Hi, I’m Eda Ocak Zakaria. I’m a Turkish teacher and I teach Turkish via Skype; I write stories, articles, I make videos and flash cards for learning; then share them on Facebook, Instagram, and on my blog, making Turkish easier for you.
I studied Turkish Language and Literature at the Mimar Sinan Fine Art University, in Istanbul between 2002-2007. When I studied, I wasn’t planning to become a teacher, unlike my other friends in my class at the university. So, instead of teaching Turkish in a governmental school, I wanted to continue studying. Then I studied Western Art History for the master degree at the same university. During my master program, I found a language school by accident and started to take internship about teaching Turkish as a foreign language. This idea made me so excited because in this case, students come from all over the world, in addition to the fact that teaching Turkish as a foreign language is a completely different story, one that I wanted to know. By the time I found out that I can actually teach, and it is pretty cool. Because I don’t just teach, but I also learn many things from my students who come from different cultures, have different characters, and at different ages. I kept teaching Turkish language for 8 years till 2015 in a private institution.
In those years – 2008-2015, with improving my teaching abilities, I was inwardly developing a new sense of the world, due to interacting with different people from variant cultures. Those students became my friends as well. Yet, I understood that it’s not enough for someone to learn the language in order to get into the country, but he should learn about the culture that belongs to people speaking that language as well. That’s why, apart from teaching the language, I also started to focus more on the culture and the similarities/ differences of Turkey with other countries, for ultimately delivering them to students, along with the language.
At the end of 2015, I decided to continue my career with a different experience, by moving into teaching Turkish via Skype, and I’m still doing that to this day. Then I saw how I could help my students more through Skype, than through classroom lessons; or even more than face to face private lessons, for several reasons.
First of all, we could use the time that is usually wasted on long roads, in preparing more for the lessons; second, it gave the students –especially the new ones- more confidence trying to speak, as they are getting the lesson in the comfortable place of their choice, with no one around except me in the camera; and finally, with both of us being in front of our laptops, it was easier and more functional to exchange videos, helpful websites, task files, and short stories. And also there are many students who want to learn Turkish in their country but they can’t find a good course or teacher nearby.
I live in Izmir. Apart from teaching, I spend time with exploring new methods for teaching language, gardening, traveling, and taking some courses that I am interested in.
· For all levels: the goal is to improve the students’ abilities in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
· For speaking, I use examples (sayings, expressions, news, questions, jokes, slangs… etc) from daily life.
· Every course is specific to the student, based on his specific requirements.
· Various videos, songs, stories, vocabulary exercises, and games are added to enrich the lessons and make them more enjoyable.
· For the first level, I speak English –when necessary- to have a better communication.
· Students don’t need to buy any books or materials, as I prepare that for them.