Magic Beans Growing

Have you ever had the feeling that a spider web has been covering you and it makes it harder to move? Have you ever felt that you have been having the similar experience you have had many times before? Then, it is time to get out of your cacoon and become a butterfly.


All of us, all English teachers, all teachers and even all people have the buried curiosity deep down in their minds, souls and personalities. This curiosity is the savior that will open new doors for them and turn them into butterflies to discover the world. Curiosity and desire to become better are the magic beans which will help us reach the high clouds of knowledge, content of our professional improvement, self-realization, better classroom management, better understanding of our profession and more.


At the end of two years of experience, I have this feeling and this is why I have a blog. Blogging is one way of sharing the ideas blooming in me, sharing the experience I have and keeping them fresh. It is also helpful to encourage myself to produce more.

Another way is using Twitter. The only reason why I have a Twitter account is to get the benefits of unending link tweets, shared experience and have a personal network. The Internet is an extremely vast area and people you add to your twitter list might be a good guide to find your way depending on your profession.

Seminars and conferences are also very inspiring for professional development. While they give you great ideas to use in your classrooms, after a while you feel that it is the time you also share something in these conferences rather than just being an observer. I believe that  next year will be the year I will actualize my plans about making presentations.

Being observed by your colleagues and observing them will also teach you a lot. In the process of teaching, it is difficult to understand what could have been better. But, some friendly advice will be useful. In the same way, observing your friend may help you to analyze your own teaching and give some useful ideas.

All I have mentioned above and more will help your magic beans grow and help you reach your aims and dreams.


A Short Report on Motivating the Unmotivated: Ken Wilson

Ken Wilson is an experienced teacher trainer and an ELT materials author whose fame is well-known in ELT World. He shares his experience on motivating students to make them more enthusiastic about learning a new language and becoming a part of your language class in his seminar in BC London ELT Conference. These tips will give you some great ideas as  they will also inspire you to find more ways to encourage your students.

Surprise Your Students:

Ken Wilson shows us a man whose head is through a bicycle tyre and wants to learn how the audience has felt.  This interesting picture pushes the audience to verbalize their feelings, get interested in the subject and feel motivated to learn more about this man. Telling them this man actually eats the bike and asking them which part he can eat the easiest increases the level of surprise. Instead of using common pictures not arousing any surprise among our students, finding interesting materials to make them more involved can be a better way to make them more interested.

Challenge Them:

Choosing some common information found around easily and asking students for easy answers leads to loss of interest. Wilson shows us pictures of two men and asks if we know what they have in common. This question leads to the production of some guesses and the use of language to find the answer.

Avoid the Obvious:

In course books we encounter reading texts about celebrities or we tend to use their fame to get our students’ attention. However, Wilson doesn’t agree that it is as much attention-getting as we expect. As stated in the first tip, some surprise and not well-know information might involve our students better.

Devolve Responsibility:

We don’t have to be the only teacher in the class. Best students of the class might be of great help to us to assist others or quicken groupings.

Teach Unplugged:

Not always but occasionally, Ken Wilson strongly advises us to teach our students without planning, using any planned materials but only with what we have in the class and letting our students direct the lesson.

Let Your Students Use Their Technology:

Android phones and notebooks don’t have to be the enemies we have to fight against in the class. They will contribute a lot to our lesson if they are used in the right place at the right time. For example, you can ask your students to google how the weather is in a different part of the world.

Let Them Use Their Imagination:

Everyone has a different world in their minds. Using their imagination is sometimes much more important than only getting answers for questions. Let them speak and let them produce. Wilson says giving most of the possible answers as examples for a creative question won’t leave much creative thinking for our students. Give only one or two examples and leave the rest to them.

Find out What They Know and What They Want to Know:

Everyone is good at something. This can be maths, literature, cinema, cooking or anything. Wilson says knowing what our students are good at and informing our students we are aware of their strengths and even asking for assistance from them about these issues will help a lot to make them a part of the class.

Take a Break:

It is so much tiring to talk, talk and talk in the class. So, why do we talk so much as teachers when it is students who need to practice their language. Then, it is one of these great opportunities to give a break and let our students speak with a fun activity. Ask one of the volunteers his name, surname, where he comes from and his job. Ask him the same questions for the second time but ask him to answer with fake information. Then, the rest of the class can ask questions to that new personality about anything. After a while, he needs to choose someone else and ask the same questions while you sit at the back, resting and observing how they use the language.

Turn Your Classroom into a Spider Web:

The idea here is not repeating the answers given by a student in the class to clarify it to the whole class. The network of interaction should be wider connecting students to each other, not only to you. They should expect the answer from the person who is actually supposed to give this answer.