Tapped In Member Perspectives: Meet Sedat Akayoqlu

Sedat Akayoqlu is a Research Assistant and Literature Instructor at the Department of English Language Teaching at Abant Izzet Baysal University, Bolu, Turkey. He is preparing his thesis and his research topic is related to the discourse analysis of English chat environments.

Sedat's Perspective

I planned to use Tapped In as the setting for several student-led discussions of two short stories in English. There were two short stories to discuss; one was The Gift of Magi by O. Henry and the other one was The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant. All participants read the stories before participating in the chat sessions. The first two days we talked about The Gift of Magi, and the next two days we talked about The Necklace.

During the sessions, the participants were unaware of the research questions of my thesis; because it might have affected the findings of my thesis.

In order to provide ample opportunity for student participation, there were eight sessions. There are 28 students in my Short Story course. Each student participated in 2 sessions and each session was limited to 7 students. We discussed the story characters, plots, settings, and how we could use these stories in an English Language Teaching setting.

We had no connection problem with our students and all of them could join the sessions, except one student and she had experienced connection problem because the Java Application was not available for her computer and she had difficulty in downloading and setting up the Java Application.

As for the native speakers, Maggi (Margaret A. Doty), MoraH (Mora Hockstein), LeanneMM (Leanne MacKenzie), DavidWe (David J. Weksler), Buthaina (Buthaina A. Al Othman), AidenY (Aiden C. Yeh), SusanneN (Susanne Nyrop), BjB (BJ Berquist), joined the sessions. I am really grateful to them; but I would like to thank to Maggi specially. She joined all the sessions and acted as a moderator in the chat sessions. She helped me too much. I did not want to take part very often in the sessions, because I knew my research question and this might have affected the findings of my study. Moreover, there were two instructors in sessions. These were DeryaE (Derya Erice), an instructor at Abant Izzet Baysal University Department of English Language Teaching, and MuzeyyenA (Muzeyyen Aykac), an instructor at Mu_la University Foreign Languages School. They also joined the sessions and discussed with the students.

After these sessions, our students used Tapped In very often and they thought that this environment was really nice opportunity for them to contact with educators around the world. This study helped them to learn more about Tapped In.

I believe that this environment is really sharing place for the researchers, educators, teachers and students; that is sharing of ideas, experiences, feelings and sources. Since I believed the importance of Tapped In, I prepared and presented a poster in Budapest at a conference entitled “Using Information Technology for Public Diplomacy: Focus on English Language Programs” You can reach the poster as attachment. I talked about the importance of online collaboration in this environment and most of them tried to sign up for Tapped In immediately.

To sum up, I am assuming interesting findings for the field of CALL at the end of my thesis. I hope it will be helpful for the teachers and researchers of English Language Teaching. I am lucky for being a member of Tapped In and knowing people like the ones in this environment.