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Foreign language should not be traumatized; focus on listening and writing skills

Stating that foreign language learning should not be traumatized with an approach that only reading and understanding but not producing, Asst. Prof. Dr. Şahin Gök said: “When learning a foreign language, focus should be on listening and writing skills. One of the most important problems preventing learning and speaking is anxiety about making mistakes.”

Foreign language should not be traumatized; focus on listening and writing skills

Noting that Turkey is in need of a foreign language learning while it is growing every day and becoming the center of attraction in many areas, especially in higher education Director of Istanbul Gelişim University School of Foreign Languages Asst. Prof. Dr. Şahin Gök stated that foreign language exams should be designed in a way to measure listening, reading, speaking and writing skills. “Language is mostly a voice or a written communication tool. We traumatized foreign language learning with an approach that only reads and understands the language but doesn't produce it.”
 
“FOCUS ON LISTENING AND WRITING”

Emphasizing the need to focus more on listening and writing skills while learning a foreign language, Şahin Gök said: “In our current understanding of learning a foreign language, we learn by reading only with our eyes and record it in our brain. Since the audio input, ie the listening rate, is almost nonexistent, the audio output, that is, the speech is very little. Writing skill also contributes to meaningful language output and permanent learning.”

LISTENING INTENSELY AND WITH UNDERSTANDING PREPARES THE GROUND FOR SPEAKING

Gök stated that listening intensely and with understanding, as children do, prepares the ground for speaking spontaneously, and said: “By listening intensely and understandingly, we catch the rhythm and unique music of the language with our ears. When adequate listening occurs, we see that the language is poured from our language block by block with meaning groups, not words, and even we cannot prevent it. In the second step, in the speaking phase, trying to convey the message to the other party without focusing on mistakes like children performs communication.”

“WE ARE AFRAID OF MAKING MISTAKES”

Stating that one of the most important problems that hinders foreign language learning and speaking is the anxiety of making mistakes, Gök said: “However, each language adds some concepts to the spoken foreign language, it is quite natural that sounds or words are used differently. Mistakes made while speaking are a necessity of natural learning processes. We love children's missing pronunciations and language mistakes and motivate them to speak more. We must do the same to ourselves, we must strive to convey the message across the world without getting stuck with errors. A little self-confidence will solve many problems.”

“IF TURKISH IS NOT SPOKEN IN THE CLASS, THE PROBLEM WILL BE SOLVED"

Stating that foreign teachers are not a solution to speak a foreign language, Gök said: “There is no system based on a foreign teacher in the countries that rank high in English education. In today's internet world, it is possible to access all kinds of original language material. We have to change our understanding and approach. Whether our professors who teach foreign languages at any level do not speak Turkish inside and outside the classroom, most of our problems are solved by themselves.”

“WE FOCUS ON AWARENESS CREATION STUDIES”

Stating that they minimize the use of Turkish in the classroom within Istanbul Gelişim University by concentrating on listening and speaking, contrary to the memorized understandings, Gök said: “We are trying to establish the speaking culture in the target language. We inform our students and motivate them to speak and use English inside and outside the classroom. We focus on raising awareness about how to learn rather than trying to teach the language.”

“FOREIGN STUDENTS ARE A CHANCE IN  LANGUAGE LEARNING”

Stating that they increase the number of foreign students every year, Gök said, “We observe that these students have a great contribution in communicating in English. We currently have around four thousand foreign students and we aim to increase this number to ten thousand. He sees them as a chance to move the awareness to play major roles in the teaching of foreign languages and the future of Turkey.”

“WE PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE WITH HOPE AND EXCITEMENT”

Emphasizing that their goal is to become a center of attraction in the world in foreign language teaching, Abdülkadir Gayretli, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Istanbul Gelisim University, said: “We continue our infrastructure works without a break even during the pandemic period in order to create an incubator that produces new language technologies and learning systems. In fact, we see the pandemic period as an opportunity, and we are preparing for the future with hope and excitement with the awareness that 'nothing will be the same as before'.”
 

Edited date: 05.01.2021
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