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Turkey to hire 40,000 native English speakers as guest teachers
1.       tunci
7149 posts
 25 Mar 2011 Fri 11:20 am

Turkey to hire 40,000 native English speakers as guest teachers

25 March 2011, Friday / TODAY’S ZAMAN, İSTANBUL

                              Education Minister Nimet Çubukçu

The Ministry of Education will bring in native English-speaking teachers to work with teachers in English language classes across Turkey starting from the next academic year as part of a project aiming to improve the education of foreign languages in the country.
 

As part of the project, launched due to the criticism that foreign languages are not taught well in the country, “English cafés” will be opened, popular cartoons and children´s shows will be aired in English with Turkish subtitles and foreign language education sets will be distributed to students. The project will run for five years at an estimated cost of TL 1.5 billion. The project aims to be the foundation of the nation´s foreign language teaching policy.

With the project, a total of 40,000 English teachers will arrive in Turkey over the next four years and activities will be held during weekends and the summer vacation with the participation of Turkish teachers of English and native English-speaking teachers.

In English classes, native English-speaking teachers will accompany Turkish teachers and take part in extracurricular activities. The native teachers will also hold speaking classes for both the students and the Turkish teachers of English.

Speaking with the Anatolia news agency, Education Minister Nimet Çubukçu said Turkish students cannot speak English properly despite their foreign language classes, a reality that has led the ministry to initiate this project. She said the native English-speaking teachers will be of great help for students to practice English.

Addressing recent speculation that these teachers will replace Turkish teachers of English, Çubukçu said the project does not prevent Turkish teachers from being appointed as teachers, but it has been prepared to teach and help learn English better.

The head of the ministry’s projects department, Ünal Akyüz, said they have looked into similar programs in South Korea and Japan. He said 70 percent of local teachers and students are happy with the project in South Korea. While noting that English language teaching in Turkey is generally based on teaching English grammar, Akyüz said: “The new system focuses on speaking. We aim to show that English language education is not limited to teaching grammar, but that speaking and writing are important as well.”

The guest teachers will sign a one-year contract, and if the schools and teachers are happy working together, the contracts can be extended. “We will establish criteria prospective teachers will need to meet. We will look into their teaching experience and criminal records,” Akyüz said. The project will start in big cities first and later spread to other parts of the country. Agencies that will coordinate the employment of the guest teachers will be determined through a tender.

“We will only decide on a standard salary. It may change from province to province. The accommodation of the teachers will be provided by the agencies,” Akyüz explained, noting that the guest teachers are paid $1,500-2,000 per month in Japan and South Korea. He added that a similar system is already in place in several private schools throughout Turkey.

The materials to be used in English language classes will also comply with international standards and modern English education sets will be purchased to be used in Turkish schools, Akyüz stated. The project will pave the way for the teaching of English to start from pre-school.

The ministry is also preparing multimedia centers in schools to pave the way for distance English learning. Akyüz said 1,000 English teachers will be hired from the US for distance learning in the first phase of the project.

2.       MrsBee
190 posts
 26 Mar 2011 Sat 11:30 am

It was on the news for days.

Turkish teachers were protesting on the street against "import meat".

I gueass they didn´t get the full memo.

3.       gokuyum
5050 posts
 26 Mar 2011 Sat 05:43 pm

 

Quoting MrsBee

It was on the news for days.

Turkish teachers were protesting on the street against "import meat".

I gueass they didn´t get the full memo.

 

As a Turkish teacher I protest this. If you don´t trust the education you give to English teachers, why do we have English teaching faculties?

4.       MrsBee
190 posts
 27 Mar 2011 Sun 09:22 am

 

Quoting gokuyum

 

 

As a Turkish teacher I protest this. If you don´t trust the education you give to English teachers, why do we have English teaching faculties?

 

I don´t think learning shouldn´t end after finishing the university. I would be grateful for the chance to be a better teacher by working with a native speaker. 

Of course being a native speaker doesn´t mean that that person can actually teach. If you are a good teacher, nobody should be able to make you uncomfortable.

Hold your head high and make the best of the situation. Don´t take it personal. There´s nothing to do against it at this point.

5.       gokuyum
5050 posts
 27 Mar 2011 Sun 02:59 pm

 

Quoting MrsBee

 

 

I don´t think learning shouldn´t end after finishing the university. I would be grateful for the chance to be a better teacher by working with a native speaker. 

Of course being a native speaker doesn´t mean that that person can actually teach. If you are a good teacher, nobody should be able to make you uncomfortable.

Hold your head high and make the best of the situation. Don´t take it personal. There´s nothing to do against it at this point.

If they want to import native English teachers at least they must be honest and close English teaching faculties. Every student has a right to have same teachers. In this situation one student will have native teacher other will have a Turkish teacher. This is unfair. If you import more native teachers to overcome this unfairness, you have to fire other (Turkish) teachers. This is also unfair. 

 

 



Edited (3/27/2011) by gokuyum

6.       maryilyons
153 posts
 27 Mar 2011 Sun 10:27 pm

40,000 English teachers in four years? Are they kidding? There aren´t that many qualified English teachers out there! I don´t think Turkish teachers of English have anything to worry about as far as losing their jobs. There are not enough native English speakers willing to come here and fill those positions. I am a native English speaker and an international teacher. International schools are constantly advertising teaching positions all over the world that pay better than Turkey and have better benefits, better teaching facilities, smaller class sizes, and much better situations to teach in. Turkish students don´t take English language learning seriously and they are hard to manage as a result. In the school where I worked, and the school where my friend worked, most Turkish students didn´t take ANY class seriously even though their families paid a lot of money for them to go to these schools. I speak from experience, not from hearsay or second-hand information.

 

If they do manage to fill 40,000 teaching positions in four years, most of the teachers will not be qualified teachers. They may be native speakers of English, but as the previous posts state, they does not mean they will be good teachers, or even have any idea how to teach.

 

My boyfriend´s English teacher was a teacher of religion who just happened to know a bit of English because he took a few classes in university. He was Turkish, but his knowledge of English was seriously lacking. But, because he knew some English, his school leadership  made him teach English. This is still going on in Turkish schools today, especially in the east where there is a teacher shortage anyway.

 

I think the government has a lot more work to do on this proposal before seeing it through. It is not realistic, nor is it the best way to go about getting students to be serious about learning a foreign language.

HiMary liked this message
7.       MrsBee
190 posts
 27 Mar 2011 Sun 10:31 pm

 

Quoting gokuyum

 

If they want to import native English teachers at least they must be honest and close English teaching faculties. Every student has a right to have same teachers. In this situation one student will have native teacher other will have a Turkish teacher. This is unfair. If you import more native teachers to overcome this unfairness, you have to fire other (Turkish) teachers. This is also unfair. 

 

 

 

According to the article posted here, foreign teachers don´t come to replace Turkish ones but to help them. At least this is what they´re saying...

Probably you´ll have first hand info about this later. Make sure to share it with us, I am curious how this thing will turn out. 

8.       MrsBee
190 posts
 27 Mar 2011 Sun 10:40 pm

 

Quoting maryilyons

Turkish students don´t take English language learning seriously and they are hard to manage as a result....

If they do manage to fill 40,000 teaching positions in four years, most of the teachers will not be qualified teachers... 

It is not realistic, nor is it the best way to go about getting students to be serious about learning a foreign language...

 

 

I wonder that youngsters not wanting to learn is only Turkey-specific or a worldwide thing. Do we have more teachers here to share some info about this?

I do think today´s school systems suck a** and they need to be revised and updated.

I agree with your statement that most of the native speakers won´t be qualified teachers. They should be very careful to employ the right people. Otherwise there´s simply no point of all this fuss.

I am afraid that they didn´t plan this thing as carefully as they should have.

9.       maryilyons
153 posts
 28 Mar 2011 Mon 01:14 am

I think there is a definite lack of respect for education world-wide, except maybe in Asia. I taught in China for two years and most of my students were Korean. The Asian students in our school were pretty serious students, with the odd one here and there that wasn´t. But the problem does seem worse here in Turkey than in say, the US or Europe, where there are also many students who don´t respect their teachers or the educational system.

10.       vineyards
1954 posts
 28 Mar 2011 Mon 02:08 am

Let´s remember what conditions Turkish teachers of the English language working in public schools enjoy.

* Regardless of where they live, they must serve in a location determined by the Education Authority. This could be some remote terror stricken Turkish village predominantly populated by the Kurds for some of whom Turkish is a foreign language much the same way as English is.

*They must get by with a salary of TL1200 if they are a new teacher. After working for 30 years they can look forward to a hefty TL1400 salary. Note: Salaries are paid on a monthly basis, so don´t reach for that calculator. 

*Their salaries are increased between 3 and 4 percent every year. That is several times smaller than officially declared annual inflation which some believe is also several times smaller than the the actual increase in prices. (Particularly energy, alcohol and tobacco.)

These people are never given a chance to improve themselves economically. So, as expected many of them speak English poorly. Having a salary like that means you must calculate every penny you spend. You can´t believe the precision with which some of these guys have to calculate their monthly spendings in order to reach the end of the month without starving. No entertainment, no social life other than home visits; just boredom and family quarrels.

It is ironic that these nice guys at the ministry are working on such a costly plan. Perhaps, they are targeting the fakirs in the Indian community of the UK. Since they can survive without eating or drinking much, they are naturally eligible for that position.

The government might also be planning to pay these 40k native teachers a salary on a par with what they might get back home. Well, one foreign teacher will then cost as much as 8-10 Turkish teachers. But you know these guys musn´t have born as Turks in the first place. 

Anyway, we are kind of used to this. When I was in Athens a couple of years ago, a Greek guy complained of the high fuel prices in their country. I say: "Oh, come on it is only one Euro per liter." He answers that by saying. "Yeah, but it is even cheaper in Turkey, for that reason all our yachts sail to the Turkish coast to fill their tanks with cheap fuel." Methinks: "There is something wrong with that. In Turkey gas is almost 2 Euros per liter." Then I learned that foreigners are exempt from taxes that´s why they can enjoy the fuel on the cheap. I hope 40k English teachers will enjoy our country too.

 

 



Edited (3/28/2011) by vineyards
Edited (3/28/2011) by vineyards

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