ISTEK Schools Third International ELT Conference

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Introducing… Aylin Graves and Özgür Köse


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 Are Aylin Graves and Özgür Köse…

Could you tell us a bit about yourselves?

We are Aylin Graves and Özgür Köse from Middle East Technical University’s Department of Modern Languages. Aylin is currently running the department and passionately creating new and exciting experiences with the beautiful people she works with. Özgür is currently coordinating the department’s first-year English courses (taken by some 2,500 students every term!) and pursuing his PhD in ELT. We both love teaching and learning. Our latest learning adventures include Spanish and Greek.

graves and koseWhat is your teaching background?

Aylin has taught English and trained pre- and in-service teachers at METU and with the Turkish Ministry of Education. She has also been a visiting scholar in Spain and Portugal. Özgür has taught English and trained pre-service teachers in the United States and at METU.

Tell us a bit about your session.

Our session at this conference basically explores whether teachers are from Mars and students from Venus, and whether we need novel ways in which to interact with this new breed of learner.

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

Nowadays we hear many people talk about the “21st century learner”, our new ELT buzzword. We wanted to find out whether this assumption is indeed our new reality or simply an overrated hype.

What should your audience expect to learn?

Whether Martians and Venusians can and do see eye to eye!



  1. Dwain Petersen. ~ Özgür's friend and mentor. says:

    Mars and Venus are stereotypes and are not to be believed beyond an oversimplification! Carole, his wife says, “I read the book and believe that men are from Mars and women are from Venus!” Dwain retorts that teachers are not from Mars and students are definitely not from Venus even in an oversimplification.

  2. Dwain Petersen. ~ Özgür's friend and mentor. says:

    Students always need novel approaches for learning. You can not excite them with the same old approaches. You need some excitement for learning to occur.

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