The Road Not Taken in ELT

14th ELT Conference

February 24th 2018

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

To all the teachers who travels in the road not taken,

Robert Frost illustrates the process of decision making and acceptance of its outcomes. As English language teachers we do not have any single second to focus on lost opportunities. We take the road in which we avoid clichés and conventional methods.

There is no doubt that human brain likes curiosity. If a student's curiosity is stimulated at the beginning of a school day, won’t it help them better to absorb information all day long? How can we cultivate students’ ability to think deeply and critically?

Instant diversity and likely divergence from Frost’s yellow wood will lead us to engaged learners, and a real shot at permanent learning. This is not merely about creating something new but amplifying the effect of an existing, core experience by implementing the right stimulating techniques which will make the journey of learning engaging.

A learner at play is a signal that there is a comfortable mind focused on a fully-internalized goal. Achieving this in a classroom is possible through setting up an atmosphere to promote quality to visualize, to conceive ideas, to understand using their intuitions, their imaginations, and to look beyond “what is” to the more subtle implications.

A teacher has the power to foster sweet ambition and envision strategies to glide on the roads not taken by actuating well thought-out mentoring, peer-to-peer modelling, project-based learning and a genuine “need to know.”

So let’s take the road less travelled by to make all the difference.




Guest Of Honor - Cambridge University Press

"A Journey With Sunay Akın"

Sunay Akın is a Turkish poet, writer, TV host, journalist, a philanthropist and the founder of Istanbul Toy Museum. He is best known for his lyric poetry which he often makes use of satirical forms and puns. He co-hosted ‘Yaşamdan Dakikalar’, ‘Mahya Işıkları’, ‘Stüdyo İstanbul’ and ‘İzler’, ‘Gezgin Korkuluk’ and "Veşaire...Veşaire". He also lectured at Marmara University, and Müjdat Gezen Art School, as well as at his own institution, the İstanbul Toy Museum. He also wrote essays in a number of periodicals and anthologies such as the Milliyet Art and Cumhuriyet. Some of his well-known works are ‘Poets' Matinée’, ‘Maquis’, ‘Broken Souls’, ‘Rabbit of 62’, ‘A Giraffe in İstanbul’, ‘Tower Acrobat’. Akın regularly stages one man shows in Turkey and abroad, and participates in panels and conferences and takes the audience on an epic journey, which leaves them mesmerised whilst he ventures into the less travelled road and makes all the difference in life. We would like to express our gratitude to Sunay Akın for his contribution to our 14th ELT conference.



"ELT and Social Justice: Opportunities in a Time of Chaos"

JJ Wilson has taught in Egypt, Lesotho, Colombia, England, Italy, and the United States, and trained teachers in 30 countries. He is the writer-in-residence at Western New Mexico University, where he teaches ESL Methods, Linguistics, Publication, and Creative Writing.
He has written or co-authored over twenty ELT books, including Total English and Speakout, as well as award-winning methodology books (How to Teach Listening) and fiction (Damnificados). JJ blogs at and


Oxford University Press

"Using longer reading texts more communicatively"

Paul Seligson has been ‘TEFLing’ for 39 years, a regular visitor to Turkey for 20 years and is well-known for his lively, highly pragmatic training. An MA in TEFL and CELTA assessor, he’s produced 20 series of course books as author, consultant, contributor or editor, and trained teachers worldwide. Freelance, based between Brighton and Rio de Janeiro, he’s absolutely delighted to be returning to Istanbul.

Concurrent Session Speakers


Macenta Publishing & Digital Solutions

"Talking Pictures"

Alethea Simatos is a Teacher Trainer and Education Coordinator with Macenta Publishing & Digital Solutions. Originally from New Zealand, Alethea has been in the English Language Teaching sector in Turkey for 17 years, first as a teacher and administrator, and then in professional development and materials development for the last six years, five of them with Oxford University Press. Alethea’s areas of interest are learner motivation, learner autonomy and continuing professional development (CPD).


Dünya Education

"CPD- an ally not a foe!"

Cristina Manea Gultekin is the Director of Foreign Languages at a Foundation College and, at the same time, a freelance teacher trainer. She holds a BA in English and French and an MA in teaching English in the European context. She worked as academic vice-director at tertiary level and also holds Sabanci University’ SLTEP and Pilgrims’ teacher trainer certificates. With a rich experience in preparing foreign languages programmes from K12 to university levels in Europe and Turkey, she is committed to research the psychological and social formation in English language teachers and learners, and the processes and practices through which professional development is implemented and developed continuously.



"Incorporating Blended Learning to Engage Students"

Kostas Pexos has been in the field of education for over 20 years. After graduating from Concordia University in Montreal, he began his career as an ESL/EFL teacher, working with students of all levels and backgrounds. He is currently working as an Academic Curriculum Consultant involved in Professional Development, conducting teacher training seminars in over 40 countries around the world.



"Dropping breadcrumbs: navigating the creative forest"

Amy started her career as an English teacher in Barcelona in 2001. Since then, she has worked with all age groups, from kindergarten to adults, in a variety of contexts and countries.



"Off The Beaten Track: The Forbidden Steps To Success"

Sharon Barrett is a freelance teacher trainer and currently a teacher of the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme and IGCSE. She has a strong background in ELT with over 17 years of teaching experience at all ages and levels, as well as in learning difficulties. She has delivered training at MEF, TED, Anku, Sinav, Bilim, Sezin and Nesibe Aydın as well as in-house training on ESL, IGCSE Syllabus and Skills. Her main interests are in developing teaching through critical thinking skills with authentic learning to instill the desire for lifelong learning in students.



"A Picture Paints a Thousand Words"

Katy Muench has been involved in English teaching for a decade, and has taught in the UK, Poland, Hong Kong and Turkey. Over the years she has given workshops at conferences both in Turkey and abroad. She is in the final stages of completing the Delta and also maintains her role as an active Cambridge speaking examiner. Her interests lie in incorporating learner and teacher creativity into the classroom as well as material creation, which she shares with a global audience on her blog, ‘’Five Things ELT’’.


UES Istanbul

"Inspiring Young Learners to write"

Steven Ogden is the Academic Director at Unlimited Educational Services (UES) in Istanbul. For the past 19 years he has worked as an ELT teacher, course coordinator, teacher trainer and school manager. After completing his MA in Literature and Theatre from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, he went on to complete his English language teaching qualifications in Bangkok. Following this, he worked in a variety of roles in Thailand, Japan, China, Sri Lanka and the UK. Prior to joining UES, he spent the last 6 years working in ELT publishing as a teacher trainer and key account manager. Steven has a postgraduate diploma in Business and Finance obtained through a distance learning program from the Open University in the UK.


Unlimited Educational Services

"Why the tortoise has a cracked shell: Teaching with Stories"

Sam Whittam currently works for UES as a teacher trainer and educational consultant. For the past seven years he has been working in Turkey as a teacher, examiner and editor. He has worked with all levels from kindergarten to high school in private colleges as well as university students and adults in Turkey. Before coming to Turkey, he taught primary and middle school students in South Korea after graduating from Buckinghamshire University in England. He studied English Literature and Creative Writing at university, his passion for literature can often be seen in his teaching as he believes stories to be a cornerstone of any good education. Sam is TESOL qualified and frequently attends workshops as a teacher and a trainer to better himself in every area of his occupation. He also has experience as an examiner for Primary School exams.



"A Road We Cannot Ignore Any Longer: Evidence-Based Practice in ELT"

Tony Gurr is a seasoned teacher, trainer, consultant - and learner. He draws on his wide range of ‘hands-on’ experience in schools, colleges and higher education institutions in the UK, Middle East, the US, Australia, and Türkiye (his adopted home). A popular workshop facilitator and keynote presenter, Tony is well-known for his creative and thought-provoking sessions with educators and trainee teachers.



"Tech That With You!"

Özge Karaoğlu Ergen is the foreign languages department K12 technology integration specialist, a teacher trainer and a course book writer. She has been recognized by the ELTons Awards, ESU, MEDEA, Microsoft, and Telly Awards for her digital projects. Currently, she is teaching a 1:1 iPad class and she has been developing digital games, animations and mobile applications with her learners for the last eight years.


Dünya Education

"Integrating Creative Drama into the Language Classroom"

Aslihan Akcay currently works for Dunya Education as a Teacher Trainer and Education Manager. Having completed her B.A (as a valedictorian) and M.A. degree at Akdeniz University on ELT; studied as an exchange student at University of Birmingham and taken courses on Creative Drama, she worked as a drama instructor, English language teacher, coordinator and department head. During her M.A. degree at Akdeniz University, she particularly studied on Communicative Language Teaching, Young Learners’ Motivation and Oracy Skills and also conducted studies on incorporating drama in language classrooms.


Çevre College

"Use the force! Go beyond from Education to Edutainment!"

Hande PARLAK received her B.A. in English Language and Literature from Istanbul University. She has been teaching English in primary for eleven years. She currently teaches 1st and 3rd grades and she also runs an English Drama Club for the 1st grade. She wrote several plays for her English Drama Club and she writes stories for primary students.


Çevre College

"Use the force! Go beyond from Education to Edutainment!"

Hande BULUT received her B.A. in English Language Teaching from İstanbul University and has been teaching English in primary for fifteen years. She has participated in research projects and ran an English Drama Club for many years. She currently teaches 1st and 2nd grades and illustrates stories for primary students.


08:30 – 09:30 Registration
09:30 – 09:45 Opening Show
09:45 - 11:05Plenary 1- PAUL SELIGSON (Oxford University Press)
11:05 – 11:25Coffee Break
11:25 – 12:05Concurrent Sessions
12:05 – 13:15Lunch
13:15 – 13:20A Performance by Mimar Sinan University- Conservatory Students
13:20 – 14:40Plenary 2 - J.J. WILSON (Pearson Education)
14:40 - 14:55Coffee Break
14:55 - 16:00 A Journey with SUNAY AKIN (Cambridge University Press)
16:00 - 16:15 Raffle

e-certificate form


The time has come to our 14th ELT conference. Çevre College doors shall open on February 24th 2018 at 8.30 and welcome all the teachers around Turkey. The journey we will take our fellow English Language Teachers this year is to ‘The Road Not Taken in ELT’. As educators we need to get rid of old school methods, harness ourselves with creative and update lessons. Gather round and find your engraved invitation ticket from biletix box offices for 60 TL or at CEVRE COLLEGE (cash only) For further information please check For e-certificates and service bus registrations please fill in the forms below.




19 Mayıs Mah. Bayar Caddesi.Çevre Sokak No:2 Erenköy/İstanbul
Tel: 0216 360 5313-174/196