The best way to start learning Turkish is to research your options. This article features a list of the most common language-learning methods.
Language schools in Turkey
A language school might be the best option if you are serious about learning Turkish. Taking courses at a language school combined with practice outside the classroom will yield excellent results. As far as language schools in Turkey there are many choices. Turkish language schools can be found in many cities and for a variety of prices. You will often find classes of 10 students or less – these small classes are ideal in that they offer both opportunities for practice with other students and individual attention from the instructor.
Home stay courses
Home stay courses allow the student to get a richer grasp of the culture and more opportunities to develop their language skills in “real life” situations. They place the student with a family somewhere in Turkey. There are various options available for home stays in Turkey: You could end up with a small family in the country, a modern family in the center of Istanbul, or even combining language classes with a home stay by living with a private language teacher.
Home stays can be a cheaper than enrolling in traditional language classes and offer a opportunity to connect with the culture on a deeper level.
Language exchanges in Turkey
Opportunities for language exchanges abound! With a bit of searching on your own will find many people willing to exchange their Turkish for your language. To find a suitable partner you can search local or online classifieds. Expatriate websites are the best places to search as they have the most variety.
Private classes are a great option if you find that language schools are too expensive or you want even more individual attention. The best way to find a private teacher is to look online at expatriate websites, but you can also look on university boards, or at expatriate cafes.
Au pair in Turkey
Au pairing is another affordable option that gives you the chance to take part in the daily life of a Turkish family. You will live with the family and they will support you and pay you in exchange for help around the house. Duties usually include childcare and property maintenance (such as gardening), but may vary depending on the family´s needs. The main benefits of au pairing are the paid living expenses and additional spending money it provides. In addition, you will be able to explore your new environment in a safe way with the guidance of your family. Placements usually last 3-12 months.
The disadvantage of au pairing, however, is never being “off duty.” You may very well find yourself working harder or longer than you expected. Try to get as much information as possible from yoru family before agreeing to work as an au pair.
You can find au pair opportunities on www.transitionsabroad.com.
Using books and CD's on your own is helpful if you are a highly motivated self-learner. If not, then you will find this method difficult and ineffective. However, books and CD's can offer excellent practice for learning the basics before you go to Turkey. While books can help you with grammar and vocabulary, CD's can help you with pronunciation.
Regardless of whether you use it as a learning tool , however, you should bring a pocket dictionary or phrase book with you to Turkey. You will be thankful to have it the first time you step into a Turkish supermarket.
Another option is using computer programs designed for language learning, like Rosetta Stone. While they are no replacement for lessons and practice with other people, these programs are more interactive than books and CDs and can actually test you on areas such as grammar, writing, speaking and listening.