Tuesday, February 27, 2018


This is a recording of the first part of a lecture delivered to prep students at Boğaziçi University. It includes information about the best practices while learning a second language, self study skills and the reasons for the suggestions. 


Below you will find basic information about some of the homes of the future. Discover what sort of dwellings they are and when you are finished, write an essay comparing and contrasting them. Your purpose when comparing these houses is to make a selection; you may select more than one if either of two houses would work for you. So decide what works for you and write using the comparison and contrast structures you have learnt.
1.       Shipping containers
2.       The floating house
3.       Microliving
4.       Seasteading
5.       Underground houses

·         https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4H1cZjIyDQ

Refer to my second blog, The Essay Archive, for sample essays: https://theessayarchive.blogspot.com/

Friday, February 23, 2018


 “Digital messages mimic the speed of real conversation, but often what people like best is the ability to put them off.”
By: Julie Beck
Level of Difficulty: ***
·         When in-person conversation is better than texting https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/01/ignoring-each-other-in-the-age-of-instant-communication/550325/  (Scroll down to the bottom of the page)
1.       Why exactly do people take no longer than 200 milliseconds on average to answer someone?
2.       We understand from the information concerning written communication that …
3.       Look at these messages: https://www.newyorker.com/humor/daily-shouts/sorry-for-the-delayed-response . What do they prove? (Refer to the text )
4.       Read the paragraph beginning “People don’t…” and the following paragraph. What change in our attitude to written communication causes distress? The fact that we regard…
5.       Where in the paragraph beginning “While you may know…” would you place the following:
·         In fact, people usually feel they are being snubbed
·         This is supported by the fact that’s that
6.       Logically, written communication should not be linked to anxiety but it is because…
7.       Read the account of the short story Cat Person. The fact that the couple communicated via texts created problems because…
8.       Turkle says “Text messages become marks on rocks to be analyzed and sweated over”. Why is this the case? Because they are …
9.       Watch the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZARdRcbh_E . Why was such a discussion necessary?
10.   The writer states that people shouldn’t become paranoid because someone doesn’t respond to his message promptly because in fact…
11.   Read Turkle’s personal account of how she tries to cope with her messages. What is ironical about people’s attitude to such a situation?
12.   Read the account of Baron’s findings. Which sentence in the section best expresses the main idea?
13.   What is the main advantage of written communication over regular, direct communication according to the modern generation?
14.   Read the last two paragraphs of the text. What conclusion can be drawn from this section?
Use the text and the videos to write about how the way we communicate is changing and how this change is impacting our relationships.
This text is all about an issue which my generation finds hard to get to grips with. However, it should be very familiar to your students. Have they considered the underlying reasons for their texting behavior or online written communication though? Have they analyzed the issue? The answer is ‘probably not’. This text and the accompanying reading task will get them to do so.  
1.       It is the defining feature of conversation. 
2.       It has caught up with the speed of regular conversation.
3.       ‘Sorry for the delayed response’ has gone from earnest apology to punchline.
4.       Media as synchronous
5.       The first sentence goes just before the sentence beginning “ A Pew survey…”; the phrase precedes “A Pew survey…”
6.       Written communication is designed to mimic conversation
7.       Digital communication is weak as a scaffolding to build an understanding of another person.
8.       Contextless forms of communication
9.       Two possible answers:
The first: The metamessages that accompany the literal messages can easily be misinterpreted
The second: Metamessages are implied rather than stated, they can be misinterpreted or missed entirely
10.   People are just trying to manage the quantity of messages and notifications they receive
11.   Even though instant written communication can be overwhelming and anxiety-inducing, people prefer it.
12.   We have become a version of power freaks, not just control freaks.
13.   Written instant messages create a smokescreen of plausible deniability.

14.   What the age of instant communication has enabled is the ability to deal with conversation on our own terms.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


Loneliness ile ilgili görsel sonucu

By: Laura Alcock-Ferguson
Level of Difficulty: * (This is a tough level one, so don't make it the first one you do)
Professor Murthy and Professor Lampard’s views on loneliness are the focus of the text you are about to read. Take 20 minutes to listen to her first:
·         Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard - Full speech, RCGP annual conference 2017
Now take a further 5min to listen to Prof Murthy:
·         Former surgeon general on how loneliness could reduce lifespan
Read the subtitle and the first three paragraphs of the text (from the beginning down to “During…”):
1.       What major policy change would Professor Lambard and Professor Murthy be likely to support?
Read on as far as “So what do we do about it?”:
2.       How does Prof Murthy reach the conclusion that “Loneliness is akin to an epidemic”? He observed that…
3.       The negative impact of loneliness on health is well documented. What is the underlying reason for this negative impact?
4.       We understand from the text that we cannot really help being negatively impacted by loneliness because…
Read on to as far as “Thirdly…”:
5.       Read the example of the square near the friend’s flat described in the text and the threat it is facing. This story is an example proving that…. There are two possible answers; find both.
Read on to the end of the text:
6.       We are somewhat prejudiced against older people T/F
7.       Watch the short video prepared The Campaign to End Loneliness: Loneliness Project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYc85A8f2CM . What immediate conclusion can be drawn from this video? What is the take home point? (Be careful, this is a tough question)
Refer to all the information you have gathered to write about the effects of loneliness. In the videos below you will also find some solutions, which you can include in your conclusion.
 Loneliness is literally killing us | Will Wright | TEDxBirmingham
       The Simple Cure for Loneliness | Baya Voce | TEDxSaltLakeCity
This insightful text highlights a growing problem many are not aware of or take for granted. The text and the videos are easy to follow and are closely linked; the contents overlap. This helps with the reading task. The writing task should be done immediately upon the completion of the task to consolidate learning.
1.       Health insurers and public bodies’ investing as much in encouraging social encounters as exercise and good diet
2.       The most common pathology he saw was loneliness (You must not copy paste answers; you must make them fit the question)
3.       Lonely people have lower levels of oxytocin, the love hormone that is important to health and wellbeing.
4.       Our physiology evolved to be connected to others (to be lonely goes against human nature)
5.       Community spaces are being slowly eroded / Policy makers are not weaving the prevention of loneliness into their strategies
6.       True
7.       The need for friendship and support and meaningful relationships does not fizzle out with age  Loneliness should never be normalized or accepted as inevitable

Monday, February 19, 2018


Chimera greek mythology ile ilgili görsel sonucu

“Women are chimeras with gender material from both their parents and children. Where does that leave individual identity?”
By: Katherine Rowland
Level of Difficulty: ***
·         What is Microchimerism | Lee Nelson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puYJp7SAGJc

·         Microchimerism and Diseases | Lee Nelson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMuZRnuBaoI

1.       The fact that arthritis and lupus are not more prevalent in young women may indicate that there may be a connection / there may be no connection between…
2.       What precisely led Nelson to try and discover the long term effects of pregnancy?
3.       Read the paragraphs beginning “Evidence”, “Within weeks of conception” and that beginning “Far from drifting at random”. Which sentence would best summarize this section:
·         Children leave lasting traces of their time in the womb
·         Women unavoidably become microchimeras
·         Most women carry cells from more than one source
·         The give and take of cells during pregnancy needs to be considered
·         All of the above
·         Some of the above: please specify:
4.       Which sentence or phrase in the same section best summarizes the same three paragraphs?
5.       Microchimerism due to organ transplant is different from microchierism due to pregnancy in that………..
6.       The lack of rejection of cells exchanged during pregnancy probably has a social / evolutionary / familial / collective/ psychological basis.
7.       Where in the paragraph beginning “The phenomenon” would you place the following sentence: Cells exchanged during pregnancy, therefore, do not disappear; in fact they can remain intact throughout the lifetime of the host.
8.       The paragraph beginning “One of the most…” depicts a realistic/ romanticized/ literal/fundamental view of pregnancy and motherhood.
9.       Which sentence in the paragraph beginning “On one side…” best expresses the point the writer is trying to make?
10.   Women may in general be living longer than men because thanks to having kids, they have…………………
11.   We understand from Johnson’s research that if foetal cells caused disease they would / wouldn’t be ……………
12.   Both the cases of women who underwent thyroid surgery and the case of the woman with hepatitis C prove that ….
13.   What hypothesis was proved wrong by Amy Brody?
14.   Microchimeric cells act like an invading force from the beginning because…
15.   What conclusion can be drawn from the paragraph beginning “In other Words…”?
16.   What is the reason for the above?
17.   What is the underlying reason for the battle in the womb?
18.   The fact that microchimeric cells can extend birth intervals beyond the mother’s optimum time frame and the related 2010 study are proof that …
19.   According to Harvey Climan, the placenta acts deviously / deviantly / purposefully/ inherently because…
20.   What warning does the writer make in the conclusion? Why?
21.   Exchange of microchimeric cells between close relatives turns an individual into … (This question was contributed by my assistant Sinan Çakmak)
·         An isolated self with a dynamic inner world
·         A dynamic and ever-changing self
·         A collective self with shared motivations and affiliations
·         A multi-dimensional self with many underlying motivations

Use all the information you have acquired to describe how people become chimeras.
This completely fascinating text details the cell based exchanges between mothers and offspring and details the emergence of chimeras. It goes so far as to suggest that we are all chimeras to varying degrees and thus brings a whole new understanding to the concept of the self.  

1.       There may be no connection between female sex hormones and arthritis and lupus
2.       The fact that a female technician in a lab was found to contain male DNA a full year after the birth of her son
3.       Two and three
4.       With each successive conception, the mother’s reservoir of foreign material grows deeper and more complex, with…
5.       The genetic match between donor and recipient determines whether the body accepts or rejects the grafted tissue, or if it triggers disease
6.       Evolutionary
7.       At the end of the paragraph
8.       Romanticized
9.       But another body of research has found that foetal cells can protect the mother
10.   Greater immune surveillance and improved repair of damaged tissue
11.   Wouldn’t be everywhere
12.   There is definitely an association between the presence of foetal cells and improved disease status
13.   That microchimerism might preserve the health of mother and child, helping her survive childbirth and beyond as her offspring make their slow way to independence
14.   Because they act like a placenta beyond the womb, directing resources to the baby throughout gestation and after birth
15.   The womb might not be an enclave of rosy communion
16.   Conflict between the biology of the parent and the biology of the child
17.   For most genes, the foetus inherits two working copies one from the mother and one from the father. However, with imprinted genes, one of the copies is silenced…
18.   The foetus is a manipulative entity, conniving to direct the mother to its own advantage
19.   Deviously, because mothers marshal their best defensive tactics against offspring’s strategies to steal resources
20.   These analogies remain purely speculative, because there is no definitive proof that the microchimeric activity, commonly described as conflict, combat or colonization, reveals one entity pitted against the other
21.   The third

Thursday, February 8, 2018


Why do teenagers take risks? Why do they engage in reckless behavior? We now have some scientific reasons so do your research and find out what they are. When you are ready, write an essay where you analyze the reasons.
Familiarize yourself with the issue
·         Teens brains are wired for risky behavior https://www.cbsnews.com/news/teens-brains-are-wired-for-risky-behavior-study/
·          Why teenage boys do stupid things https://www.cbsnews.com/news/whats-wrong-with-the-teen-brain/  
Reading material to make notes on
·         The science of adolescent risk taking https://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/sites/default/files/casey-report-slides.pdf    
·         New insights into teen risk-taking – their “hot” inhibitory control is poorer than children’s
·         Risky behavior in teenagers: how to handle it http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/risktaking_teenagers.html
Videos to take notes from
·         The mysterious workings of the adolescent brain https://www.ted.com/talks/sarah_jayne_blakemore_the_mysterious_workings_of_the_adolescent_brain
·         Decision Making and Risk Taking Behaviors in Adolescence https://study.com/academy/lesson/decision-making-and-risk-taking-behaviors-in-adolescence.html
     Refer to my second blog, The Essay Archive, for sample essays: https://theessayarchive.blogspot.com/

Monday, February 5, 2018


“Amanda Ruggeri investigates why a focus on outcome alone can create a hamster wheel mentality”
By: Amanda Ruggeri
Level of Difficulty:** This is a difficult level 2
 ·   If you want to achieve your goals, don't focus on them: Reggie Rivers at TEDxCrestmoorParkED
1.       Read down as far as the first subtitle “Chasing Outcomes” and answer the questions:
·         The trouble with single mindedly trying to achieve goals is that…
·         The desire to achieve your goals at all costs can have a negative impact on the way you try to achieve your goals in that it…
·         Most people’s goal is to get a well paying job, a car, a house, a family, a summer house and the like. What is the problem with these goals?
·         What does “the latter” refer to in the phrase “our ambitions often focus on the latter”?
2.       Read the section titled “Chasing Outcomes and answer the questions:
·         Why does Robbins believe it is a mistake to trust your life to a 20 year old? Because he doesn’t have the wisdom to decide if….
·         What exactly is being criticized in The Bhagavat Gito? The fact that….
·         The example of the weight loss diet and that of the participants who missed a savings goal prove that…
3.       Read the section titled “Blinders On” and answer the questions:
·         What conception concerning the nature of goals has been proved wrong by Freund and other researchers? Establishing………targets is the right thing to do because you can…..
·         Read the example of the 5% increase in market share. What is strange about the outcome? People ……..instead of ……….This happens because strange as it may sound….
·         Read the example of the call center. What exactly does it prove? Be brief.
·         My current goal is to get my teaching assistants to publish lesson plans they themselves prepared in the form of an article. When do I tell them this is their goal?
-          After they have learnt how to make lesson plans
-          After they have successfully completed their lesson plans
-          Right at the beginning before they start
·         In a film involving a sales team, the sales reps were told the most successful person would get a bonus. The sales target is an almost impossible one. One sales rep however, slips Ipeca, a drug that induces vomiting, into another rep’s coffee preventing him from working. What conclusion can be drawn from this example?
4.       Read the section titled Creativity Crush and answer the question:
·         Why can rewards prevent creativity and problem solving?
5.       Read the section titled “One Direction” and answer the questions:
·         Consider the following examples and decide who has the right approach to their goal of seeing the country?
-          Traveler A is on a cycling holiday in Austria. The tour and destinations are mapped out. Hotels are booked at each stop along the route and luggage travels ahead and is ready for you at each hotel.
-          Traveler B sets of driving around Scotland. He stops whenever he likes, spends as much time as he likes wherever he stops and stays wherever he likes.
-          Traveler C goes on a tour to Spain. The tour is seven nights and eight days. There is an itinerary and a tour guide.
·         Picture two Buddhist monks who, after a long journey, wind up on top a hill overlooking a valley. The young monk asks the older one “What now? What was the point of the journey?” The older monk replies “There is no point. This is it”. What is the reason for his answer?
·         The fact that “The people who had had the least extraordinary lives were the ones who had managed to adhere closest to their plans indicates that:
-          Setting a goal and working towards it keeps people out of trouble
-          Setting a goal and sticking to it is what society expects of people
-          Setting a goal and sticking to it may not always be a good idea
-          Setting a goal and working towards it guarantees people stay focused
·         What does “it” refer to in the sentence “But it can be more freeing and fulfilling”?
Use all you have read to write an essay discussing the effects of setting goals.
In a world where everyone is obsessed with achieving their ‘goals’ it should be interesting to study a text which outlines the pitfalls of a life which completely overtaken by trying to achieve goals. The arguments presented in the text should give students a lot of food for thought. Make sure to leave time for discussion. The essay task should ideally be done in class but could be assigned as homework if there are time constraints.
1.       The answers to the questions on the first section:
·         We get so emotionally attached to a goal we are setting ourselves up for failure and disappointment.
·         Kills your creativity, makes you more likely to cheat and less likely to thrive
·         These goals are not necessarily their own ambitions but what they think they should do.
·         Buying a bigger house and focusing on career
2.       The answers to the questions on the section titled “Chasing Outcomes”:
·         The goals he sets will improve his life or not
·         We are in a spiral of trying to find out the next thing to keep us in action.
·         Focusing on the outcome may make you even less likely to meet it.
3.       The answers to the questions on the section titled “Blinders On”:
·         Nice, easily attainable / shield yourself against the negative effects of slipping up
·         Slack off / trying to go further / easy goals can also limit us
·         Corporate incentives boost performance but employees also become more likely to cheat.
·         After they have successfully completed their lesson plans. After all, they have done the most difficult part but they still have to prepare it for publication by writing the article.
·         People can end up taking shortcuts when it comes to ethics
4.       The answers to the question on the section titled Creativity Crush
·         Because they can transform an interesting task into a drudge / Because they can turn play into work
5.       The answers to the questions on the section titled One Direction:
·         Traveler B
·         He was prioritizing the journey
·         The third

·         Living with fewer goals and purpose