Our Educational Message

Hi, and welcome to our blog. This space is designed to share ideas and methodologies that we use to teach Turkish teenagers. In particular, there is a strong focus on ICT-ELT, which means if you like visual and technological support for your style of teaching, this blog is for you. My colleague, Brentson Ramsey, has been working alongside me for three years. He is also a big proponent of the ICT-ELT Paradigm, which means he will also be posting from his own teaching perspective on the blog.

2010 was the beginning of this new journey, and although there is no definitive ICT-ELT road map available for everyone to follow, it is exciting to explore the technological means to make teaching more fun and affective for students. Our main message is for teachers to ADOPT & ADAPT the paradigm shift for their own needs, and remember that

Tuesday, 11 February 2014


Every year, when the OSCARS come around, there is a celebrity buzz of excitement that is probably only surpassed by huge sporting events such as a Grand Slam, a Superbowl or a YouTube video of a cat playing the piano that has gone 'viral'.  And this year is no different!  In fact, this year's offering of top quality movies, which have been included in the Best Picture category, is going to have the actors, players and producers on the edge of their seats at the Sam Goldwyn theatre in Beverley Hills, on March 2nd.  All the pundits are already spouting forth that it will be the closest run contest for years.  

Since my colleague and I teach EFL-fifteen year olds, thus forbidding the inclusion of American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street, due to their seriously adult content, the list of possible Best Film(s) that I would like to use for this edu-lesson post is as follows:

Brief Synopsis

A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space.

EQ: Possible THESIS Theme Prompt for Research & Opinion Response

Should Space Exploration, Research & Development be continued, even when it costs a lot of money and can lead to the loss of lives?

Brief Synopsis

The true story of Captain Richard Phillips, and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in 200 years.

EQ:  Possible THESIS Theme Prompt for Research & Opinion Response

Why do modern-day pirates believe they are justified in their actions, and how are they able to continue with their thievery?

Brief Synopsis

Set in the United States, around 1840, Solomon Northup, a free black man from Upstate New york, is abducted and sold into slavery.

EQ:  Possible THESIS Theme Prompt for Research & Opinion Response

Slavery has been a very prominent, and contentious subject for the past 200 years.  Why then does it still happen today, when it has so many opponents?

Brief Synopsis

A lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with his newly purchased operating system that is designed to meet his every need.

EQ: Possible THESIS Theme Prompt for Research & Opinion Response

How can modern-day (computer) technology's pervasive nature affect users in  negative ways?

Brief Synopsis

In 1985, Dallas, electrician and hustler, Ron Woodroof works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need, after he is diagnosed with the disease.

EQ: Possible THESIS Theme Prompt for Research & Opinion Response

Why did AIDS, and the horrors it brings to people, take so long before governments and health organisations took it seriously?

So, the next stage of how to get your students working on producing THESIS statements, for OPINION ESSAY Responses, is having them watch clips from the above movies.  Normally, due to copyright considerations on YouTube, it is nigh on impossible to post clips; and certainly impossible to find clips you need anywhere on the net. Therefore, you can do it yourself.  There are many options available for editing software, especially with windows users, and once you have your clips chosen, upload to google drive, and then post them to your Blendspace tutorial as seen below...

Click the above link to see where I take the students into group work for producing well thought out THESIS statements.

NOTE: I do not go into the workings of a THESIS in this tutorial, since our students have already had several sessions on this. However, hopefully, these visual prompts and ideas can get them to think more about the topics from the movies, and even go to the cinema to watch them in their full glory before the Oscar Ceremony on March 2nd.

p.s. I am rooting for 12 years a Slave, and Dallas Buyers Club as the top 2. Both incredible movies with astounding performances from both protagonists. Very impressive, indeed!!

Now, that the students have spent some time in groups researching the themes laid out in each film, and built their Blendspaces, I have added them below.  You will see that there are a few language errors, but that is why they will be assessed accordingly.  However, technically, and effortwise, it is undoubedtly a winning project format. Please try it out..

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