This article is published as a part of MUN Spotlight, a special series dedicated to schools and MUNs from around the globe. The aim of this series is to introduce the conferences and MUNers to our MUNPlanet audience and beyond. Today we're taking you to the Elazığ Final Schools for a special interview with Anıl İPEKÇİ, Foreign Languages Coordinator and Head of MUNEF 2017.
you be so kind to introduce yourself and your school to our community?
First of all I offer my sincere gratitude to MUNPlanet and Kutpoint and personally Ms. Dusanka and Mr. Vlado for their professional work and sincerity to me and MUNEF 2017. My name is Anıl İPEKÇİ and I am a passionate English teacher who aims to develop English level of his students using modern and new education techniques. I am always creative and innovative. Currently, I am working in Final group in Turkey, a very wide and rooted education brand focusing on students’ both life and exam success. Recently, Final group has started to invest in foreign language teaching, and ‘Model United Nations Elazığ Final 2017 (MUNEF 2017) can be seen as a great example on this topic.
2.You are a high school teacher teaching English and a Model UN coach. When did you develop affection for the work of the UN and how did you decide to start teaching young generations of MUNers at your school?
Actually I teach English both in high school level and secondary school level. I mostly focus on high school level because I believe that serious and important projects such as MUN could be managed more professionally in high school, however I decided to teach English to the secondary school in the last education year and I became so happy when I saw my students’ level were enough to join a Junior MUN conference. I can clearly say that both secondary school and high school students’ level is high and they are ready to organize an international MUN conference. I met with MUN first time with GAZIMUN’15 and I really loved the MUN studies and since then I am trying to catch high quality organizations for teaching English more effectively and in a modern way. Moreover, I attended MUNBU’16 organized by Bilkent University and FIMUN’16 organized by Adana Final High School. All of the organizations were very good and helped us to improve ourselves. I would like to thank all the organizers of these conferences.
3.Before we move on to MUN-related questions, we have one related to your profession: What is the difference teaching student a foreign language (English in this case) through standard teaching methods compared to teaching it through Model UN simulations.
I believe that classic and standard methods are no longer useful in teaching foreign languages since teaching a foreign language can’t be accomplished within four walls or a classroom atmosphere. Language is a living phenomenon that always must be updated and developed by users, learners and teachers. For this reason, in order to catch the modern standards in teaching a foreign language, all teachers must use MUN simulations in their teaching approaches and methods. What’s more, I believe that MUN studies develop students’ self-confidence, public speaking levels and culture levels. I strongly advise everyone to use MUN methods because of these various benefits.
4.We are eager to get to know your Model UN club. Tell us all about it.
Actually we have Final Youth Club in Elazığ Final Schools. In this club we combined foreign language learning along with social activities. We have photography, music, theater, dancing, entrepreneurship (MUN) and newspaper branches under the Final Youth Club brand. We have a Facebook page named ‘Final Youth Club’ and we are trying to do all our foreign language activities in a professional way. Since we give huge importance to MUN studies, we are going to have ‘Elazığ Final Model United Nations Club’ which will be open to all our students and volunteer parents. We are a family and will always work with our students, parents, teachers and managers with a team spirit.
5.Moving on from your school, tell us more about school Model UN clubs in Turkey. Are we talking about a well-established concept, or a relatively new one?
All clubs are well-established. I can clearly say that my entire colleagues are very professional and they are working so hard to spread MUN simulations all around the country. Both high quality high schools like Galatasaray Lisesi, İstanbul Erkek Lisesi, Alman Lisesi, etc. and universities like İstanbul University, Bilkent University, KOÇ University, etc. have worked so hard to organize international MUN conferences for many years and they got great success. And as Elazığ Final Schools, we are planning to take place among the best educational institutions regarding MUN Clubs.
6.We discussed the benefits of Model UN for young minds with numerous speakers. Even though there is no a general consensus on which skills are developed while attending MUNs, there are no consensuses which are the top three. In your opinion what, are three most crucial skills MUNs help developing?
As you said there are many benefits of MUN studies and it is too hard to make a list. But If I tried to choose top three, they would be,
1-Improving self confidence
2-Improving language skills
3-Improving cultural level
7.Similar to the last question: What would you say are the biggest traits of someone who teaches students MUNs?
1-The teacher must have a strong character
2-The teacher must be a good leader
3-The teacher must be a good researcher
8.What were the major takeaways from MUNBU 2016 experience? How did your students perform?
Bilkent University is a world-wide university and our students got the chance to see its facilities in detail. Even though it was a short time period, our students experienced how it feels to study in a global university. What’s more, Bilkent University made a great organization with their academic and logistics team. Everything was amazing and fabulous. Now our MUNEF 2017 team is totally ready to organize a high quality international conference because of the experience we got.
We attended MUNBU2016 with a small army J composed of 26 students and 4 teachers. All of my dear students performed very well. In our delegation, there were 9 secondary school (8th grade) students and 17 high school students (9th, 10th, 11th grades). Our 8th grade student Yusuf KAFADAR was awarded with an honorable mention and our 9th grade student and current MUNEF 2017 Secretary General Dilara ALAN was awarded with a Rookie award.
9.Your school is about to organize MUNEF in 2017. Can you tell us more about it?
As Elazığ Final Schools, we want to give all students a chance to experience a new adventure, meet with new people, take place in an international organization and have a closer sight to strategic areas such as Syria and Iraq from a safe destination by participating MUNEF 2017. All international and domestic students can experience an international conference with the hospitality of Turkish people. They are going to witness the history by coming to Turkey and working from a safe destination. We want to give all students the chance to participate in the spirit of #LEADYOURWORLD. I would like to make a list of important points;
We are planning to host 200 - 250 students. And we want to have close relationships with all our guests. Our target is to make them feel at home.
Delegates must be from high school, and chairs can be both from high school and university level.
We are going to provide free flight tickets and accommodation to seven chairs. We want to work with the best chairs and we want to encourage all international and Turkish chairs to come and join us to create a flow of learning and chance to change the world.
There are seven committees in MUNEF 2017;
- DISEC: Disarmament and International Security Committee
- SOCHUM: Social – Humanitarian and Cultural Committee
- ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITTEE
- WHO: World Health Organization
- Special Committee
We prepared the largest MUN TUTORIAL PAGE in our website http://(www.munef2017.com). All new or experienced MUNers can visit our page in order to both benefit from the page and contribute to the page. They can send us definitions of terms or they can share their MUN experience with us. We would very happy to publish their contributions on our website.
·We will provide free sightseeing tour in Elazığ for both delegates and observers. All our guests can enjoy the fantastic and historical view of Elazığ which is a very historical city because of Harput Castle and old civilizations.
·We have a super dynamic and energetic team here. Basically I am working with 5 outstanding high school students. Let me introduce them with you:
HEAD OF ACADEMIC TEAM
HEAD OF ORGANIZATION
HEAD OF LOGISTICS
HEAD OF FINANCE
MİNE ECE İNCE
HEAD OF SOCIAL EVENTS
HEAD OF PRESS & TV
BEYZA DENİZ ÇITLAK
HEAD OF PROMOTION
All participants can feel free to contact MUNEF2017 team. We are ready to answer all their questions. Happy to talk to you!
10.Working with young people is a pure joy, but it probably does get messy from time to time. What was the biggest challenge you encountered while running the Club and how did you overcome it?
To be honest, I am very lucky to get the chance to work with all my students. I can truly state that it is wonderful to work with my team. We are working in a full organized way and we have a strong coordination among us.
11.Let’s wrap this interview by giving one final useful advice for all MUN teachers. What would your advice be?
All teachers must use MUN simulation in their foreign language methods. This modern method will both develop teachers and give them a chance to teach foreign language in a way that makes students aware of their world and keep themselves up-to-date. MUN will add value to all teachers in MUN network. And they must use MUNPLANET and contact with amazing people from Kutpoint organization.
TO SUM UP: We welcome all international and domestic students to Elazığ! We will make sure that they will feel happy and safe, and experience an international conference taking place in a very strategic venue. Everyone can visit our MUN TUTORIAL PAGE and they can contribute to this page as well. Last but not least, we provide free flight tickets and accommodation for chairs! You can reach all detailed information from our website MUNEF 2017 – Lead Your World
Thank you so much for giving us this interview chance. On behalf of my all of students, Foreign Languages head teacher Ms. Ruhsar Tanyıldızı, all of my colleagues and managers I would like to thank all MUNPLANET team and send our best wishes!