Steve Darn | ELT


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Journal Writing: A Study of Change

(research by Bahar Ulusoğlu-Darn) Abstract There is a strong prejudice against writing lessons among Turkish students and teachers, both at high school and university levels. This paper describes the problems that students and teachers have in undergraduate writing classes and suggests journal writing as an alternative approach. The study aims to help to solve some

Express Teaching

(with Gülfem Aslan) AbstractMany teachers working in proficiency orientated institutions, whether they work in national, local teaching contexts or global ones, find themselves confronted with a heavily loaded curriculum, often split into language and separate skills, and a very limited time frame to work within. This dilemma often leads teachers to what seems to be

Thinking Outside The Teacher’s Box

IntroductionThe term ‘thinking outside the box’ is generally associated with innovation and problem solving in business and management. Often, the phrase is used by higher-level management when it is felt that the quality of solutions or ideas is below standard or that solutions are not being found to ongoing problems. It also comes from people

The Provision of Teacher Development in an Expanding University

A Case Study from Turkey ContextThere is an ever-growing body of literature concerning the need for teacher development, teacher training and teacher education in English language teaching. Possibly because ELT is primarily a private sector enterprise, or possibly because teaching language is a more complex process than teaching a content-based subject, training methodology has lagged

Teacher Isolation

‘He’s a real nowhere mansitting in his nowhere landmaking all his nowhere plans for nobodydoesn’t have a point of viewknows not where he’s going toisn’t he a bit like you and me?’(Lennon & McCartney) Jeremy, if you are old enough to remember, is the character in the Beatles’ animated cartoon film ‘Yellow Submarine’, who sat

What’s Happening in Your Department?

Whether you are a head of department, a senior teacher, or in your first year of teaching, ask yourself the question ‘is anything changing in my department, in my classroom, in my teaching?’ If the answer to this question is ‘No, not much’, then you be running one or more of the following risks: Your department is

Who Are You? A Mingle Activity for Trainer Trainers

Like many who are involved in training trainers, I also train and help to develop teachers and, rightly, teach learners of English in a standard classroom setting. Those of us who teach at three levels, sometimes all on the same day, are constantly fighting a battle in terms of psychological preparation for the level at

Beyond Training: Teaching

For my sins, I teach, teach teachers and teach teachers who teach teachers. I do this at the Izmir University of Economics, on the Aegean coast of Turkey, where there aren’t many trainers or trainer-trainers around. I suppose I have reached the top of what Tessa Woodward has called the ‘stack’, and inevitably pay the

CLIL: Implementing a CLIL Approach – A Change of Emphasis

BackgroundStudents at English-medium institutions require ongoing language support, and it makes sense for this support to be given while they are studying their chosen subject rather than separately. Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) offers an approach which increases language awareness, learner motivation and language-subject relevance. Despite the proliferation of debates, projects, organisations and Websites

CLIL: News from Turkey

It is well over a year since the first CLIL materials from Turkey were posted on the FACT Website and the Turkish flag was added to the FACTWorld banner. These materials, and subsequent additions, originated from a small CLIL enclave in the Izmir University of Economics, an English-medium university where members of the Teacher Development Unit

CLIL: Exploiting an Interactive Text

In an earlier project, we looked at the relationship between content and language through a reading text on the subject of miniskirts: project was aimed at raising the awareness of subject teachers (in this case lecturers from the faculty of fashion and design) of the need to provide language support to students working in the

CLIL: A Project – A Brief Look At The Miniskirt

(with Rob Ledbury) This is a description of one part of a project designed to build a bridge between content-based subject teachers and language teachers working in the context of a private English-medium university. The institution, Izmir University of Economics, located on the Aegean coast of Turkey, is by no means unique. Students in the

CLIL: A Lesson

In previous methodology articles I have outlined the theory behind Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) and provided a framework for CLIL-type lessons, particularly suited to learners studying content-based subjects in English or as part of a bilingual education programme. Here I provide a specific example of a topic covered in a CLIL style. There

CLIL: A Lesson Framework

In the first of these articles, Content and Language Integrated Learning, I gave an introduction to this field. In this second article I will look more closely at how CLIL is realised in the classroom and suggest a framework for planning CLIL lessons. Underlying principlesThe principles behind Content and Language Integrated Learning include global statements

CLIL: Potential and Practice

IntroductionContent and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) is an umbrella term covering dual-focus contexts in which an additional language is used as a medium in the teaching and learning of non-language content. There are elements of a host of contexts, primarily variations of the themes of Language Across the Curriculum, Bilingual Education and Content-Based Instruction which

CLIL: A Way Forward for Turkey

If you look at the FACT (Forum for Across the Curriculum Teaching) website (, you may notice that the Turkish flag has recently been added to the thirty or so others of countries currently participating in a rapidly growing global education community. These countries are currently adopting, experimenting with, or running projects concerned with various

CLIL: CLIL on the Web

This is a list of current Web references. All these links have been checked and are live as of June 2008. It is intended that this list will be updated regularly. Sites may be added by sending the link to me at Click on text for link: Organisations and Projects ALPME: European Language Council Advance

CLIL: A European Overview

IntroductionContent and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) has become a focus of attention in recent years, particularly in the state sector in various countries and on the interface with the private school and university sector. CLIL is the subject of ongoing debate in the UK national press, and was one of the main centres of attention

CLIL: Content and Language Integrated Learning

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) has become the umbrella term describing both learning another (content) subject such as physics or geography through the medium of a foreign language and learning a foreign language by studying a content-based subject. In ELT, forms of CLIL have previously been known as ‘Content-based instruction’, ‘English across the curriculum’

Teaching Face to Face

(with Özgür Köseoğlu & Laura Cruse) Introduction – The good teacherWhen questioned, the majority of teachers will tell you that such a thing as the ‘teaching personality’ or the ‘born teacher’ exists. Most will be unable to define the terms, and few will even try, but, particularly in the case of experienced teachers, there will

Metaphorically Speaking

(with Ian White) IntroductionThere is one single reason why metaphor is important to the English language and language teaching. It is impossible to communicate naturally and effectively without employing this device. Metaphors are an essential part of our everyday language, used to give physical qualities to the non-physical. Whilst we have clear and precise language

Grammatical Blues

Something funny happened just the other dayI couldn’t find the right words to sayThe only words coming out of my mouth werePrepositions, nouns and adjectives Not a verb, not a pronoun or infinitiveNo adverb, conjunction or definitiveCouldn’t make a sentence or a paragraphJust prepositions, nouns and adjectives Went to the doctor on a Wednesday eveSaid

Fishing For Answers

Wake up, get out of bed, drag a comb across my head… 7.30am. I take the lift down to the ground floor of my apartment block – which was designed as a hotel, hence the atrium and lobby – turn right and head for the kirathane, a place where men sit and drink tea, read

Teaching English with an American Accent

From where I stand, which is on a balcony at the Izmir University of Economics, overlooking Izmir bay on the Aegean coast of Turkey, things are not looking too good for British ELT. When I came to Turkey, 20 years ago, the UK had it all sewn up. We taught courses such as Streamline, English

Graphic Organisers

Visual representations of information are by no means an innovation in education. The use of graphs and charts to represent statistical information and time-lines showing the sequence of historical events have long been accepted tools, while in language teaching, the mind-map is already a common aid to brainstorming a topic. However, with the realisation that


(with Funda Çetin) DefinitionsEliciting (elicitation) is term which describes a range of techniques which enable the teacher to get learners to provide information rather than giving it to them. Commonly, eliciting is used to ask learners to come up with vocabulary and language forms and rules, and to brainstorm a topic at the start of

Conducting Feedback on Exercises and Tasks

(with Nick Baguley) The term feedback can apply to a number of classroom situations and procedures, but here it refers to a range of techniques employed by the teacher to facilitate responses from the students to an exercise or task. Inevitably, teachers feel that the whole class needs and deserves to know the correct answer

Student Feedback on Tasks and Activities

IntroductionHere is a fairly typical classroom exchange: Teacher:        and what’s the answer to number 3?Whole class:        He bought a sandwich.Teacher:        and number 4?Whole class:        He drank orange juice. This teacher-whole class exchange is a common way of obtaining feedback on tasks, activities and exercises which, is familiar to all teachers, possibly

A Song – More Than Just a Gap-Fill

(with Funda Çetin) Music, music, music Music is very much part of our lives. We are often unaware that we are surrounded by music which has been selected to relax us, change our moods, or condition our consumer behaviour. We may choose to wake up to it, work to it, drive to it and go

The Natural Way

There are many anecdotes and jokes about the confusion caused by the difference between the English spoken in modern multi-cultural Britain and the text-book counterpart taught by native and non-native speakers all over the world. Here is my anecdote from this summer: Scene: Heathrow airport bus station. A young lady, presumably from somewhere in South