1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your teaching background? (50 to 100 words)
I began my teaching career, as many other teachers do, by accident. I chose to volunteer with a community literacy program and ended up teaching ESL to refugees. After volunteering for a few years, I realized that teaching is my passion and I chose to get a Master’s Degree. I received my MA TESL from Northern Arizona University in 2011 and joined their professional team as the Content based Instruction Coordinator. Since then, I have taught English for the University of Montana/Toyo University in Tokyo, Japan, and I am currently teaching and coordinating the Projects classes at Melikşah University in Turkey.
2. Tell us a bit about your session. What was your inspiration source?
My session is about utilizing, implementing, and adapting an activity called Reading Circles. I learned about and began using this activity when I worked for Toyo University. The other teachers in this program were amazing and they are the reason that I know about and had the opportunity to use this activity. Reading Circles had such a positive effect on my classes that I wanted to share it with other ELT professionals.
3. Why are you interested in the area you’ll be presenting on?
Reading is a dynamic and essential skill for learning English and, in my experience, a skill that many teachers struggle to teach. Creating autonomy and communicative activities, and increasing motivation to read is incredibly valuable and very interesting to me.
4. In terms of teaching experience what kind of audience do you think your presentation would appeal more to?
I think that teachers with different kinds of experience can benefit from this session. Anyone who would like to address teaching reading from a different perspective will enjoy this session.
5. What should your audience expect from your session?
This interactive workshop is sequenced so that participants develop a comprehensive understanding of the activity. The presentation will first specify the pedagogical benefits associated with the activity and practical steps for implementing Reading Circles. Then, participants will practice each role using scaffolded handouts, share ideas with colleagues, and ask questions. Finally, I will assist attendees in modifying the activity for any teaching situation.
6. What are three words that sum up your presentation?
Interactive, Fun, Helpful
7. When giving a professional presentation do you feel that you become richer in any way?
Of course! I gain just as much, or more, from presenting and interacting with other professionals as the participants do in my sessions. Every teacher has valuable experience to share and I sincerely appreciate learning from the professionals at the conference.
8. Which other presenter(s) are you looking forward to seeing?
In addition to being interested in all of the plenary sessions, I am looking forward to attending, Hesamoddin Shahriari Ahmadi’s session titled, “Using Learner Corpora for Building Lesson Plans for Writing Instruction.”
9. Have you been to a TESOL Greece Convention before or is this your first time?
This is my first time.
10. What other aspects of the conference are you looking forward to?
I am looking forward to meeting and learning from my colleagues, to sharing ideas, and to learning more about Greece TESOL.