… 3 in 1 …

Next week on Saturday I will be in Izmir, one of the most beautiful cities in Turkey, for a conference called ‘ Liberating the Learners ‘.

And the plenary speakers are Luke PRODROMOU, Jeremy HARMER and Ken WILSON. That’s why I called this post ‘3 in 1‘. 

Anyways, last night I was telling my mum about the interview that I will do with these three rock stars of ELT🙂 and she gave me an idea.. Thank you mum!

I am sure many of you have an experience, or maybe a fun story that you can share with us surrounding these three special names.. Even if you haven’t met them yet, you can maybe share how they inspired you in your teaching.. Or maybe can tell us the first couple words that come to your mind when you hear these names ..

I can’t wait to read what you will share with us !


21 Comments Add yours

  1. Hey Nihal. Fun idea.

    I feel lucky to have met Jeremy and Ken in person as being centrally located in Paris and being good buds with Bethany Cagnol made it easier to snag them for a bit of quality time over dinner and a few beers another time.

    Both of these gents are just as much artists as they are famous ELT writers. Entertainers through and through and I think you’ll certainly see that at the conference. Ken’s talk at Iatefl in Brighton really hit home with me and his writings and videos on “motivating the unmotivated” are great resources. Jeremy’s talk in Paris this past fall showcased his love of poetry and encouraging students to “own” the language. His blog is very inspiring, not only in the way that he explores day-to-day issues that always magically come back to our work in ELT, but also the way he leaves space for reader comments and then interacts in such a wonderfully encouraging way.

    Have a great conference and look forward to seeing what others have to say. I’m sure there are some good stories (I’ll keep the gritty details for sharing over a pint😉

    Cheers, Brad

    1. Brad, you are definitely right about their being as much artists as they are famous ELT writers! And when I interview them, I’ll try to focus on this fact..
      Thank you for the comment and also for your encouragement😉

  2. Dear Nihal, thank you for the opportunity. Here my story goes about Ken Wilson:

    Last summer I applied for the job I had always wanted to get. I was lucky enough to be on the shortlist and only 4-5 days later I was going to have a written exam and an interview. During those days, I tried to revise what I learnt at university about ELT. I read books, (and Jeremy Harmer’s The Practice of English Language Teaching helped a lot.) and loads of blogs, got ideas from experienced colleagues, and tried to come up with questions they might ask for the exam and the interview.
    One of them was about motivating the students and I came across Ken’s amazing blog post; “Ten ways to motivate the unmotivated” while searching for ideas on the Internet. I loved everything he wrote in this post and I wanted to thank Ken for sharing his great ideas and inspiring teachers like me. He replied my message immediately thanking and asking me how I found such an old post. I told him the story and he wished me luck in the exam and asked me to let him know about the result.
    There were many questions in the exam and luckily one of them was a question about motivation and Ken’s blog was a great help in answering it. I can’t thank him enough for that. However, I couldn’t get the job and even then he supported me with his messages saying that I had to be strong and wait for the next opportunity. I was very sad yet still hopeful as I had the support of my family, friends and an ELT rock star; Ken whom I hadn’t met before!
    After a month they called me from the school I applied to and they offered me the job I wanted! I was thrilled! I told the great news to my parents, friends and of course Ken. He was also happy for me.
    Finally, guess what happened at school: The day I started to work there, I saw Ken’s blog post “Ten ways to motivate the unmotivated” on the notice board for teachers! It was the post I read before my job interview, I got to know Ken thanks to this post and it was there on the notice board waiting to inspire many other teachers!
    Here is the end of my story. Who doesn’t love happy endings?🙂 Now I am looking forward to meeting Ken in April in a conference at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul.

    Enjoy the conference Nihal. I’ll be waiting for your next posts about these three great men!
    Love, Yeşim

    1. Wow, Dear Yeşim.. your story is just so amazing! You can even write a book about it🙂 Thank you for sharing it with us.. I’m sure it will leave a smile in the faces of the readers of this comment.. like it did to me🙂

  3. Julie Raikou says:

    Hello Nihal!

    I like this idea very much & look forward to reading further stories about these Three Gentlemen who I will mention in the chronological order I came across them.

    Many moons ago when I first arrived in Greece I attended seminars at the British Council, Thessaloniki and had the pleasure of learning from Luke Prodromou, many moons later we met again at TESOL Macedonia-Thrace events and there was a chance to enjoy his amusing and thought-provoking sketches with Dave Gibson. Luke also supports the Disabled Access-Friendly Campaign founded by Paul Shaw & Katie Quartano.

    Then there was Ken Wilson of London! Through my PLN I came across Ken’s blogs which brought many a smile to my face and so I was delighted to hear he would be conducting a workshop in Istanbul at ISTEK 2011. I attended and laughed until I cried! Ken is definitely a motivational speaker and we are very fortunate to have come across him.

    Now for Jeremy Harmer, well I haven’t met Jeremy face to face yet, something I would like to remedy asap. While attending the CELTA course I was helped by his book ‘How to teach English’, I recently enjoyed ”Bent and broken into a better shape: the magical storytelling of Charles Dickens” with Steve Bingham which was streamlived by the British Council and I look forward to reading his novel ‘The Whistle at Siete Vientos’.

    I hope one day to attend your conference in Izmir – for the moment I’ll be thinking of you enjoying the company of these Three Wise Men!

    Have a great weekend!

  4. Dear Julie, I haven’t met Luke Prodromou yet, but I’m so happy that I will very soon!
    I watched Jeremy Harmer’s performance ‘Bent & broken in a better shape’ online. It was such a great one! I hope you’ll soon meet him in person🙂
    And Ken Wilson.. I’ll later share my first encounter with him and I guess that will bring a smile to your face too.
    Thank you for your comment and you too have a great weekend!

  5. This is amazing, Nihal – enjoy the conference and all the lovely company! I really wish I could attend.

    As for my experiences.. I first “met” Jeremy in the form of his classic The Practice of English Language Teaching – The first ELT methodology book I ever held in my hands. It was the first year of my university ELT course at University of Presov, in Slovakia and I was making my first steps in the world of ELT. I enjoyed English, but I hadn’t thought of becoming a teacher yet. I was preparing a presentation on class management and took out Jeremy’s book from the department library. I was immensely inspired by Jeremy’s clear, inviting and, somehow, encouraging manner in which his book “spoke” to me, although it dealt with what seemed to be a very practical topic. I loved it and it. It was the all important grounding on which I could begin to develop my teacher identity and, one of the main reasons I embraced ELT wholeheartedly.

    Fast forward a decade, my first steps in blogosphere and Twitterland… and guess who I meet on twitter!🙂 The actual person himself – at least virtually🙂
    I’m very glad to have exchanged a tweet and a comment or two since. And, as Brad writes, see Jeremy’s artistic side, too, which permeates his ELT work and which, I’m sure, was the reason I could relate to his book so well.

    I’m so glad you will meet in person – I’m sending my regards and a thank you for inspiring me to become an English teacher.

    Thanks for this opportunity to look back, Nihal and have a lovely weekend!🙂

  6. Dear Marian, when you write, you put your soul into it.. Did you know that? I really love reading what you write. If you ever write a book one day, I’ll be the first to buy it😉 And you are not alone..Including me, Jeremy Harmer inspired many people. He is still doing it and I’m sure he will..
    Thank your for your amazing comment and have a great weekend😉

    1. Oh, dear Nihal… you rendered me speechless there (or commentless) for a while..
      If I do, it’ll be dedicated to you😉

  7. Vicky Loras says:

    Hi Nihal!

    Ooooh you’re so lucky! That is great!

    I am very lucky to have attended talks and sessions with all three : )

    When I think of Ken Wilson, I see the person who helped me start a blog, his blog which is amazing and his great talks : )

    When I think of Jeremy Harmer, I think of his book The Practice of English Language Teaching that we used in university and helped me a great deal, and I also think of music : )

    When I think of Luke Prodromou, I remember a great talk he gave us in Ioannina, Greece, when I still lived there and also his book Dealing With Difficulties, which he has co-written with Lindsay Clandfield (who is also awesome but that’s for another time!).

    Have a super time!

    Thank you Nihal!

  8. Teşekkür ederim Vicky for sharing it with us!🙂

  9. Hi Nihal

    I have the (mis)fortune to be acquainted with all three ‘rock starts’. One thing they have in common is that they all have thespian talents. In some ways, teachers are (or should be) ‘actors’. So, when you interview them, ask them if they had any training to develop their ‘acting’ skills; should developing ‘acting’ skills an essential be part of ELT training programmes; can shy teachers do their job effectively
    etc good luck

  10. Hello Rakesh and thank you for the idea.. sounds like a good question to ask.. And like you, I also do believe teachers are (should be) actors🙂 Actually one of my favorite quotes is

    ”Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theatre.”

    by Gail Godwin .Thanks again!

  11. What a gr8 idea, Nihal!

    I’ve had the pleasure of Jeremy’s company on several occasions, Ken’s very recently here in Brazil and Luke I know only through his inspiring articles in diverse journals and magazines over the years! I’d like to share a story about Jeremy from an event called ABCI which took place in Rio de Janeiro in 2010. He said, in a plenary, that there was a paradox between the hegemony of CLT and the fact that many people who learned English in a more audio-lingual way, showed greater accuracy and fluency than their communicatively-taught offspring! He then went on to say “Yes, repetition works! How can you make it work well? What kind of repetition does the magic to the brain?”… This question has been answered by colleagues all over Brazil who are now finding the right balance between drilling and freer practice and production!

  12. Hi there Graeme and thank you! My mum gave me the inspiration and so far it works fine!🙂 And yes I know K.Wilson was in Brazil. After seeing the pictures he shared, what I feel when I say K.Wilson is this feeling I have..’jealousy’ as he was there in Brazil. Such a beautiful country!🙂
    Graeme, Thank you for sharing!

  13. Dear Nihal,

    I’d like to share some words about J. Harmer. He was brilliant at Fatih University ELT Conf last May. Thanks to his session, we learned great activities from different teachers all over the world. I have been using them all in my classes. Especially the one about revising “if clause type I”. In short, you show a picture portraying a man at a bar, and you tell the students to write a story about him, by giving prompts: If he drinks, he will be late; if he is late, his wife……and the task is to write the longest story in five mins. Those finishing first win🙂

    I am thankful to him and you too for this post!

  14. Merhaba Dear Canan,

    ‘To be inspired is great, to inspire is incredible.’

    So.. thank you for sharing the activity🙂 I’ll definitely use it in my classes..I’m sure I’ll learn great stuff to share with people after the conference. Like you did here with us..
    Thank you & hope you have a great week!

  15. Ken Wilson says:

    Am I allowed to share some thoughts about my two esteemed colleagues??

    First of all, Luke and Jeremy are by a distance the conference presenters I admire above all others. I have always been amazed and impressed by the work that they do.

    I can’t actually remember where I first met Luke, but I imagine it was in Greece somewhere. But I had the great pleasure of working on a drama training programme with him in Poland about ten years ago – I’ve never worked with someone who put so much into a course, both in and out of the classroom. He proved to be an excellent volleyball player as well.

    However, I will NEVER forget the first time I met Jeremy. My wife Dede and I went to the music club he was running on a Friday night at International House in London. When Dede started to sing and play the guitar, Jeremy looked very alarmed – the reason being that Dede was eight months pregnant and he was wondering what on earth we would do if she went into labour there and then.

    I have never forgotten the look on his face.🙂

  16. Of course you are allowed to and I’m so glad you did it😉

    I will NEVER forget the first time I met you, Ken. I will share it when I write a guest post on your blog..
    I didn’t know that Luke Prodromou was/is a volleyballer & Jeremy was running a music club. Thank you for sharing!

  17. I hope I’m not too late!!🙂

    What a great idea, Nihal! You’re so lucky to have the chance to see the three of them present AND interview them! Here is my contribution:

    I have never met Luke Prodomou in person, I have certainly read much of his work. But I have met both Ken and Jeremy in person, as well as seen them present a few times at different times and occasions – they are such fantastic presenters! More than that, they are very accessible and supportive to all teachers, not what one would expect from an ELT rock star (as you said)🙂 They’re eager to help, incentive and share, hear what we say about teaching.

    I met Jeremy in person 2 years ago when he gave a workshop in the school I work for. We then went to the same conference in São Paulo – Braz-Tesol’s National Convention and we had the chance to talk a few times. It was then that Jeremy told me I should join Twitter and told me who to start following, how to use it for PD and what a PLN was. So, he was the one responsible for my joining the PLN, a major change in my life – both professionally and personally.

    After joining Twitter, one of the first people I started following was Ken. And I was super honoured when he asked me to be a guest blogger on his blog – I had just started my own blog, and he was so supportive – as he always is! After that he was one of the people who organised a tweet-up with part of the PLN in London when I was there in the end of that same year. It was then I had the chance to finally meet him (as well as other dear PLN members) face to face. I was happy when I could pay the hospitality back during a recent visit he made to Recife.

    Give them both a big hug from me!

  18. Of course you are not late dear Cecilia. And I’m so happy to read your lovely comment! Thank you very much for sharing😉

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