In the first of our Industry Voices series, Kurtuluş Ҫetİn, an English teacher from Turkey, tells us about his experience of learning English, Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), how adults can incorporate language learning into their busy lives, and how hobbies can aid studying.
“I’m Kurtuluş Ҫetİn and I’m an English teacher from Turkey. I’ve been teaching English for more than 15 years. I work as head of department at a private school and I also teach medical English on the side. At school though I teach young learners.”
Language learning –
anytime and anywhere!
“I always thought that learning a language when you are young was better. But as I know from myself, and also from discussions at this conference, I think that even in later ages, everybody can learn English. Everybody can learn a language at every age. There is no age limit!
Everything is changing. The internet and social media concentrates a lot on English learning. If you are interested in doing something, you can learn easily, but you must find the right way. Maybe it takes time to learn something new, but if you find the right way, you can get to your target.”
Practical learning as an adult
“Life experiences are so important, so you have to make language learning a way of life. If you think of learning a second language as a way of life, you will learn quickly. You need to combine it with your private life. As a doctor, for example, if you use English in your profession, you will learn quickly. Take the CLIL method… I learnt English from CLIL. I’m not originally an English teacher. I studied biology in English. After graduation, I became both a biologist and English teacher. I studied at a school of medicine in the department of psychology and neurology. I studied learning, the learning process, the brain, and I learnt that excitement really improves your experience, your life, and you can learn more easily and better. If you stick to grammar rules, and if you don’t have the opportunity to practice, you can’t learn English.”
Ways of learning, including Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)
“Yes, [CLIL is an effective away of gaining language skills]. But also other things… there are musicians! I use music to teach English through songs and rhythms. I have many friends who are musicians, and their English is very good, all through music. Imagine, studying lyrics and singing songs, playing musical instruments… they have contacted people all over the world this way. I am a cyclist as well, and I host many people from around the world in my house, and communicate with them, and this way I have encountered some accents from other countries. This is important because English is not just for English people anymore – English is a global language and there are many dialects and many accents. We have to familiarise ourselves with this. It is a way of life.”
Kurtuluş chatted with IHWO at the IATEFL conference in Brighton, UK in April 2018.