Saturday, November 14, 2015

A Wordly Turkish Class

This post is dedicated to my Turkish class.

Alex and I attend Turkish classes five hours a day, five days a week, for a total of 25 hours per week. We are grateful to Akdeniz University for allowing us to take this “A1 Beginner” course for free. From talking to our Fulbright peers placed in different cities, we know that they are not receiving anywhere near the same amount of instruction as we are, so for this reason alone, we feel very blessed. These classes are in addition to our packed teaching schedule, which sometimes goes until 7:30pm in the evening.

I love being a student and learning new things, and as such, I am very enthusiastic in class. I actively participate in class: I like to raise my hand and answer the Hocam’s questions. I enjoy going to the board and filling out conjugation tables. And I especially enjoy making jokes with my peers and our teachers. I learn best when I recognize patterns and apply my knowledge, which is why I often have high energy in class despite the fact that I skip breakfast every morning. I thrive when I receive positive reinforcement from my Hocams. It’s also nice being a student in the mornings, because it gives me the perspective of my own students when I stand up and teach. Sometimes, the long days do take a toll on us though; after Turkish lessons, we eat lunch, then hold speaking clubs, and are sometimes called to susbstite for classes that go until 6:30pm.

My wordly Turkish class!
Muzaffer Hocam in the front, Burcak Hocam in a white shirt on the right.
Muzaffer Hocam and Burcak Hocam are our two lovely teachers, and they take turns teaching us at different hours and days. Muzaffer Hocam likes to tease me, so arguing with him in class is fun. The classes are taught in Turkish, which is an opportunity and a challenge for obvious reasons; an opportunity because it forces us to use our Turkish and a challenge because it can be hard to understand grammar concepts. This does not discourage me from asking clarifying questions, however, even if I get scolded for using English, ha.

What I love about my Turkish class is that it is truly worldly. There are students from across the globe! Our class is composed of students from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Libya, Syria, Morocco, Mexico, United States of America (us, hehe), the Netherlands, Russia, Belarus, Iraq and Afghanistan. What a blessing to be in such a worldly classroom!

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