Thursday, December 29, 2011

Flash Games for Learning English Vocabulary

While learning a new language, remembering words seems very difficult for us. Although I have been learning English for many years, I always have trouble remembering new words from memory.

This week, in our methodology lesson, we brainstormed about how we learned words in English. All of us had some techniques to memorize them. Then, I searched the internet with a view to find both visual and enjoyable ways of learning vocabulary. This web site appeared.

In the web-site, there are both some vocabulary lists and flash games. 
  • I like the prepositions game and hangman. 
  • Students have difficult times in using preposition in the right place. In this game, they say the sentences and according to this preposition, you put the items. 
Flash based games for language learners
These games are very enjoyable and they put words or prepositions in a meaning by showing them in the picture. By doing these activities, students will be motivated to complete them.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


The challenge is on.  Looks like METU.NCC has some more catching up to do, but now both SFLs are getting its students in the act.  Bookmark this post, with the interactive chart which we'll update daily.

  1. Just go to and create an account if you don't have one. 
  2. Then go to GROUPS and search for METU. 
  3. Join the relevant group, and then when viewing the GROUP DASHBOARD click PLAY to the right to send any rice that you start earning to that group.
    1. SFL Instructors:
    2. SFL Students:
    3. ELT Programme:
  4. Please encourage your METU NCC students  to chip in, as the EMU SFL students have a big lead, and there isn't too much time left to catch up.  However, if only 200 METU students spend 15 minutes playing FREERICE before the 31st, they will each earn 5,000 grains of rice, or 1,000,000 in total.  That would put us almost on an even keel with EMU.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

From Talip's desk: Timers in PowerPoint

Another thing I found while I was looking for timer animations for powerpoint presentations was a few ideas on how to do it. Then I found some samples and ideas from a forum site (I think I got them from

  • I've worked a bit on the design and elements and tailored some for my class's needs. 
  • You're welcome to use the slide timers I've put together by downloading  PowerPoint Timers.
  • You can use the various timers as they are, of if you want, you can copy the PowerPoint slide and just save the individual timers you want, so you can just launch the timer directly.
  • If you are familiar with custom animation, you can customize them to suit your need.s
  • If you have any questions about the fine points of adapting these timers, leave a comment here or drop by my office.  You're welcome anytime...

From Talip's desk: Countdown timer for exams, quizzes, and activities

There is an online stop-watch or countdown timer which is pretty easy to use at this address :  This one is the full-screen version. 

  1. You just click/type in the duration, click on set and start...
  2. Then you have a great timer to use during quizzes and even the longer midterm exams.
  3. I use the countdown timer in my class and my students got used to it very easily because it is huge and the colors are distinct so they can see it clearly.  The most important thing is that I no longer disturb/bother students sitting next to the white board.

Friday, December 23, 2011

From Gokçe's desk: Creative writing and speaking ideas

There are some great ideas about writing on I used them as speaking activities in my class and they worked well. If you have 5 minutes or if the students get bored, you might want to use them!
In the Busy Teacher Facebook page, there is a Creative Writing Prompts photo album, with lots of great visuals to go along with the prompts.

The actual BusyTeacher website also has 350 creative writing prompts as well, displayed in sets of fifty.  Here is an example from one of the sets:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Powerpoint for teachers part 2 | TeachingEnglish | British Council | BBC

Powerpoint for teachers part 2 | TeachingEnglish | British Council | BBC - Interesting to see how one teacher uses powerpoint, albeit at a very basic level. Sometimes the best things in life are the simplest. ;)  Nevertheless, I couldn't resist adding a comment to show how we took this idea to a whole new plane at METU.NCC, with reference to Talip and Erhan's examples.

The Scribe Story | Xiosis Pvt. Ltd: Developer of Xiosis Scribe Word Processor

For a glimpse into what the future holds in store for 'advanced' word processing, see what is already possible today at The Scribe Story | Xiosis Pvt. Ltd: Developer of Xiosis Scribe Word Processor.

Excerpt from the site:
This is a word processor we are talking about. Where are the advances in text analyses and language processing? When I give it a topic, why can't Word write a few lines? The data is there on the Net. The processing power is there in the PC as well as in the cloud. Can't it at least suggest the phrases that I have been typing in documents for over a year and save me some keystrokes? No, Word can't do that.
However, Scribe can. Scribe's research tool set can help you search the Net simultaenously with multiple search engines, clip useful information, summarize them, plug them into the document and help you remember your sources. And using on-line third party tools, it can provide information about your style, tone and more information about your writing than Word (or any other software that I know).
Scribe also uses machine learning. It takes advantage of your hardware and is continuously learning while you write and compiles the information when you press save. When you switch on Type Assist, it will use what it has learned to suggest to you the most likely phrase or word to complete your sentence based on what you wrote just before. It may take some getting used to, but in our tests, it saves a lot of key strokes and corrections.
Now, does it make sense to expect our students to only write in pen on paper, when the other students in the 'real world' will be using 'corpus-assisted language production' (CALP) like this?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Türkçe anlamak "iki" beyin istiyor!

For some insight into how the mother tongue of an individual may affect how that person's brain processed language, see Türkçe anlamak "iki" beyin istiyor! If my limited Turkish serves me correct, this is interesting research into the actual time it takes the brain to process language, and how people with different native languages display different time lags in certain language processes. It seems that people whose mother tongue is Turkish, which is an agglutinative language in which the verb comes at the end of sentence, can process content more quickly than European languages like English. What is also significant is that this research is based on 'normal, healthy' brains, as opposed the bulk of traditional research which tends to discover how a brain functions by looking at people with disorders or brain damage. So....what does this mean for me as an EFL teacher with the majority of my students having Turkish as their mother tongue?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Examples of 10 things a teacher does with Mini-WhiteBoards

Following on from a previous post about the use of 'mini whiteboards' in class, here is a good example of a teacher who lists the 10 things I do with my Mini-WhiteBoards.