What a beautiful place to meet again! In March of 2022 ACT project partners met up for a second LTTA (Learning Teaching Training Activity), held for 5 days in the historic city of Konya, situated in the heartland of Turkey. The meeting took place between March 24th and March 28th 2022 and was hosted by Konya il milli Eğitim Müdürlüğü (Turkey). The organisation of this LTTA was quite challenging but we managed to make it work: Erasmus Courses Croatia (Adult Education Center Maksima), Necmettin Erbakan Üniversitesi (Turkey), Asociatia pentru Educatie si Formare ASEF (Romania) and NATSIONALNA SHKOLA PO MENIDZHMANT attended the LTTA in person while Teatar Tirena (Croatia), Ufficio Nesto Comune di Corigliano Rossano (Italy) and Conlan School (United Kingdom) joined us over Zoom.
How many people have heard of Konya? At the first glance Konya may not be the most famous destination but to assume that it doesn’t have a lot to offer couldn’t be further from the truth! Konya is actually the 7th most populous city in Turkey and is situated at an impressive elevation of 1016 meters. The city is most known for its Mevlana Museum, a major pilgrimage site that contains the tomb of the whirling dervish founder Mevlana Rumi, a famous poet from the 13th century. But what impressed us even more than the city itself are the friendliest people, their kindness and welcoming smiles.
Our project activities consisted of 5 training sessions and 12 lesson plan implementations. The sessions were filled with laughter and we loved every moment of team work and collaboration with each partner, those present in the classroom and those that joined us over Zoom (we made sure that they didn’t miss anything!). Through the activities we got to display our creativity in a number of ways in order to further develop drama based speaking activities for English language teaching and learning.
One of the most impactful moments for the whole team was seeing our project in action! We spent a day visiting a local school where we were welcomed by our associate partner teacher Recep and his class of young students. Recep is teaching English language through implementation of drama based activities and his students are loving it!
It wasn’t all hard work though! Through our social programme we got an opportunity to visit a picturesque village Sille. Sille is situated only 8 km away from Konya. Its charming cafés on a side of the river make it a perfect getaway destination while its buildings and monuments are a living testament to its 5000 years of history. The highlight of our day in Sille was seeing a local pottery maker demonstrating his craftsmanship and 50 years of experience in front of us.
Food is the best entrance to a culture of the country and it was no different this time for us! We tried so many local specialties – bamya corbasi soup, adana kebab, cayi, gozleme, katmer (just to name a few). The delicious taste of the food and the sight of abundant and colorful spice markets on the streets of the city still linger on our minds.
We could not leave Konya and not see whirling dervishes in action! The whirling dervish ceremony is called a sema and is a form of prayer and meditations that dervishes believe bring them closer to God. Seeing the performance of this spiritual ceremony was truly a unique and wonderful experience.
Even though our time in Konya is over the ACT project is still on! We are continuing to pursue our goals of teaching English language through drama based activities and are looking forward to sharing new knowledge and seeing the whole team again on our next LTTA meeting!
ACT – Act Communicate Transcend Project funded by Erasmus+ approved by AMPEU Agencija za mobilnost i programe Europske unije will last from May 2021 until June 2023.
The aims of our project are to assist the progress of learning English as a foreign language, in particular speaking skills, by developing a speaking assessment rubric, a set of training materials, a drama-based activity book, and, finally, an e-learning platform which will unite all previously mentioned intellectual outputs and be made available for use both for teachers and their students even after the project is finalized, to develop new and innovative teaching methods and implement these directly into practice as well as professional development through project work.
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