ISTEK Schools Third International ELT Conference

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Introducing… Elena Bolel


In the lead up to the ISTEK Schools 3rd International ELT Conference, we’ll be introducing some of the presenters on the blog. Next up is Elena Bolel…

Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m a teacher and lifelong learner. I hold a B.A. and M.A. in TEFL and have taken graduate courses in Educational Leadership at Western Michigan University, USA. I completed the Cambridge DELTA program with International Training Institute (ITI). In 2011 I also won the British Council ELT Blogathon’11.

610004What is your teaching background?

I have been teaching English to teenagers and adults for 11 years. I have taught in the USA and Russia. In Turkey, I worked at Tarabya Ufuk Koleji and Ted Istanbul Koleji . I currently teach English to gifted and talented children at Türk Eğitim Vakfı İnanç Türkeş Özel Lisesi (TEVITÖL).

Tell us a bit about your session.

Caught between the actual learners’ needs and the necessity to teach what the curriculum prescribes, teachers often feel unable to spare enough time to allow for learner autonomy and learner-centered teaching. To exercise both on a larger scale, as many ELT professionals suggest should be done, we need time and content flexibility approved by our school administrators. If it is not an option in your institution, this workshop will offer you practical ideas which do not require much time or preparation, but let students shape lessons and as a result acquire a sense of ownership for what is happening in the classroom.

This workshop will focus on easy-to-implement activities, which will help you develop a partnership with your learners and empower them to become more independent. Together, we will try a number of strategies that promote learner-centeredness and autonomy in the classroom.

Why are you interested in the area you’ll be presenting on?

Working with gifted children is challenging but rewarding. They appreciate trust and cooperative environment in the classroom which is only possible when we create opportunities for autonomous learning. In such teaching context I am naturally interested in learner-centeredness.

What are three words that sum up your session?

hands-on, participant-oriented, engaging

Which other presenter are you looking forward to seeing?

Sugata Mitra

Do you blog? Tell us about it?

I’m not a prolific blogger but from time to time I post on

Can we find you on Twitter or Facebook

yes, Elena Bolel on FB and @elenaist on twitter


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