About MEL

What the heck IS Mad English Lab (or MEL as we call it)?

MEL is a project designed by Matt Cates and Büşra Bayram. It’s made to do many things: 

  1. Take an English language learner and experiment with fun and engaging techniques to help them explore the fastest, most effective ways to improve their proficiency level…then share the tale and the course of study!
  2. Do the above, while also learning new applicable skills such as creating a website, building a YouTube channel, freelance writing (in our case, for foreign currencies which we can exchange to make a profit!)…and blog about our failures and successes!
  3. Hold conversation practice while discussing real-world issues about social issues, human rights, philosophy, the nature of society, money, work, etc., and other concepts which expand our awareness of the world and each other…then post the results of our dialogues!
  4. Explore opportunities to find and obtain money in the form of grants and scholarships for travel abroad, as opposed to “work and travel” programs you have to pay for upfront…then tell our readers what we’ve learned!
  5. Share our experiences seeking to obtain passports and visas for travel abroad, including tips on what worked and what did not!
  6. Share real-life stories and tips about those trips, for fellow explorers!

Mad English Lab is not a static program; it grows and evolves each day, and as it does, we’ll add items to our About page!

Meet the Team

B.B. profile picture (draft)
Büşra Bayram


matt cates
Matt Cates


About Büşra Bayram

Büşra is a senior at Adnan Menderes tourism college, majoring in Hospitality Management.

She has a wide breadth of expertise with the Turkish tourism industry, luxury resort guest relations and administration, and with Turkey’s largest high-end chocolate and coffee franchise.

A language fanatic, Büşra can speak not only Turkish but also Arabic, French, and of course English! Her hobbies include reading classic literature, learning the violin, and obsessing over Game of Thrones and Sherlock! Ms. Bayram is also a talented online article researcher on Upwork.com, freelance voice-over artist, social media manager, and part-time ESL blogger. Oh, she’s also the public face of Mad English Lab!

About Matt Cates

Matt’s a retired American government employee residing on the Aegean Coast of Turkey. He met with Büşra Bayram in early 2017 to discuss taking a few months break from her workplace to explore the idea of Mad English Lab.

His background includes:

Masters in Creative Writing

In 2009 Matt finished a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from National University, New York, with a Grade Point Average of 3.84. (His bachelor degree was in History, but he didn’t want to be a history teacher and couldn’t think what else to do…).

Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults

In 2015 he completed the acclaimed University of Cambridge Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults, with his in-person teaching practice conducted at the International Training Institute in Istanbul, Turkey.

CELTA is the internationally recognized initial teaching qualification for teachers of English. It’s the most popular initial teacher training course in the world.

Popular Amazon Author

He’s written two books and several short stories, which are all published via the Amazon Kindle platform. The books sell well enough to have ranked Matt within the Top 1% of all Amazon authors.

Teaching Experience

Matt served four years as courtesy faculty at Oregon State University, where he often substituted for the regular teachers. His experience was in a wide range of topics.

Experienced Freelance Writer

Matt Cates is a regular contributor to the world of Jerrick Media-owned verticals, including OMNI, Geeks, Longevity, Journal, Beat, Filthy, and Potent. He’s also a Top Rated freelance writer on Upwork.com. He’s also been featured on Forbes.com.

Matt operates and writes his two other sites, Scum Hive and Why Are You Still Working, both managed by his small indie company, Sable Mare Media, LLC.

Travel Experience

Matt’s been lucky enough to have gotten to see a bit of the world. He’s lived in or visited half of all the states within the United States, including Hawaii! He’s also lived on the island of Guam, England, and Turkey (twice), and has visited Canada, Japan, Wales, Germany, Belgium, Holland, France, Qatar, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Iraq.

You can visit Matt’s LinkedIn profile here.



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