Canan Elicin's blog

How to Make the Process of Teaching and Learning a Language Enjoyable

Funny Ads in Language Classrooms

May 21, 2014 by · 2 Comments · Classroom Discussion, IDEAS, Just for fun, Speaking Activities, Writing Activities

Why using videos in language classrooms? Are they useful? Do they work? How often should we use them?

As you might realize, I teach young adults of varied proficiency levels. My students are fond of videos. They always want to watch a piece of video, movie, film, ads nomatter what the topic is. Being aware of this, I never want to miss the chance. Whenever we have a 1o minute extra time, as a warm-up, follow-up or just for fun, I show them a mini video I downloaded earlier. The best are ads. They are short, funny, to the point, etc.  So here is my favourite and a bit of explanation about how I make use of it.

Funny Ads: If you search Youtube, you will find millions of funny ads. This is my favourite because of its language, level and suitable content for my students’ profile. Before watching it, I show them some screen shots from the video and ask them to guess the content. They even list some adjectives for each character. While watching, I stop the video and ask them questions (What, who, why etc.). I do not want to give them a-fill-in-the-blank question list because then they feel like being tested and they do not enjoy the video. Instead, I ask questions myself. Depending on the answers, I ask further questions. In the end, I ask them to role play, write subtitles for lower level students, change the dialogues etc.

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Have Fun with Your Students: Ambiguous Sentences Part II

April 17, 2014 by · No Comments · ACTIVITIES, Classroom Discussion, IDEAS, Just for fun

Hi everyone,


My previous post on ambiguous sentences received so many comments and questions. Here are more sentences for you to analyse :) Most of the sentences need commas, but not to clarify the meaning I omitted them. Let’s see if you can get the meaning. I am waiting for your comments and feedback.

  1. Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana
  2. If it is it it is it if it is it is it it?
  3. Free dogs
  4. I see the man with binoculars
  5. Turn right here
  6. I saw an elephant reading my book.
  7. Look at the man with one eye


Thank you

Some of the sentences are from wikipedia

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December 7, 2012 by · No Comments · ACTIVITIES


Thanks to, you can create your own websites and publish them for free instantly. All you have to do is to sign in. You can ask your students to make a website as part of an assignment or a presentation. Later on, all the class can improve it, or it can be converted into a class website. You can even announce the assignments on the website, and be in touch with your students. The parents will also appreciate this because they will get a chance to see their children busy doing curricular activities online.



September 5, 2012 by · No Comments · educate esl students, IDEAS, reflective teaching, Web 2.0

A few days ago, I received one e-mail from Tim Handorf (bestcollegeonline) and one from Rosa Ray (onlinecollegecourses). Both of them mentioned the link to their recent posts. After visiting their blogs and reading the posts, I couldn’t help sharing the links with you.

Tim Handorf’s post includes 25 design principles every educator should know.

Rosa Ray’s post shares 50 incredibly useful links for ELL educators.

Enjoy and please leave a comment. Thank you :)

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August 2, 2012 by · 2 Comments · educate esl students

‘A few weeks ago, eCollegeFinder,  an established online education resource,  teamed up with Language Magazine  to celebrate insightful ESL blogs, written especially for those teaching or learning English as a second language, and those earning a TESOL degree. Their aim at presenting this award was to provide a reference for student readers who aim to broaden their learning and teaching experiences. Read more about the award here.’

My blog was also nominated for Top ESL Blogs Award. The nomination and voting processes were extremely fair and successful. I wholeheartedly congratulate both eCollegeFinder and Language Magazine on this!

‘Upon the closing of Top ESL Blogs Award Competition, they published a paper outlining the issue of whether ESL students should be educated through English immersion or bilingual education.’

Here you can read dear Brittany Behrman’s own words. Thank you Brittany for your amazing post :)


Which ESL teaching method do you support: Bilingual Education or English Immersion? In the United States, each state, teacher, parent, and student has an individual view on how we should educate English Language Learners (ELLs) in our schools. In order to help readers form their own opinions, the eCollegeFinder blog investigated what the two ESL programs entail and the benefits and shortcomings of each.

Click here to read the facts in the “How to Educate ESL Students” whitepaper.

We appreciate the opportunity to be a guest on Canan Elicin’s Blog and hope that we’ve inspired its readers to learn more about this important issue! Please let us know your opinion by contacting Canan Elicin’s Blog or Brittany Behrman at [email protected]!


About the author:

Brittany Behrman is a staff writer for the eCollegeFinder blog. In June 2012, the blog ran a series on ESL and held an industry-first competition, cobranded by Language Magazine, to determine the Top ESL Blogs, as voted by its readers. The eCollegeFinder blog’s parent site, eCollegeFinder is an education portal that specializes in matching students with online colleges that offer 1,000s of different degree paths, including certificate programs for those wishing to Teach English Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

Please leave a comment! Share your own ideas on how to educate ESL students! THANK YOU


3 Ways 2.0 Create Buttons for Your Blog/ Websites

July 22, 2012 by · No Comments · ACTIVITIES, Web 2.0

Last day I was thinking about how to create buttons for my blog and after some search online, I came across 5 practical and simple ways to do so. Now I want to share them with you in case you are also interested. Please see “Do it 2.0 day” button on the right side bar as example. They are all free and no registration is required. Just click on the link, type your text and you have your custom buttons.

  1. Da Button Factory allows you to create buttons and get CSS Codes to get a badge. Just write your text in the box provided and then click on “image” or “get CSS code” on the left.


2. CSS Button Generator helps you create css codes without logging in. It’s free and very easy. Once you have generated your css code click on “my button” and copy/paste the code that appears below. Here is your button. You can also decide on the shape and size of the button, as well.

3. Cool Text is another tool to generate buttons, logos and fonts. You click on the buttons on the top and choose a button design. For example, I choose “”ah Pink”.

After choosing the design, you type your text and decide on color, size, font, etc. Finally you click on “generate button” and here is your button. You can download it to your computer or copy/paste the code provided to embed so that you can post it on your site/blog. ENJOY :)

Which tools do you use to create buttons? Any better tools?

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My Favourite Photos of ELT People!

July 6, 2012 by · No Comments · Just for fun

Here are some photos taken throughout last year with ELT people in Istanbul, or those that visited Istanbul.

Below you can see ladies at 1st Offical Istanbul Tweet-up (Zeynep Kivilcim, Isil Boy, Emine Bulur Civanoglu, Merve Oflaz, Nihal Yildirim, Yesim Cakir, Sultan Zeydan, Beyza Yilmaz, Basak Temel, Buse Aral, Sevim Acikgoz), and me with Ozge Karaoglu, then again me with Luke Meddings, finally Yesim Cakir, Meltem Ipek Oner, Sultan Zeydan.

 In the second collage, you can see Rod Ellis and Vivian Cook having a little chat during a break at Sarajevo FLTAL 2012, Ken Wilson doing a presentation at Istanbul the 3rd ELT Student Conference 2012 , and me having a big smile on my face, next to Ken, Azamat Akbarov presenting awards to Rod Ellis and Vivian Cook after the conference, and finally Yesim Cakir and Sultan Zeydan having a good time at 1st Offical Istanbul Tweet-up.

I like past memories. Hope to see more photos on your blogs, as well :)


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Have Fun With Your Students: Ambiguous Sentences

June 25, 2012 by · 52 Comments · Classroom Discussion, Just for fun

Write these sentences on the board, and ask your students (preferably advanced or intermediate level) to interpret them. Do not tell them that each sentence has more than one meaning. This activity will hem them analyze English sentence structure and lexicon better.

  • The lady hit the man with an umbrella.
  • He gave her cat food.
  • John went to the bank.
  • The man saw the boy with the binoculars.
  • They are hunting dogs.
  • I saw her duck.
  • I told her books were funny.
  • I sais see you on Sunday
  • I love hunting dogs.
  • Will Will will the will to Will?

If you do not understand the sentences, ask me :)

What else can you add to this list? Leave your example sentences below please.



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Web 2.0 Tools Series I: “Have Fun With Your Photos”

June 22, 2012 by · No Comments · Web 2.0


BigHugeLabs: “It helps you do cool stuff with your digital photos and have fun with your photos”. Using your photos and this tool,

  1. You can make a custom mosaics of your recent photos/ projects.
  2. You can make posters.
  3. You can make magazine covers.
  4. You can make jigsaw puzzles.
  5. You can make maps.
  6. You can make badges.
  7. You can make calendars, cubes,CD covers, captioners, slide shows, and many more.

 It lets you create photo collage and edit a photo in many ways. For example, you can remove wrinkles, make teeth whiter, add symbols, frames, words. You can also create cover photos for Facebook. It has got an App for FB.

Look at the collage I created using photos of Istanbul! It helps you edit your photos, create collage, create a new painting with texts, shapes. You can also add stickers. Ask your students to create their own paintings with a message on it for a special day. Choose the best one. It lets you create animated texts, swapping faces, twitter backgrounds, side by side blended photos, . You can also remove objects or blemish from a picture or paste objects. Watch tutorial videos, as well.

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June 21, 2012 by · No Comments · ACTIVITIES

My blog has been selected as a nominee for the eCollegeFinder and Language Magazine Top ESL Blogs Award! Voting for the competition begins today!

You can click HERE to place votes for the blogs you feel are the best ESL resources. Each visitor may only vote once during the voting period, which will continue through June 27, 2012 at 5 PM EST.

Please vote for me using the link above or the badge on the right (click here to vote)