I’ve probably already told most people what my life teaching English in Denizli is like, but I thought I’d give a quick summary anyway.
The university I work at is Pamukkale University, just a short walk from where I live. The campus has a nice background, located at the foothills of the mountains.
I visit about 30 classes for a 45 minute conversation lesson during each class’ four hour day. That means that I see some classes every week, but some classes only every other week. I like that I have been able to meet many different students (each class is unique from the others), but at the same time it would be nice to have more of a personal connection with the students.
The English classes are divided into three levels: A (elementary), B (intermediate), and C (advanced). Even among classes of the same level, there is a wide range of actual language level, so I try my best to tailor the lessons according to each class’ needs. When planning lessons I also take into consideration the dynamics of the class–some classes are very quiet and need a fun activity to get them interested, while other classes are very energetic and need an activity that will help settle them down a bit. I try to make the conversation classes as interesting as possible and am constantly brainstorming activities that students would enjoy. Some of my favorite activities have been teaching English idioms (in a game format), playing Taboo, and using Tic-Tac-Toe to correct common writing errors (I divided the class into two teams and they were only allowed to mark “x” or “o” if they found the error in the sentence written on the board). My plan for the C classes next week is to try and have a debate. I’ve done this as a TA in the US and it generally works out pretty well, but I’m still a little nervous to see how it will work in this situation. I think the students have a speaking level high enough to be able to do well with it though.
My schedule varies depending on the day, but generally I visit four to six classes Monday through Thursday. There are classes held in four 45 minute blocks in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Some days I only teach for four hours in the morning or afternoon, but other days I also teach for an hour or two in the evenings in addition to that. As I mentioned before, I teach in 45 minute blocks. There are 15 minute breaks between each block, so usually Jane and I head downstairs to our office until it’s time for the next class.
I teach for 21 hours a week, so that leaves me with time to read, write, hang out with friends here, and catch up with family and friends at home.
Thanks for reading and I hope to have another post up soon!