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Tömer Turkish Language Course. Student complaints....
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12327
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2003 2:45 pm    Post subject: ghost Reply with quote

Shrewsbury ? Cheltenham ?

Or settle him in Bradford or Hounslow and make him go to classes on "The Multicultural Society" and "Combatting the Racism Within Us"
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ghost



Joined: 30 Jan 2003
Posts: 1332
Location: Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2003 5:04 pm    Post subject: English locales Reply with quote

Those quaint English sea side resorts are not good choices, as one runs the risk of running into some narrow-minded individuals resembling some of those posters on this forum.

If being objective and truthful and having one's eyes open are considered objectionable...then so be it. Interesting also, that some of the posters on this forum focus exclusively on the negatives that were mentioned without acknowledging any of the positives, which were also outlined. Sad.

On multiculturalism. This poster might know more about that, considering the fact that this poster's background encompasses no fewer than 5 nationalities if you go down the family tree in the entire area including extended family. The vision is a global one.


Last edited by ghost on Sun Nov 09, 2003 5:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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daveryan



Joined: 20 Aug 2003
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2003 5:13 pm    Post subject: Why pick on Shrewsbury? Reply with quote

Evil or Very Mad Well Ghost you have managed to sink to depths far beyond that of your earlier ramblings. I can accept the fact that you present nonsense as fact as there are thankfully a number of posters using this forum who have been able to correct your misinformation : I can also accept the fact that you are unhappy...As someone who is about to embark on a TEFL career in the near future one of my greatest fears is the fact that I might, as you so obviously do, feel lost and alone miles away from home, and struggle to adapt to life in a totally different culture and society. I can also feel a degree of admiration for you as you are out there doing something that as of yet I can only aspire to do.....albeit getting closer on a daily basis.

However, I cannot and will not accept your obscene and blatant racism....if there are any genes coming into play here I would suggest that the 'F...wit' gene that you have obviously inherited is the only one of relevance. To suggest that the Turkish people are inherently lazy is foolish.. to suggest that this is in some way a genetic quality disgusts me. Why fall back on the language of facism to hide your own inadequacies.

If you are lonely why not say so? I get the impression from other posters that something of an informal support network exists in Turkey, why not call on them for help and comfort? Surely that would be preferable to humiliating yourself in this way.

But to end on a positive note...in some respects, bar the racism and misinformation, I find your posts very helpful. Your experiences in many respects are akin to my worst fears, but why focus on the problem when you are obviously and so desperately in need of solutions?

Ask for help, ask for advice, as I know that I will be doing when I arrive in Turkey in the New Year. Perhaps we can meet up for a drink to discuss our mutual fears and worries. But in the meanwhile please, no more racist diatribe.

Cheers
Dave
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ghost



Joined: 30 Jan 2003
Posts: 1332
Location: Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2003 5:52 pm    Post subject: Genetics and/or culture. What determines behaviour? Reply with quote

With regard to the genes. Being facetious was the objective. Of course no one is born with a 'cheating gene' or 'lazy gene'....although most humans have a propensity for inertia if given the chance...yes everybody. We are all born, also, with an innate 'aggressive' gene (defense mechanism), so Turks are no meaner than others, but some acts they engage in would be considered deplorable in some countries because societal norms are not the same everywhere. In Turkey it is acceptable, for example, for parents to beat their children should the latter transgress. This, especially, occurs in the Eastern hinterlands of the country.

The big factor is environment plus (a big plus) innate intelligence. In Turkey environment will often 'override' the innate intelligence factor because the culture here is one in which things are much more 'relaxed' (for want of a better positive word). This means that individuals who have a big potential might miss the boat, because the culture here does not spur them on to great efforts.

If you take a sample of Turks and do a cross representational study with other nationalities, the Turks, on average, will have a few bright individuals, many average ones, and a few people of low abiltity. The same goes with a group from Taiwan, Japan, Canada, Britain, etc....The environment here, however, might not help some Turks attain their potential, as Turks place a premium on social relations and hedonistic activities. But that is their choice. So you might have little 'Mustafa' a shoeshine boy from Adana with intrinsic great intelligence, but the environment he lives in will prove to be an insurmountable handicap in achieving his future high potential. The environment might instil lazy habits in him, since a lot of his behaviour will be based on peer emulation and norms. The pressure to conform is great everywhere. Including pressure to conform in ways which are not always in the best interests of individuals.

What was meant was that some of the things which occur in Turkey (cheating etc....on tests) have been institutionalized, and of course since Turks live here and are privy to those goings on, they will also have more of a chance of engaging in those behaviors as well.

In summation: Environment and basic genetic potential are factors which determine how people evolve. The Turks across the board have as much potential as other nations, but the environment here determines a lot of the behaviour. People coming from other environments are initially subjected to cultural shock, and that does not just disappear easily, especially for people who are adults.

In countries where most of the posters on this forum hail from, we have been influenced in thinking that people who spend their days accomplishing little or nothing are 'time wasters.' You cannot just erradicate all those years spent in Western first world 'go ahead' countries.
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yaramaz



Joined: 05 Mar 2003
Posts: 2345
Location: Not where I was before

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2003 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
In countries where most of the posters on this forum hail from, we have been influenced in thinking that people who spend their days accomplishing little or nothing are 'time wasters.' You cannot just erradicate all those years spent in Western first world 'go ahead' countries.


What do you mean by 'we', ghostie? You are the only one obsessed with ambition, productivity, betterment, and other myths of civilization.
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ghost



Joined: 30 Jan 2003
Posts: 1332
Location: Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2003 6:21 pm    Post subject: Chill... Reply with quote

Yeah...some of us are products of our environments.

Hardly surprising...
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yaramaz



Joined: 05 Mar 2003
Posts: 2345
Location: Not where I was before

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2003 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you were trying to be snide and to insult me but I really can't figure out what you're talking about.

Quote:
Yeah...some of us are products of our environments.

Hardly surprising...


Are you saying that my environment (I guess that would be Vancouver Island, Canada) is shiftless and unambitious? Do you know anything about me or where I came from? Do you assume that I am lazy and shiftless? Do I have to send you a CV to show you what I have done or learned or acomplished in my life?
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samet



Joined: 21 Sep 2003
Posts: 12
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2003 2:48 am    Post subject: a cure all Reply with quote

Dear Spook,

I am forever in your debt. I haven't laughed so much in ages! Of course nobody could possibly take you seriously.

Regards,

Samet
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12327
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2003 10:35 am    Post subject: Ice Cream Salesman Reply with quote

On some other thread the spooky ghost has asked about a TEFL position that he can combine with his summer "catering job" in Canada (selling ice cream ?)

Maybe he should go into catering and leave the world of TEFL.
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ghost



Joined: 30 Jan 2003
Posts: 1332
Location: Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2003 1:21 pm    Post subject: Seriously Reply with quote

Why would a poster not be taken seriously? Maybe one is suggesting that one 'just go with the flow' and 'start smelling the roses' and 'chill' to get on in this world? Sad. Easy to castigate when one does not have the vision to see the bigger picture.
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yaramaz



Joined: 05 Mar 2003
Posts: 2345
Location: Not where I was before

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2003 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm still not sure what this bigger picture is that you keep talking about, ghost. This is not a criticism or a jibe-- I really am not sure. It might help me to make sense of your postion.

My bigger picture is to live my life as fully and joyfully as possible, wherever in the world it may be, working as much or as little as I feel like, learning as I go, discovering all of the strange and amazing things out there. I've done this in many countries and I think my accumulated experiences and knowledge are significant.

I am able to do all this in turkey, at least for the time being. I'm sad that you can't do this, that turkey has been such a negative experience for you. When you first started posting about Turkey, you were rhapsodic-- you'd had so many good experiences here on holiday. Are you sure you don't just hate Antalya????
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ghost



Joined: 30 Jan 2003
Posts: 1332
Location: Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 8:57 am    Post subject: Turkey for the long haul Reply with quote

Of course a place on holiday (Turkey or anywhere else) can seem very appealing, but when people actually live and work here for an extended period they find out that things and people are not quite what they seemed to be compared with the vacation perspective.

The 'bigger picture' is that life is relatively short, and one should try to maximize the positives as much as possible and reduce the negatives. Some are happy to just coast along for a couple of years in Turkey, but when the time comes for these people to leave (and most of them do, save a few who marry and settle) what have they learnt and what skills will they bring along with them to make them marketable for the next position?....yeah....maybe that's not a priority, but most of us need money to live decently.

Many ESL people in Turkey don't even make a serious attempt at learning the language, and that is a pity also, because unless you learn the language and communicate with people at a reasonably fluent level (speak without hesitation, even if you do not know all the vocab.) you will always be relegated to the position of 'honorary yabanci' in the best case scenario. As previously mentioned, being stereotyped as a foreigner in this country is not very pleasant and carries with the package a substantial number of negative connotations, which you and others already know about.

The 'bigger picture' is that there is a whole world out there waiting to be discovered and there are also other places where one can use one's 'skills' to teach English. Remember there are far more people throughout the globe who want/need to learn English than there are teachers available. One can capitalize on this.

Let's be honest here and call a 'spade' a 'spade.' How many of you posters have had an interesting conversation with a Turk in this country? Very few or none one could imagine.

A typical conversation between a Turk and a foreigner adheres to a strikingly similar format in 99.9% of the cases!
1. Where are you from?
2. Are you married?
3. How old are you?
4. Which football team in Turkey do you support?
5. What is your job in your country?
6. How much money do you make?

After those 6 points have been covered, the end of the conversation is established or very close. Anything else that comes out of the mouth of a Turk at this point will usually be in the form of 'phatic' communication, with the foreigner merely having to go 'um' and 'ah' to show concurrence.

The above is a gross characterization, but guess what, in 3 months of residing in this country this poster has always been subjected to the above.

The above format shows the lack of insight most Turks have about things which do not fall into the familiar realm. The absurdity of asking a foreigner about which football team they like in Turkey does not occur to them. They simply assume that everyone is interested in the game.

The banal and simple questions that follow, show one that most Turks are in serious need of expanding their horizons...but of course this will not happen for reasons that were previously mentioned in other posts.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12327
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 9:16 am    Post subject: conversation Reply with quote

ghost,

Have you ever had conversations with Mr Joe Average in the UK, or Canada, or the USA ?

Personally I find it EASIER to talk to Turks, with my limited Turkish and whatever foreign language they have, than I do to those benighted inhabitants of Europe's Offshore Islands, or those from anglophone America.

I can more easily imagine myself living and working in Turkey than I can imagine living and working in Blair's "Cool Britannia".

We are all different. If you dislike Turkey so much go to Canada and make your millions, selling your ice cream or whatever. Live the Canadian dream. But do not asume we all want the same things in life.


Last edited by scot47 on Tue Nov 11, 2003 3:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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yaramaz



Joined: 05 Mar 2003
Posts: 2345
Location: Not where I was before

PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm better able to put my skills to use here than I was in Canada. I taught in language mills on the West Coast, getting by on poorly paid contracts and supply work. Before that, my honours degree was put to good use in minimum wage retail, restaurant, and health care jobs. Canada or Britain or the US or whereever do not value university degrees unless they are in business or engineering or something practical. Turkey is letting me grow and learn and become a better teacher. In Canada I'd probably still be doing temp work.

As for meaningful conversations... ghost, where have you looked? Who do you talk with? I have interesting conversations that veer far from the narrow topics you listed, conversing in English, Turkish, French... whatever language is necessary... I spent three hours over Iftar yesterday speaking with a fellow with intermediate English skills, using my high beginner Turkish and my English, and we covered a lot of ground. I had a great time- politics, religion, culture... we discussed it all. It's there if you look for it. The Turks are deeper than you give them credit for being.

And, finally, yabanci is not a four letter word. I have not been mistreated or disrespected for this. I think your being in Antalya has a lot to do with it---- tourist central vs my untouristed city.
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Mike_2003



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 344
Location: Bucharest, Romania

PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps, Ghost, the Turks are keeping their questions simple because either they don't have the English skills to converse deeply in English, or, if you are talking about speaking to each other in Turkish, they believe you wouldn't be able to understand more meaningful conversation.

In Turkey people often define themselves by their football teams and there are some class issues related to football. Every culture has its own way of defining poeple with small talk and introductory conversations. In the USA people will often ask what state you are from, but in the UK it would never occur to us to ask what county a person hailed from, in Turkey they like to ask about your home town and your football team. It's just the way of things.

I have plenty of good conversations here, both with my private students (in English) and with other friends (in Turkish) but I do remember a time when I felt something similar to what you are feeling now, so I can sympathize. Often subjects such as politics and religion are a little taboo and people still shy away from them until they feel more comfortable with you and trust you. Turkey hasn't always been as open as it is now. Many of my students tell me things that I'm sure they would never tell another Turk. Not so long ago one of my students told me how he despised Ataturk and his racist and nationalistic followers. You can bet your last kurus he would say that to his friends down the cafe!

As for the treatment of foreigners, it is sometimes tough and you will always be a yabanci and be treated discriminately (sometimes negatively, sometimes positively). Of all the foreigners I've known here over the years, the younger males get the roughest ride, possibly because the main antagonists are of a similar sex and age. The older or female foreigners seem to get a smoother ride. You'll get used to it, it doesn't make it right, but it makes it easier.

At the end of the day, sometimes a country, just like people, can rub you up the wrong way. Obviously Yaramaz didn't take to the UK and if I were a more sensitive (nationalistic) man I could be insulted by some of her comments which are not a lot better than some of the things she is getting at you for (if they weren't mostly correct Smile ). If you can't settle and you feel the experience isn't advantageous for your priorities, then move on. As you said, there's a whole world out there.

If you ever get back to Istanbul, feel free to drop me a line and we'll go for a few beers.

Regards,
Mike
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