Aslı Saglam's Blog about CPD in ELT

Online Educational Comic Generator; MakeBeliefComix


Do you like comic strips? I love’em!

I discovered Make Belief Comics which is a web tool which enables users to create entertaining comic strips. It’s free and it is very user friendly. You can write your story in a variety of languages. Basically all you need to do is selecting panels, choosing characters and using your imagination to create your story. I experimented with it and ended up with the cartoon below (I know not very funny haah! But I enjoyed creating it 🙂 )

Teaching Ideas

I really think that using comic strips in the lesson might about the fun element into learning. Students can come up with their stories and practice the use of newly learned vocabulary items and/or grammar structures while they are telling their stories on-line.

Make Belief Comics also suggest some great ideas regarding how this tool can be used. One of them is entitled: “A Day at School”. I thought that it could be an excellent activity to try out in class. It reads as:

“MAKE BELIEVE that you’re in school. Your teacher is talking to the students in your class, and you have the power to read the hidden thoughts and daydreams of your fellow students as the teacher lectures. Choose a character to be the teacher who is speaking to students. What are his or her words? Now, what is going on in students’ heads? Place thought balloons over students’ heads and in them write their secret thoughts. If you wish, you can use talk balloons to have students respond to teacher’s words.”

Also I loved the idea of having the students create daily (or weekly?) comic strip diaries in which they portray and reflect what they learned and experienced.

For more ideas you can visit this link. I think that adding fun element in tothe lesson is necessary and telling stories online by using comic strips is a great way. Hope you like it.

(Cross-posted at Scola CPD Blog)

Reporting Highlights of the 46th IATEFL Annual International Conference from Home!


It’s not an oxymoron; thanks to British Council,  I can literally follow the IATEFL Conference in my trainers, sitting on my sofa at home.

I have become a registered Glasgow on-line blogger (Of course it does not alleviate the pain of not being there, but still, I am thankful for the opportunity. I love technology!!!). See here is my badge;

I cannot attend IATEFL Glasgow this year but thanks to British Council’s Glasgow Online Website, I was (and will be) able to follow the conference events and stimulating talks given by the presenters on-line. The coverage of Glasgow online encompasses live and video webcasts of conference presentations and workshops, video interviews, moderated discussion forums, photos and conference reports.

I have listened to Jamie Keddie’s interview which focused on video telling, role of language teachers, patterns and limit of teacher talk and materials exploitation.

As far as I have understood video telling refers to an amalgam of visual materials-video and storytelling. I thought that combining these modalities could be very powerful for shifting the emphasis on “teaching” to an emphasis on learning. In my opinion this educational change is in the underlying difference between “talking to your students and telling your students” that the speakers focused on. Furthermore, as indicated in the video teacher talk should also be reconsidered to accommodate such a shift towards learner-centeredness. It should not be dominating and be in the form of a monologue. In contrast teachers should foster a dialogic interaction not only between teacher to students but also between students to students.

Jamie also commented about necessity of materials exploitation and encouraging students to analyse and synthesize class materials for better learning opportunities. At the end of the day pictures are worth a thousand words and when they are combined with anther modality-storytelling then, learners could be exchanging and sharing communication in a much more motivating and interesting way.

Another interesting pick for me was the notion of roles of teachers. Teaching present perfect could be on one side of the continuum and/or tapping critical thinking skills on the other.

Here is the interview. I hope that you enjoy 🙂


Web Tool of the Day; StoryBird for Digital Story Telling


Do you like story telling? I love it! Very creative and motivating… StoryBird is a web application for digital story telling. It has a lot of positive side because it has highly-very very stimulating content to create and narrate stories without any materials preparation burden on the teacher. Since templates are ready on the web all you need to do is use creativity and encourage  students’ and engage in the exiting world of
telling stories. Also exhibiting the final product is easy because it would be on-line. If you have a projector in the class whole class can participate in it and see the final work. Storybird can be used as in class practice or it could be assigned as a project to be done outside of the class.

First you need to go to the site of StoryBird .

Then, hit “Start a storyBird now”. You can either choose art work that inspires you or select and click on the listed themes. Look for the icon on the right hand side of the screen which says: “Start a storyBird” with this art, be bold click on that again. You can drag and
drop pictures and write your story. The template also allows you to add pagesand order them.

Virtual story telling can have numerous teaching implications including grammar practice and vocabulary practice. If
you ask your students to read other stories or present theirs, then it could tap speaking and reading skills.

Do you make use of story telling in your classes? What would you think about digital story telling?

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