Mingling With The Stars Part III – Ken Wilson

Two years ago.. At ISTEK ELT Conference in Istanbul..

A Girl ..

Right after having her lunch ..

Walks around alone ..

Drinking her coffee and thinking about the pleanary talk she’s just listened to ..

Then she sees a man sitting on a bank ..

He is alone too ..

And she can tell that he is thinking of something as well ..

She walks towards him ..

Two reasons ..

She also wants to sit down for a while .. feel the sunshine on her face ..

And .. she wants to exchange words with him ..

She gets closer and closer ..

And ‘Hello’ she says with a smile on her face .. But the man ..

He stands up .. without saying anything back at her ..

She feels bad for a second .. and then she hates the man ..

…  End of story …

Well, not the end of course. It was the beginning. And I will not share what she thought about him right at that moment🙂


This was the very first 5 minutes of my first encounter with Ken Wilson. And what happened next?

a) He understood his fault (not sure if it’s a fault) and apologized to me later on

b) He didn’t apologize to me at all and we didn’t even see each other again during the conference

c) Right after the first encounter, I found out that the next workshop I chosed to attend was .. wait for it .. HIS!

And yes. The right answer is c.


I don’t think that I can ever  forget how I felt the moment he came into the session room.

I said to myself: ‘ Oh, no. This man again! Hope he doesn’t recognize me or sits close to me.’ And yes, he didn’t recognize me (no reason for him to do so) and he didn’t sit anywhere close to me because he directly walked to the teacher’s desk and started to do things with the computer there. At that second – finally – I found out who Ken Wilson was..

The session went pretty good! I remember him giving examples of using music in the classroom. At first, I admit, I prejudged him. But later on, he made me forget about everything. He was a good speaker first of all and the activities he showed us really got my attention. At the end of the workshop, he completely changed the way I felt about him earlier.


A couple of months ago, I shared this memory of mine with him. And when I told him that he didn’t say ‘Hello’ back at me, he said, ‘I did it on purpose.’

No, he didn’t actually say that🙂

He said, ‘ I didn’t even hear you saying that. I must have been thinking about the workshop I was going to do in 15 minutes.’


Since then, I’ve been following him every way that I can. Facebook, Twitter, his blog.. And so far what I see is that people love him! Why shouldn’t they?

He is a great man as well as being a teacher, teacher trainer, script and ELT book writer. He used to be a performer, sketch-writer and artistic director of the English Teaching Theatre. For more information you can check his blog.

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All right.. I know I talked too much but I had to. I have so many things to say when it comes to Ken Wilson. 2 years passed and here we are in Izmir ITK Conference. This time talking to each other🙂   I will always be grateful to him as he encouraged me to do these interviews you watched . And you can’t even imagine how much I enjoyed doing it! Thank you very much Ken Wilson!

Here is a picture of us together right after the interview.


And finally, the video.. Special thanks to Müge Bilgili (@MugeBilgili) as she helped me to do the recording. You’ll probably remember her from Ken Wilson’s post  ‘IATEFL Glasgow looms- so here’s a suggestion about your presentation..’

I guess this video is the best one compared to the other first two. Because finally I act normal!  Maybe I just got used to it. Yes, must be it! Enjoy!

PS: Dear Ken, I’m sorry as I distracted you as soon as you start talking saying ‘posing’🙂


Four of us at the cocktail… And once again I want to thank them all!


I hope you liked the interviews.. And I must admit that I really liked doing them..

So I know this was just the beginning..🙂

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Ken Wilson says:


    well done with these interviews. You did a nice job, and it was also good that you asked the same questions to all three of us, giving people a chance to compare and contrast the answers.

    And again, apologies for being so lost in thought at ISTEK two years ago that I didn’t even see you smile when you were right next to me.🙂

    I love your blog, so don’t stop writing it.


  2. Dear Ken,

    Yes, that was my main purpose asking the same questions and like you said, people can compare & contrast the answers now.
    Thank you again! I’ll always be grateful to you!

  3. Ayat Tawel says:

    Hi dear Nihal,
    That was a wonderful post and a wonderful talk. I enjoy reading your blog very much. All your posts are amazingly simple, intuitive, natural,… . You are adding alot to my love to Turkey and Turkish people. Most of Egyptians here adore Turkey, and Turkish from your wonderful TV series !!!
    Thanks for all your posts and keep posting in this wonderful blog, All my love,

  4. Dear Ayat,
    I really don’t know what to say.. You shared such nice words and you definitely made me very happy.. Thank you very much! and I’m glad you liked the post!

  5. Francesca says:

    I took a course with Open University and we read lots about Ken Wilson, what a great guy! Happy Easter from Rome!

  6. Hello Francesca!
    Thanks for stopping by & leaving a comment!
    And yes, you are 100% right. He’s a great guy!
    Love from Canakkale🙂

  7. I love the beginning of your post, Nihal, the girl looking for a place to sit in the sun, reflecting on the talk she’s just heard, and perhaps a friendly soul to share the moment with is now deeply imprinted in my mind.. I don’t blame Ken for being lost in thought – must have been a rare opportunity for him to enjoy some solitude in the general rush of the conference, but I like to imagine that if I was the one sitting there, I’d have reacted differently. Return the smile perhaps.. but then again, who knows… One thing I know for sure is that I do hope I’ll have a chance to meet you one day. I love your posts and the interviews, your keen observations and warmth in all the things you share.

  8. Dear Marian,
    I don’t blame Ken as well.. actually kinda happy to reexperience how- as you said– first impressions may decieve you..
    And for sure we will meet! You are on my ‘ Interview These People ‘ list🙂

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