learning is a never-ending journey.


What do you find demotivating as far as teaching is concerned?

Facing with the same kind of problems over the years. Since I started teaching, I have been working mostly with adults most of whom work in a company. They sign up your class to learn English but most of them do nothing except for coming to the class. It is really tough to help them find their intrinsic motivation.


What is one of the things you will not forget from past TG  Conventions?

If you can find the best way to present it, you can teach anything.


IF you could one piece of advice to new Educators in the field of 
ELT what would it be?

Try to know and understand your learners best, and suggest them the most fitting way. 

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