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Tagged – a blog challenge

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This is a great blog challenge in which one blogger tags you on their blog, challenges you to share 11 random facts about yourself and answer 11 questions; then, it’s your turn to challenge eleven more bloggers by tagging them on your blog.

I was first tagged by Doug Peterson and I instantly liked this challenge as it aims at bringing bloggers together and gives the opportunity to our readers to know us a bit better. But just as I was about to respond, Theodora Papapanagiotou and Eva Büyüksimkeşyan tagged me for the same challenge. So I decided to answer all their questions in one blog.

I think this would be a great activity to motivate language learners to develop their writing skills and get up to speed with blogging. I’ll definitely try it in 2014, most probably with some  adaptations.

 So here is the task:

  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger- in this case it would be me…
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  4. List 11 bloggers.
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.

So here we go:

1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger

Doug is an educator from Canada. Since my friend, Vicky Loras, introduced me to him we’ve been connected through Twitter and Facebook and I have already learned a lot out of what he shares. Doug is a proponent of Educational Technology and has a deep understanding and experience of how it should be integrated effectively into the classroom. I really admire him for this. Along with reading his blog (which he updates almost on a daily basis) I had the opportunity to have a professional discussion with him via Google hangout last month. Isn’t it amazing how technology connects people who want to learn from each other?

A week ago, I was a guest speaker at TESOL Macedonia – Thrace Xmas event and this is where I met Theodora. Theodora is a dedicated EFL teacher and blogger from Thessaloniki and I’m so happy we are now connected on Facebook. I’m looking forward to interacting with her more often and seeing her at another ELT event soon.

Eva is a great EFL teacher and blogger from Istanbul. Her blog “A journey in TEFL” is full of practical ideas and activities for EFL teachers and has been nominated from Edublogs a number of times. I had the pleasure to meet her in person last year in Istanbul at the YTU 1st International Symposium and I hope to see her again soon.

 2. Share 11 random facts about yourself:

  • I am a night owl. I love staying up late, possibly because I’m sharper at night.

  • I don’t like sweets, cakes, ice-cream. I only eat chocolate before presentations or exams as it gives me energy.

  • I can live on bread and pastry on condition it is not sweet 😉

  • I can be really grumpy when I’m cold, hungry or sleepless. Other than this, I’m usually easy-going.

  • I love Facebook because most of my friends are there.

  • I love pets, especially dogs. I have a maltese dog, Hector. No doubt you know him if we are connected via Facebook 😉

  • My first name (Sophia) is a Greek one and means wisdom. The word “philosophy” comes from the Ancient Greek φιλοσοφία (philosophia), which literally means “love of wisdom”. So if you are a friend of mine, consider yourself a philosopher.

  • I love red wine and beer. I hate whisky. Just the smell of it makes me feel dizzy.

  • I never ever watch TV.

  • I have been reading and writing on screen for two years now. It’s much more convenient and I find it equally effective in terms of retention.

  • I went to the USA at the age of 22 with the money I had been saving to buy a car. I’ve never regretted not buying the car instead.

3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.

Doug’s questions and my answers:

  • When was the last time you backed up your computer? Last month.

  • If you could speak any language other than English, what would it be? Italian, I love the sound of this language.

  • Where would you go for your dream vacation? Mauritius.

  • Have you ever received a parking ticket? Yes, quite a few times. Athens can be chaotic.

  • You’re in control of the thermostat.  What’s your ideal room temperature? 26 degrees.

  • Have you ever taken an online course? Yes, in fact I took my MA online.

  • What was the last educational conference that you attended? IATEFL Hungary and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • When was the last time you were in a public library? Hmm, I don’t remember 😉 But I visit online libraries on a daily basis.

  • Have you ever dabbled with Linux? No.

  • What would you consider to be the best photo you’ve ever taken? See next answer 🙂

  • What, and where, is your favourite park? I’m quite happy with the photo I took on Margaret Island (Margit-sziget in Hungarian). It is a small island/park in the middle of the Danube in central Budapest. Such a lovely place!

    Margaret Island
    Margaret Island

Theodora’s questions and my answers:

  • How important is music to your life? Very important. It cheers me up.

  • How much time do you devote in your job? Hmm, working and studying? More than I should. Something I really need to work on.

  • Share a funny thing that happened in class. Recently, we decided to take pictures making funny faces. Kids can be so creative when it comes to fun 😉

  • What does the word “educator” mean in your opinion? Nikos Kazantzakis said: “Ideal teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross, then having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create bridges of their own.” I couldn’t have put it better myself.

  • If you could learn anything, what would that be? Languages.

  • What is your favourite movie? The Godfather.

  • What do you fear the most? Losing my beloved.

  • If you could live anywhere, where would that be? In the UK (preferably in Cambridge) or in New York.

  • What is your favourite word? In English I love the word “exquisite”.

  • What is your favourite digital app? GoodReader.

  • Do you have any lucky items, objects or traditions? Not really.

Eva’s Questions and my answers     questions_answers

  • Do you remember the first class you entered as a teacher? Of course I do. It was a class of 7 angels. I believe I was very lucky to have such a nice first experience.

  • What is your favorite social media platform? Why? Facebook because I combine both socializing and professional development.

  • How do you think blogging helps your teaching? It helps me reflect and keep a record of my work.

  • Tea or Coffee? Coffee.

  • Who is your favorite singer, band, musician? Hmm, if I were to choose only one that would be Sting.

  • Do you attend conferences? Why? / why not? I’m a conference addict. I learn so much and it’s always great to meet up with friends.

  • Who were the most helpful tweeters or bloggers for you when you started blogging or tweeting? Marisa Constantinides, Vicky Loras and Shelly Terrell.
  • What will be the first goal in your New Year’s resolutions list this year? Complete my MA thesis.
  • Where would you like to travel in 2014? Japan.
  • How long does it take to write a blog post for you and how often do you update your blog? I’m a slow blogger because I usually write long posts. Something I want to change in 2014.
  • What is your favorite food? Sushi

4. My turn to tag in alphabetical order – hopefully you haven’t been tagged already 🙂

Anna Loseva

Alexandra Chistyakova

Beyza Yilmaz

Bruno Andrade

Cecilia Lemos

Dimitris Tzouris

Dimitris Primalis

Dina Dobrou

Dincer Demir

Isil Boy

Michael Stout

5. And my questions:

  • What was the conference you enjoyed the most in 2013?

  • Facebook or Twitter? Why?

  • Do you know any nickname(s) your students have given you?

  • Do you prefer reading on screen or on paper?

  • What’s the best blogpost you have ever written?  

  • Are you a morning or a night person?

  • Name 3-5 digital tools/apps that you use with your classes on a regular basis.

  • What was the most unusual food you have ever eaten? What was it like?

  • Have you ever lived in another country other than the one you live now? Where was it?

  • Imagine you won a scholarship to attend an ideal conference anywhere in the world. Where would that be?

  • What’s your biggest pet peeve?Xmas-Snow-Ball-Wallpaper-1600x1200

Thank you Doug, Theodora and Eva! I really enjoyed writing this. And many thanks in advance to those bloggers who will take up the challenge!

As this is my last post in 2013, I want to take this opportunity and wish everyone a Merry Xmas and a happy 2014! Let’s stay connected and motivated 🙂