1st ELT CONFERENCE ‘DIVERSITY IS INSPIRING’
We hosted about 300 participants in our ELT conference in which we discussed the wealth of diversity and its inspiration in language teaching at our Çamlıca Campus.
The conference was attended by teachers from different schools, university lecturers, experts, foreign language coordinators, department heads, ELT students as well as publishing houses that produce resources for foreign language education around the world and we had an enjoyable and inspiring day with the valuable information shared by educators.
Teresa Doğuelli exemplified the existence of diversity in all aspects of life, explaining the types of students in the classroom, their diversity and their reflection on education and how it enriches the educational environment with practical implementations and examples. Bahar Ulusoğlu Emek one of our speakers, discussed diversity from a humanitarian, educator and student perspective after the first session in which the guests participated interactively. She conveyed to the audience that diversity was primarily about acceptance and respect with striking examples. She also emphasized that some already learned and accepted discourses should not create prejudice in educators. We remembered once again with Bahar Ulusoğlu Emek that diversity is an inspiring element wherever there is respect and acceptance.
Bill Bowler, an author and a language instructor with a worldwide reputation in the ELT field, shared how it is possible to embrace diversity at school and in the classroom. In parallel with the theme of the conference, Bill Bowler provided information on how student diversity and differences within the classroom could be assessed and strategies that could be used for it. In his speech, Bill Bowler also offered practical and useful examples of multiple intelligences, individual differences, individual abilities, differentiated teaching and differentiated instruction. He stressed that differences should not be seen as a crisis but as an opportunity for teachers and students. He explained how participants could create their own roadmaps and explained how standardization and monotype perception could be avoided by supporting scientific principles with concrete examples.
The last speakers of our conference were Tony Gurr and Tutku Çavuşoğlu who went on stage together. The last session which we listened to the richness of cultural similarities and differences with some examples from the experiences and lives of our speakers was also very productive and enjoyable. The speakers drew attention to the importance of people being able to melt differences in the same pot with tolerance, understanding and respect rather than being afraid of differences and from time to time they commented on each other's experiences and shared their feelings while describing the perception of ‘diversity’ in a friendly language.
The fact that our students wore the costumes of different countries juiced up the conference day and the different tastes offered in the refreshments remained in our minds as the moments when the theme of diversity spilled outside the hall.
In order to meet in a different theme next year, we sent off our guests with their certificates of attendance and the gifts from the publishers.