Next Istanbul IN meeting on June 1st, 2013 Asian Side

Topic: Standardized Testing: Cracking the IELTS Mystery

Location: Viktor Levi Sarap Evi, Kadikoy, Asian Side

Saturday, June 1st from 3:30 pm – 6 pm

Our very own Magi Ridley will be helping us understand the in’s and out’s of the IELTS English Language exam, which is so popular in Turkey.

Maggie is an experienced IELTS instructor and teacher trainer, as well as a freelance presenter for Oxford University Press and the British Council IELTS exam team. She has been in Turkey 17 years and has worked for a variety of institutions. She is currently Education Director and ELTS coordinator for a local language school.

Exam Format
Timing and Strategies for each module
Active participation from guests (module to be decided)
Do’s and Don’ts

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Next Istanbul IN Meeting on Thursday, April 18th

On April 18th, 2013 the Istanbul Instructors’ Network will have our third meeting and speaker in KURUÇEŞME at İncirli Şaraphane (just across from Galatasaray Island and near the first bridge and Robert College/Boğaziçi University). 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Here’s a review:

Topic: Using the ADDIE Model of Instructional Design; A Structured Improvisation

Have you ever been tasked with designing a curriculum? After the initial panic dissipates, many instructors find themselves wondering if there is a “map” that could make the journey easier. One such “map” is the ADDIE (Analysis-Design-Development-Implementation-Evaluation) model of instructional design.

Although most frequently used in skills-based organizational development curriculum planning, the ADDIE model is a valuable tool for any instructional designer, whether current, hypothetical or hopeful.

In this interactive session, the phases of the ADDIE model will be introduced in a clear and concise manner and the presenter will share both best practice overviews and useful tips and tools for each phase. Additionally, participants will be asked to share their personal best practices and experiences in each phase.

Bio:Jennie Toner Algin, M.Ed.
Jennie has lived and worked in Istanbul, Turkey since 2009. She is a university instructor and instructional designer. She has also worked in the education sector in Ecuador, Japan and Cambodia. In her most recent past life she worked in training and human resource development for corporate America in a diverse range of industries including health insurance, logistics, sales and customer service, until she escaped in January 2009 to work her way around the world. She ended up in Istanbul and has been exploring the world from her new home ever since.

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Another successful Istanbul IN event!

Thanks to everyone who came out to Viktor Levi last night for the event! And a special thanks to Nicole Incel, Suzanne Borgen and Vivian Huizenga, for their interesting and informative presentations about serving students with learning disabilities. Look forward to seeing everyone next time! Image

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Next Istanbul IN Meeting – Asian Side – February 15th, 2013

On February 15th, Istanbul IN will welcome Vivian Huizenga, M.Sc., who works with IICS  and Suzanne Borgen, M.Ed and Nicole Incel, M.Sc., who work with MEF International Schools. The topic of the session will be “Serving students with learning disabilities/differences.”

The session will consist of a presentation by Ms. Huizenga, Ms. Borgen and Ms. Incel, followed by small group discussions. It will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Viktor Levi Sarap Evi.

We hope that everyone can come out, grab a drink of your choice, and make some new contacts and perhaps a few new friends.

Please see bios below.

Topic: “Serving students with learning disabilities/differences”
Speakers: Vivian Huizenga, M.Sc. , Suzanne Borgen, M.Ed. and Nicole Incel, M.Sc.

Hope everyone can make it!!!

Please feel free to join our Facebook group for a FB invitation.


Vivian Huizenga, M.Sc.
Vivian Huizenga M.Sc. Is a Canadian Licensed Psychologist
with a Masters in Educational Psychology and Statistics from
the State University of New York.

For the first 5 years after obtaining her degrees Vivian
worked in rural Canada as a School Psychologist with
14 different schools, including Hutterite and Mennonite
communities. For the next 10 years she worked in Montreal
with a private center for learning disabilities, The Learning
Associates of Montreal, completing assessments for
private schools, McGill and Concordia universities and for
a psychiatrist in private practice assessing and coaching
adults with attention modulation deficits. Vivian also worked
for 7 years in the far north with the Inuit and Cree nations
assessing children and implementing reading and support
programs for communities in transition.

Vivian has always traveled independently world wide and
finally took a post in Kuwait to set up entrance exams for 2
private schools and supported early years learning. Vivian has
been at IICS for 6 years and is familiar with the community,
its resources and the needs of transitional families. Vivian’s
specialties are reading and attention difficulties. She also has
a private practice.

Suzanne Borgen, M.Ed.

Suzanne Borgen is a special education teacher at MEF International School Istanbul. She received her Master’s in Education in South Carolina, USA and is a US National Board Certified teacher specializing in teaching students with exceptionalities. She worked seventeen years in a public school in rural South Carolina. Her career and training has been teaching students with specific learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit disorder and mild emotional disabilities. She has worked with students in various classroom settings and inclusion at the middle school and high school levels. Her career includes one year of teaching students with severe disabilities in a public school just outside London. Her teaching philosophy has an emphasis on active learning. She developed and facilitated project based instruction with a global awareness and took her instruction outside the school walls with service learning programs for hands on learning in the community. Suzanne joined the MEF International School community. She supports middle and high school students, and is enjoying the opportunity to assist and further develop the learning support program to meet the unique needs of each student.

Nicole Incel, M.Sc.
Nicole Incel is the department head for student support and ELL / English teacher at MEF International School. She received her Master’s in Science in Secondary Language Arts with a focus in Teaching English as a Second Language at Northeastern Illinois.

She has been teaching for the past 10 years, four of which have been in Istanbul, Turkey. Nicole’s specialty is helping schools structure a working ELL program that assesses students’ language needs, brings classroom content into the ELL classroom, and tracks students’ language development over the course of their language learning.

Nicole has had the opportunity to work with students from grades 6-12 from various cultures around the world. She is currently enjoying her second year at MEFIS, and looks forward to further helping students improve their English skills and abilities, as well as working with teachers to help them support their ELL students.


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First Istanbul IN Speaker! December 14th, 2012 from 6-8 p.m. in Taksim

This Friday, December 14th, we are hosting Ilkem Kayican as our speaker. She is the head of the Writing Center at Bilgi University and will be talking about “The Challenges of Teaching Writing in Turkey.”

Ilkem Kayican graduated from Ege University in the Department of English Language and Literature. She got her MA from the Bilgi University Cultural Studies Program. She is the Writing Center Coordinator at Bilgi University. Her areas of interest are academic writing and critical thinking, learner identity and multicultural and democratic education.

Although she teaches at the university level, the issue of teaching writing is relevant to teachers at all levels, Turkish and Foreign alike, so we hope everyone can come!

The meeting will be at a new location with a beautiful view of the Golden Horn – Terasta Cafe – just above Tomer Language school in Taksim.

Look forward to seeing everyone there!!!

Website and map:

Adres: katip mustafa çelebi mah. tel sokak no:29 tömer teras kat.

Please join our Facebook group for more timely updates:
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Topics of interest collected at the second Istanbul IN meeting

After a successful first meeting on the European side, we had a second meet and greet on the Asian side, where we collected the following topics of interest for future speaker ideas. The speaker series will start the second Friday in December, so don’t miss it!

  • Concrete activities and strategies to use in the classroom
  • Learning Turkish culture for new teachers in Turkey
  • We want a workshop on moodle!How to build a website/platform for ourselves
  • How to serve students with learning disabilities
  • How to navigate Turkish Bureaucracy
  • Non-teaching specific field trips! Groups could attend interesting events/festivals
  • How to attract private clients
  • Ideas about how to conduct first meetings with private students 
  • How to charge private students
  • How to keep your private students through use of goals-based curriculum
  • IELTS/TestingWebinars – free and non-time consuming way of gaining professional development
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Second Istanbul IN meeting on October 12th, 2012 on the Asian Side!

After a successful first meeting where we gathered some great ideas for future topics and speakers, we’ll be having this month’s meeting on the Asian side at Viktor Levi Sarap Evi this Friday! The next meeting will be with a speaker and won’t be until December 14th, so make sure to come to this one and meet everyone in person!

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Outcomes from the first Istanbul IN meeting!

We had a great first meeting September 14th. Thanks to everyone who came and shared experience and ideas. A good first step towards building a strong community of practice. 

The ideas we discussed in the small groups were very interesting as well. From questioning the term “digital native” to designing a curriculum to teach innovation to learning more about the HR Law that governs our lives in Istanbul to figuring out how to provide meaningful professional development topics for language school teachers, it seems that everyone learned a lot from one another.

We asked people about which professional development topics and/or speakers that people would like to see in future meetings and I’m putting the list below. If you have something or someone else you thought of after the meeting, please a

dd in the comments!

Using moodles innovatively
Testing system knowledge/use in the classroom
Dealing with too many digital platforms
Integration and anti-racism
Lesson planning
Applying emotional intelligence (innovations)
Politics of the Turkish classroom
Thwarting increasingly sophisticated plagiarism/ Academic honesty
Life after TEFL
Turkish culture – how to teach across cultures
The benefits of the lexical phrase approach
Instructional design models/uses
Discipline – methods and structures
Advanced Turkish grammar/language lessons
Work permits/Residence permits
Using drama to teach other subjects as well as English
Battling the “ESL isn’t a real job” stigma
Docent exam for people who haven’t studied in Turkey
Zafer Parlar – speaker – author of “Business over Turkish coffee”

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Successful Istanbul IN inaugural meeting! September 14th, 2012

On September 14th, 2012 Istanbul IN had it’s first meeting. We had a great turnout of all different instructors from all areas of education, from primary to secondary to university, private, corporate and education leadership. It was great to meet with everyone and begin to build a strong community of practice.

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First meeting scheduled for September 14th, 2012 in Taksim.

The first meeting of the newly minted “Istanbul IN” (Istanbul Instructors’ Network) will be Friday, September 14th, 2012. All instructors who live and work in Istanbul – from primary to secondary to university to corporate – are welcome! 

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