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TESOL Turkey: Using The Communicative Approach

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TESOL Turkey - Visit Beypazari Homes when teaching English in Ankara

In order to better adapt one’s teaching style for ESL instruction in Turkey, it is necessary to understand the general education system and mentality.

Turkey’s education system renders the value of daily education almost moot, as getting from elementary school to high school even requires passing a standardized test.

The prep school industry here is huge. This means that no matter how good the education at whatever school, kids still essentially have to make their way through the system by learning from rote. Aside from this, society is – for the most part – very pragmatic.

This means that attempting to engage students in the Communicative Approach takes a little more effort than it normally might.

Student Motivation – TESOL Turkey

Teaching English in Turkey with the Communicative Approach slices two ways. It can take some time to adapt because students who are used to being taught through the direct method may interpret an instructor attempting role-plays, or popping in a video for context, as gimmicky.

If you manage to push through this, however, students of the younger generation, and even a minority of adult students who show a little more open-mindedness, tend to enjoy the Communicative Approach since it’s a refreshingly different way of learning than what they’re used to and it also shows greater results in their language acquisition process.

Job Market and Class Sizes – Using The Communicative Approach in Turkey

In Turkey, there are lots of schools, public and private, as well as private language institutes, trying new things and trying to catch on as the next big thing in English language learning. Some expensive private schools may even swear by one approach one year, then scrap it the next. The best approach to take, in my opinion, is still the Communicative Approach.

The tendency now for schools to be seeking out that new next big thing in teaching English more efficiently has in effect made it easier to work using the Communicative Approach.

It’s always best to ask in an interview or do some research on the school you are thinking of working at or applying to, to see if a) they have had a system in place for any significant duration of time, and b) if they are an organization that is less inclined to the direct method and more conservative methods of teaching.

Class sizes can vary to anywhere from 8-10 students to 30-40 students. So the average class size is well-suited to communicative methods.

High schools generally have larger classes, with public high schools having the highest number while private high schools depend entirely on the school; they can be very large or small.

There are a lot of private preschools that provide good work as well; usually with classes numbering in the 10-20 student range.

Resources – TESOL Turkey

You should also inquire with any school, or institute, about what materials and resources they have available. This varies greatly. Some schools will tell you they do not want to push technology on young children, and so their preschool will have no computers, and will sometimes expect instructors to purchase their own materials – more often than not a cost-saving ‘approach’.

On the other hand, there will be schools that expect you to be able to present all your lessons with the aid of projection materials and fluency with PowerPoint.

You should probably base your decision on what school to work with on this fact, as the best schools will generally only require something between the two extremes; you possessing average computer fluency and making do with the essential technologies and authentic materials.

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