Some years ago, after getting my Cambridge TEFL certification*, I was teaching English in a language school in Broadstairs, England. I found it fascinating to observe the different learning styles of students from different countries. For example, Japanese students were (and still are!) polite, hardworking, excelling at reading and writing but having more difficulty with speaking and listening. Italian and Spanish students were more outgoing and talkative, particularly enjoying the social activities but not always as keen on the reading and writing work! Of course I am generalising here and speaking from my own experience.
As with most EFL teachers, I wanted to travel and work abroad, so began to think about which country I would go to first. At that time we had quite a number of Turkish students, who impressed me with their friendliness, hard work and eagerness to learn. I had travelled around Europe, but Turkey was a country I hadn’t visited, and its position as a fairly westernised Muslim country appealed to my sense of adventure. Fellow teachers who had worked there gave positive recommendations, and so my mind was made up! I decided to apply for a job with the British Council school in Istanbul.
A month later, I stepped off the plane at Ataturk Airport, excited and a bit nervous, ….
(to be continued)
* TEFL = Teaching English as a Foreign Language