LANGUAGE LEARNING IN TURKEY CAN BE FUN !!!
learning in Turkey can be fun!
a member of the Turkic branch of the Altaic family of languages.
Nearly 150 million people spanning from Western China to
Eastern Romania speak the Turkic languages. Modern Ottoman Turkish
spoken by nearly 70 million people is the official language of
Turkey. It has heavy borrowings from Persian and Arabic languages,
as well as some European influences. However, in recent history
Turkish has been purging from itself the Arabic and Persian words,
replacing them with truer Turkish words, or with western
1928, the Turkish government replaced the Turkish Arabic alphabet
with a Turkish Latin alphabet. This action has helped aligned and
continues to push Turkey towards the west. With such a rich
language, culture, and people (over 150 million people speaking some
form of it), Turkish certainly is an important language to learn.
There are several ways a language learner can learn the Turkish language or any language for that matter. These methods range from taking university courses, to following the lesser-known LAMP method. Here is a quick run down of different ways to learn any language, including the Turkish language:
classes perhaps offer the easiest and most often followed of all the
forms of language learning. It is debatable whether it actually
teaches you the language fluently.
However, it might just work for you. It is appropriate for those who desire to have accountability in their learning process. Those who work well in a class structure should use this method. However, you should be aware of the down sides of taking university classes. They focus primarily on reading and writing the language. Spoken and comprehension is often neglected in the class setting, making the student great at reading, but helpless in understanding a native speaker, or communicating with a native speaker. In addition, class sizes are often large and impersonal, leaving the student very little one on one time. In Istanbul, two universities offer language classes.
Istanbul University offers a year of school for about
Bosporus University offers a semester of classes for
University seems to be the better deal, especially where money is
important. Other advantages to taking university courses are the
ability to apply for a year student VISA, ability to take advantage
of University facilities, ability to meet students and mingle with
· Language Schools
schools, similar to universities, focus on teaching language. Often
language schools have smaller classes, and during the summer months,
they have 4-week intensive classes. While language schools vary
between each other, one that stands out is Ankara Universitys
language system called Tomer. Several years ago Tomer split from Ankara University and
became its own independent organization.
In Istanbul, there are several independent Tomer schools.
There is one in Taksim, and one in Kadiköy.
There are other locations as well. They have 8-week and
4-week classes. Prices
for the classes vary from $250 for the 4-week courses to $450 for
the 8-week courses. Often you can get discounts. The system is
similar to the universities. You
will not see as many Turks, as Tomer is often done out of a
university setting. Class sizes are often smaller.
You can get a student VISA if you apply for several months of
Tomer courses at one time.
(Language Acquisition Made Practical) method is a little known, but
is a powerful method in learning languages, especially in places
where language classes do not exist. It focuses on building language
in relationships rather than formal language class settings. It
focuses on conversational and comprehension of the language first.
If you are one of those who can make themselves work on a language
without the accountability of a teacher or class, this method is for
you. In LAMP, the learner is in fact the language teacher. The
learner works with native language speakers, learning form,
function, and pronunciation of the language.
This is not a good way to learn a language for those who
cannot make themselves focus on the task of language learning.
the more interesting and fun ways to learn a language is to find a
language partner. A language partner is often a native speaker that
you pay to help you two or three hours a day. On average 5 million
Liras ($3), an hour is a fair wage (August 2002 prices). Be sure to
select a language partner you work well with, and your average Turk
agrees they have a good Turkish accent.
You do not want to end up speaking a dialect. In addition, it
is important that you distinguish between a language helper and a
language teacher. Your language partner is not a teacher (Teachers
may charge as much as $15 an hour or more). They do not create the
lesson plans, the learner does. You use them as you would a book.
You can record their pronunciation on tape so you can practice later
at home, go through a language book with them as you to help you
follow a lesson plan, or you can have your language partner travel
throughout the city with you explaining cultural antidotes. You can
do many things with a language partner. You can try out several
things including getting a book to use with your language partner.
There are many books out there. The Language Partner method is
similar to the LAMP method, however you may use language books to
supplement your learning and to help you create lesson plans.
Whereas the LAMP method assumes these tools are unavailable.
of these ways of learning a language are good in their own way.
Often they over lap and the learner can use more than one style to
learn the language fluently both grammatically and conversationally.
It is important for the language learner to know how they learn, and
if their goal is to learn a language grammatically correct,
conversationally correct, or both.
Mark Stephan is in full-time language learning in Istanbul, Turkey. Having studied almost a dozen languages, Mark is using the above-mentioned Language School system, the University system, Language Partner system, and LAMP method together in different amounts to learn the Turkish language . If you have any questıons about the Turkısh language or learnıng languages, feel free to contact me vıa emaıl.
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