Bilgi ELT Conference 2013

Bilgi ELT Conference 2013


Dear Colleagues,

We would like to cordially invite you to a day which promises to be intellectually stimulating and engaging and embellished        with opportunities for professional interactions, socialising and networking.

Our main theme this year is Changing Trends, Timeless Principles: Learning Dynamics in English Language Teaching and this theme is what we believe is worth pondering on.

The main speakers and workshop presenters will focus on the main theme from different aspects such as impacts on recent cognitive studies and other research on ELT, changing classroom dynamics and activities, professional development activities, management and assessment of learning while keeping the main principles of language teaching in mind.

We are looking forward to hosting you at our santralistanbul campus. Your participation will make this gathering a memorable event.

Didem MUTÇALIOĞLU                           Burcu TEZCAN-UNAL

English Language Program Director        Conference Organizer

Plenary 4 by Jack C. Richards

jack richards

Jack C.  Richards


Professor Jack Richards is an applied linguist, teacher educator, and textbook author, who has held senior positions in universities in  New Zealand, Hawaii, and Hong Kong and is currently based in Sydney Australia where he is an honorary professor at the University of Sydney. He also  teaches part of each year at the Regional Language Centre in Singapore and in 2013 will be a distinguished visiting professor at the City University of Hong Kong.. He holds a Ph.D from Laval, University, Quebec.

Professor Richards has written many books and articles on language teaching methodology and teacher training, as well as many widely used classroom texts.  He has active interests in music and the arts also supports a number of scholarship programs, is a sponsor of numerous musical activities and commissions from contemporary New Zealand composers, and with Creative New Zealand jointly sponsors the Composer in Residence Program at Victoria University, Wellington. He hosts a series of summer concerts at his New Zealand residence in support of the Gisborne International Music Competition. Professor Richards was recently be awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Literature by Victoria University, Wellington, for his services to education and the arts.




Creativity in Language Teaching

The concept of effective teaching draws on many different qualities that teachers bring to their classes – reflecting the knowledge, skills and understanding they have built up from their professional education and from their experience of teaching. One quality among the many that characterize effective teachers is the ability to bring a creative disposition to teaching. In second language teaching creativity has also been linked to levels of attainment in language learning. Many of the language tasks favoured by contemporary language teaching methods are believed to release creativity in learners – particularly those involving student-centred, interaction-based, and open-ended elements, and are therefore ideally suited to fostering creative thinking and behaviour on the part of learners. In order to better understand the nature of creative teaching, the notion of  creativity will be explored from three different perspectives:

1. the qualities creative teachers possess.

2. how teachers apply creativity in their teaching.

3. how creativity can be supported in the school.

Examples will be based on accounts of how creative teachers’ conceptualize their approaches to teaching.

Plenary 3 by Nicky Hockly



Nicky Hockly is Director of Pedagogy of The Consultants-E, an online teacher training and development consultancy. She has been teaching and training in ELT for the past 25 years, and she is co-author of How to Teach English with Technology (2007), Learning English as a Foreign Language for Dummies (2009), Teaching Online (2010), and Digital Literacies (2013). She has published an e-book, Webinars: A Cookbook for Educators (2012), and she maintains a blog at She is currently writing a book about mobile and handheld learning in ELT, and is a technophobe turned technophile.


Changing trends: Mobile devices & ELT
The Consultants-E
Our experiences of the world are increasingly mediated by mobile devices. From games and apps, to augmented reality and moblogging, mobile (or ‘handheld’) devices are now part of the fabric of daily life, and mobile literacy is an important skill in the 21st-century. In the arena of ELT, our learners now expect to be able to use their mobile devices in their language learning, and not just for downloading ‘apps’. The affordances of even low-end mobile devices create opportunities for learners to produce content in class, not only to consume it out of class. In this plenary we explore why and how we can support the development of our learners’ English language skills through the principled integration of handheld devices in our teaching. The changing trends represented by mobile devices do not mean we need to abandon or reinvent the essential principles of ‘good’ teaching. We discuss how the essential principles of communicative language teaching can be enhanced through the use of these devices and we consider the challenges facing teachers wishing to work with mobile devices in the classroom.

Plenary 2 by Sue Leather

Sue Leather Sue Leather


Sue Leather is Director of Sue Leather Associates, a consultancy group which works on ELT training and development projects. Sue has a 30-year background in working with teachers, trainers and educational managers to effect change in classroom practice. She has worked with a number of organisations, including the British Council, and has trained teachers and trainers from countries across the globe. She has been involved in researching and writing British Council training materials, including Steps to Success, Classroom Language and English for Teachers. She was Lead Consultant to the British Council`s ETTE project, 2007-2011, which has trained over 700,000 teachers in seven countries in Central and South Asia. She is currently working with teachers and trainers from Iran in a long-term development project.
Sue also writes original fiction for learners of English, and has authored almost 30 books with Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Macmillan Heinemann and Cengage Learning/National Geographic. She has visited Turkey many times, and hopes to write a book set here one day.


How teachers develop: CPD in times of change
The question ‘How should we continue learning to accommodate the new generation?’ is one that has challenged teachers throughout the ages, never more so than in these times of rapid technological change. Yet, as has been noted, change is an inevitable part of our lives; it is growth which is optional. Today, more than ever, it is essential for us as teachers that we continue to learn, and that we choose growth. As professionals, we need to know how to select from the available tools and technology, and make use of them effectively within a principled teaching approach. In this plenary we’ll explore why Continuous Professional Development is important to us as teachers, and the various options open to us. We will also discuss some of the practical ways that we can go about managing our own learning.

Plenary 1 by Professor Guy Cook

Guy Cook
Guy Cook


Guy Cook is Professor of Language in Education at King’s College, London. He was formerly head of TESOL at the London University Institute of Education (1991-1998), and Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Reading (1998-2004), and Professor of English Language at the Open University (2004-2012). He has published extensively on applied linguistics, English-language teaching, and discourse analysis. He was co-editor of the journal Applied Linguistics from 2004-2009, and Chair of the British Association for Applied Linguistics (2009-2012). His books include Translation in Language Teaching (2010) (Winner of the International House Ben Warren Prize), Genetically Modified Language (2004), Applied Linguistics (2003), The Discourse of Advertising (2001), and Language Play, Language Learning (2000) (Winner of the MLA Kenneth Mildenberger Prize).


Coming back in from the cold: reassessing translation and first language use in language teaching and learning.
Translation and other uses of students’ own languages come “naturally” as a resource for those who are able to use them in language teaching and learning. Translation is a useful skill in itself: personally, socially, and professionally. It provides insights into the nature of language and culture. It respects students’ first-language identities, allowing them to build on existing knowledge, and relate a language they know to the one they are learning. It is intellectually stimulating and aesthetically pleasing. It is also a good way of assessing proficiency. Yet strangely translation has become a pedagogic outlaw, ignored or derided by almost every major language teaching theory of the last hundred years.
This talk considers the reasons for this marginalisation, and why there is still little serious consideration of translation or appeal to students’ own languages as a means or end of language learning. It illustrates how the dismissal of translation has been largely based on ridicule and partial observations, and argues for a more rational and evidence-based reassessment.