Especially with the widespread use of online education in the recent period, I, like all of us, started to think about my profession, that is, as a Turkish teacher, how to bring Turkish education to the online environment. When I began researching what options we have for learning Turkish online when I came across American Chelsea Elizabeth's advice on learning Turkish online at home, the topic aroused more interest. So, I decided to share this topic with you on a blog. In this blog, I will tell you what options you have for teaching Turkish online from home.
Tips For Learning Turkish Online
Chelsea lives in Turkey and shares content about the Turkish language and Turkish culture on YouTube since 2010. Chelsea's channel has a lot of followers, especially from Europe and America. In addition to this, she has loved by the Turks, and they follow her channel fondly. In her video that she published on the Chelsea channel and gave advice to those who would learn Turkish, she says that many of her followers asked her: "How can I learn Turkish online?" by sending a direct message from Instagram or sending an e-mail. She explains that Chelsea followers, who received hundreds of messages on this subject, were very insistent on this issue and at times almost begged her.
There are two reasons why I think that Chelsea's experience in learning Turkish online will be a guide for you:
- First, she did not go to any physical Turkish courses in Turkey while learning Turkish.
- The second is that many people reading this article are just getting acquainted with Turkish, just like Chelsea was ten years ago. In other words, many people who are just starting to learn Turkish have not yet come to the many stops Chelsea left behind in their Turkish learning journey.
For these reasons, I know that Chelsea's experiences will enlighten your journey to learn Turkish online. Now that you are reading this article, you either searched a search engine for "How can I learn Turkish online?" or you are a member of an online Turkish community on this topic. While Chelsea talks about her Turkish learning journey, she particularly emphasizes that she does not physically attend any Turkish courses, as I mentioned above. Generally, at this point, she states that although many people attend intensive physical Turkish classes of 80 hours per month, she does not follow such a path. According to her, attending such a course is not only logical, on the other hand, but also not financially efficient. So what did Chelsea do to learn Turkish? What did she try? What has been the most effective method for improving her Turkish?
Buying a Turkish Grammar Book Instead of Going to a Turkish Teaching Course
Instead of going beyond the usual Turkish learning method and enrolling in a language course that teaches Turkish to foreigners, Chelsea bought a Turkish grammar book. This book she bought is a pretty old book written by Mualla Atlamaz. It is titled Easy to Learn Turkish Grammar & Dialogues. I want to tell you what happened next in Chelsea's own words:
I bought this book about 8-9 years ago, and locked myself in my room, and started studying Turkish grammar. Then it was not troublesome for my Turkish to begin developing. If I could sit down and do it myself at home, you can do it too.
Chelsea stated above is that she needs to learn Turkish, and she does this by self-study with a grammar book. Many of us now see it as old-fashioned. When I heard these sentences, the thing that came to my mind was: If we have enough motivation to learn a language, the method we do is of secondary importance. Because I believe a language is not taught but learned. If we want to learn Turkish, let's not forget that we are the ones to do this.
Going back to Chelsea's advice on a grammar book, I must confess that I found her views very interesting and I was very impressed, which I will pass on to you now:
I know it's cliché and a bit boring to recommend that you have a Turkish grammar book, but it's also a pretty helpful and efficient suggestion. First of all, if you learn basic Turkish grammar, such as present tense, present continuous tense, past tense, and future tense, it will be enough for you to start conversing in Turkish. All you need is to have a grammar book in Turkish to get you started. Everything else is just a detail. After learning basic grammar, all you need to do is improve your vocabulary. It is pretty simple to improve your Turkish vocabulary. After knowing the basic Turkish grammar rules and learning the primary words, you can improve your pronunciation and practice Turkish speaking by watching television programs or taking online private Turkish lessons.
In summary, Chelsea says that after learning the basics of Turkish from a grammar book and learning Turkish words suitable for beginner level, you can improve your Turkish pronunciation and speaking skills by taking Turkish online private lessons and watching TV. I can hear many of you saying: Well, but there is no place where I can practice speaking Turkish. Chelsea answers this question again: Online Turkish learning platform https://turacoon.com
Practicing Turkish with One-to-One Private Lessons: Turacoon.com
The Turacoon website is a platform where you can learn Turkish online by reaching native Turkish teachers within seconds, wherever you are in the world. There are 64 different subscription options. If I explain the Turacoon system with an analogy, the logic is the same as the prepaid phone lines. Just as we have a prepaid phone line, we take minutes of conversation first and then use the minutes. On Turacoon.com, we also buy a subscription to take private Turkish lessons from Turkish teachers online. As a result of this subscription, we have the right to book Turkish lessons online from the teachers in the system, and we can use the reservation rights in our package whenever and wherever we want. Now let's watch how the Turacoon.com website works and Chelsea's sample lesson with the Turkish teacher from Chelsea's video:
As you can see in the video, Chelsea made a reservation with a teacher of her choice at any time and easily connected to one-on-one Turkish private lessons, and had the opportunity to learn Turkish from a native Turkish teacher without leaving home. I found this sample lesson very useful for Chelsea's Turkish speaking and listening skills. In addition, the Turkish teacher that Chelsea taught online was very energetic and had a good command of the subject. I also loved the pictures she used in the lesson.
Especially for those who find it boring to learn Turkish from a grammar book, Turkish online lessons taken from Turkish teachers in Turacoon are crucial. It is not only for improving Turkish speaking skills but also for the development of Turkish grammar knowledge and reading, listening, and writing skills.
Chelsea's third recommendation to learn Turkish is social media that we all know well and use or exposed to for hours every day.
Improve Your Turkish on Social Media
"We all spend tens of hours every day on Instagram. So why not use Instagram to improve our Turkish?" Chelsea says. She then adds that social media is also crucial to learn Turkish online. And she shares her Instagram accounts that she used to improve her Turkish online:
As Chelsea said, it can be a pretty simple but effective method to turn the online channels where we spend our hours every day into an opportunity to learn Turkish online. On the other hand, considering the importance of exposure in language learning, increasing our encounter with the target language we want to get. While scrolling down the screen on our Instagram account and looking at the Turkish content will strengthen the connections of the neurons in our brains that carry Turkish information.
Watching Turkish Television Series
Considering the reputation of Turkish TV series around the world and the importance of watching-listening skills in language development, I must say that it is not a surprise for me to encounter this recommendation from Chelsea. Chelsea says that watching Turkish TV series helped her particularly to improve her understanding of listening to Turkish.
Chelsea has another golden piece of advice for Netflix users that will reinvent the game - which caught my attention, and I immediately included it in my own English learning process. By applying this technique that I will call the Double Subtitle technique, you can watch the content you watch on Netflix with your native language subtitle and Turkish subtitle. Now imagine this, you are watching the Turkish dubbed film Kapı on Netflix, and your subtitle option is English, which is your native language. We know everything up to here. But with Learn Language with Netflix, a magical Chrome extension, you can add a second subtitle to see Turkish and English subtitles comparatively. Moreover, when you notice a Turkish word whose meaning you do not know, you can pause the video and click on that word, and you can see the definition of this word. Let's listen to Chelsea how to download this plugin and use it while learning Turkish:
RELATED SECTION OF CHELSEA'S VIDEO
As Chelsea said, there were no such opportunities to learn Turkish online ten years ago, and this is not fair for those who had studied Turkish ten years ago. However, developments in the digital world create new opportunities every day to learn Turkish online.
Take Notes on Post-it
Another recommendation from Chelsea is to take notes on a post-it, which is a slightly classic but at the same time an effective vocabulary learning strategy. While learning Turkish, she pasted post-it on one side of the house with English words on the other side of the house. And as the day passes by, she is constantly inverting these notes and memorizing the words. Chelsea says this method is pretty beneficial.
Increase Your Exposure Time to Turkish
Chelsea points out the importance of exposing yourself to lots of Turkish voices while dealing with other things during the day. While washing the dishes, open a Turkish video on YouTube or listen to a Turkish podcast. While driving, open a Turkish radio channel. In short, make Turkish your second job at every opportunity by using your multi-tasking skill.
Erika Hoff's studies, who conduct major research on language learning, show that exposure to the target language accelerates the language learning process.
As you are exposed to Turkish sounds, first of all, your brain will have the ability to decode Turkish and begin to distinguish words. Then, by putting words together, your ability to make sense in Turkish improves, and eventually, your brain starts to think in Turkish and automates many things for you.
Try to Translate Everything You See Into Turkish
Chelsea's last advice for those who will learn Turkish is to translate everything they see into Turkish. For example, let's say you saw a tree outside while traveling on the bus. Consider the Turkish equivalent of this now. Then you saw a cat think of its Turkish equivalent. "When you play Turkish games all the time in your mind, you will soon see that you start to think in Turkish," says Chelsea.
In this way, we can improve our Turkish by challenging ourselves even while doing ordinary things in our daily routine. When there is a Turkish word that we do not know, we can learn it by checking the dictionary immediately. At this point, speaking of a dictionary, I would like to point out that Chelsea did not recommend Google Translate but said that it is sometimes misleading. You can find the meanings of Turkish words more accurately by downloading the Tureng application to your phone instead of Google translate.
In this article, where I compiled the recommendations of an American who learned Turkish as a second language, I aimed to clarify the subject with my views. The tips here, are of course, not general for all Turkish learners. Your learning style and circumstances will be the main determinants of your preferred method. The last thing I want to tell you is that you remember that you have many opportunities to learn Turkish online. With short research, you can easily create a roadmap for yourself to learn Turkish online.
I wish you a pleasant and productive Turkish teaching process!