Apr 22

The ELT Students Who Are Already in ‘Flow’

Flow – also known as “optimal experience” – is a concept developed by the Hungarian psychology professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

According to him, ‘flow’ is “the state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.” (1991)

He defines experiencing ‘flow’ as follows: “You know that what you need to do is possible to do, even though difficult, and sense of time disappears. You forget yourself. You feel part of something larger.”

I’m sure that teachers who love teaching and who are passionate about becoming better teachers frequently experience this state of mind.

Last weekend I went to a wonderful conference that was organized by five brilliant ELT students:

Sevim Acikgoz, from Bilgi University

Buse Aral, from Istanbul Bilgi University

Basak Temel, from Istanbul Bilgi University

Busra Nur Özer, from Bogazici University

Aysegul Bayram, from Bogazici University

They were obviously very much enjoying the experience; they were obviously in a different state of mind – in ‘flow’. And unfortunately this state of mind, which is very much linked to the concept of inner motivation, is unfamiliar to many practising teachers.

I can say that Sevim, Buse, Basak, Busra Nur, Aysegul and the other students who worked in the conference team are much more passionate than a lot of teachers I know. It is really promising to see that they are so full of enthusiasm, and I’m sure that the positive energy and creativity they have will help so many students to enjoy learning English in the future.

I also would like to mention the great musical performances by:

Tugçe Aral – Bahçesehir University

Onur Uz – Istanbul Bilgi University

It was a magical start to both days thanks to their great performances. I especially loved the song Onur wrote at the end of the first day of the conference (he said he wrote it on the bus:) and sang at the beginning of the second day.

I very much enjoyed attending the 3rd ELT Conference and looking forward to the next one.

By the way, last week I got an email from Sevim. When I saw ‘2 projects’ in the subject field, I had a big smile on my face. Yes, she has new ideas, two brilliant ideas:) I guess…They’re coming soon:)

Have a great week!


  1. Luke Meddings

    Lovely post, Burcu – it was such a privilege to be at this conference, and the enthusiasm created by the Famous Five was definitely infectious. I’m glad you mentioned the music, too – it was an important part of what made the two days so special!

  2. Gita. Assefi

    Thank you for this great post. ‘flow’ is a magical word, indeed. I believe that to reach any ultimate goal, its vital to find ways to be ‘in flow’. Best of luck!

  3. Adam Simpson

    I had many things to do that weekend, but I was so happy to have been able to come and present on the Saturday. Well done to this incredible group of young people who did an excellent job organizing this conference.

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