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About lisa56shannon

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    abnormal member
  • Birthday 16/04/1956

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Yalikavak, Turkey
  • Interests
    Languages, linguistics, anthropology, drawing, painting, travel, teaching, ethnic foods, reading, music (esp. jazz and acoustic)
  1. Thanks Abi and Iza for your suggestions. Abi, to answer your question, it's complicated. I live in Yali as a permanent home, but besides the traveling I'm doing with my nephew, I will be going back to teaching in the fall. It may not be in the Bodrum area for various reasons, but at least I'll be in Turkey. If you haven't been to Yalikavak, you are welcome to visit me! Perhaps I will contact the Animal Welfare Center, because it would be nice to help out with the animals there.
  2. Thank you both for the excellent suggestions. Hope to meet some of you--if not now, in the summer season.
  3. Hi neighbors, After three months in the US of "licking my wounds," as they say in the cowboy movies, I'm coming home to an empty house. But I won't be alone--I'll be bringing my nephew to stay with me until April. He's a smart, fit 22-year-old with a keen interest in ancient history and a more impressive knowledge of it than I had imagined. And he's so excited about this trip he can hardly contain himself. Since I'd only lived in the area for 2-1/2 months before my husband died, and was spending all that time caring for him, I haven't seen ANYTHING of historical or geological interest on the Bodrum peninsula or surrounding area. Are there any of you who live there year-round and know what's open and what's good to visit this time of year? We'll spend a few days in Istanbul, and I know what to show him there, but once we arrive in Yalikavak it's going to be pretty quiet. I don't even know what the weather will be like. I'd love to meet some of you as well one of these days. I look forward to any suggestions, including restaurants and jazz bars that might be open. Happy New Year to all of you, wherever you may be. Li-Li
  4. Welcome to our forum Coldscrip,Your camp sounds very good, and it's in a wonderful area. Since you are a male I think you'll have fewer problems even if you find yourself alone for a time. The Turkish language is only navigable to the extent that it has a lot of foreign borrowings that you might recognize from English or French (but with Turkified spellings): istasyon, otogar, tuvalet, etc. In Istanbul or Izmir, particularly the touristy areas, you will find an abundance of merchants and tour guides who speak English. And when you arrive at the airport terminal, look for an information desk called "DANISMA". That person will speak English and can direct you to public transport and other services. Once you leave the big city though, you will find fewer and fewer people who speak English, but they will probably be inversely more friendly and willing to help you all the same. Buy a phrase book. Be as careful and cautious as you would in any strange place, be humble and polite, learn as much about their customs as you can before hand and respect the culture. You should do fine. And you have forums like this one to help you. Good luck!
  5. Geezer, It all depends on the school and how desperate they are. Some private language schools will hire you with only a TEFL of some kind (usually CELTA) according to their own policy. A K-12 school is not legally allowed to hire you unless you have a BA in English and a teaching certificate for primary or secondary school, because the Ministries of Education and Labor won't approve the candidate without them. Schools DO manage to get around the regulations, though, but that means a certain degree of back-door/under-the-table arrangement or perhaps giving you a different title and hiding you during inspections. If you want to check the status of your applications, just write a friendly e-mail asking if you're still under consideration and that you hope to hear from them soon because you're starting to get interest from other schools and you'd really like to work for THIS one. Ask if you can visit the director personally. Sometimes they don't know until the summer who they'll hire. Sometimes they fire staff on the last day of school and don't know what their next-year's needs are until then. There's no 'usual' response time in this business, and they often hold off making a decision until they get more resumes to choose from, by applicants easier to get through the approval system. I hope this helps. Good luck.
  6. My husband and I are hoping for the same thing maybe this year (although I have to work most of the year in Gebze). I will be grateful to hear any recommendations on real estate agents as well. Meanwhile I'm happy to meet prospective neighbors. One thing I've gleaned so far is that you will do well to hire a lawyer before you sign any contract, and it seems to me that it's safer and more expedient to buy an already lived-in home than a new one (especially beware of off-plan real estate). Lots of people on this forum are suffering at the hands of bad business practices and projects gone bad during the financial crisis, so do be careful. Many other folks have advised me to rent first before buying. Consider that as well.
  7. lisa56shannon


    Francine, I agree with all that has been written here. I've seen it all before--in Tarsus we met a person who was in the middle of a con with a woman in Europe. His pregnant wife knew all about it, so probably their families did too. He tried to pull us into his con by befriending us. He wanted me to teach him English so that he could communicate better with his 'girlfriend'. When we realized what he was up to we were so disgusted with him that we refused to have anything to do with him. Sirin's very sensitive message is also true: don't blame yourself. I have one thing to add to her comment, "he's far from the man you fell in love with, so why would you fight to hold on to what he is now?" and that is that you fell in love with an idea, not a real man. I think most of us do that in all innocence. We're pretty lucky if the idea turns out to be halfway accurate. I applaud you for your strength and courage--now go take back your life!
  8. I already miss the warm hommus, wood-oven baked pide and cezeriye from Tarsus. You can get things like that in Istanbul, but it's not the same. And REAL Adana kebap from Adana. mmmmmmmmmm........
  9. No hostility from me--just making a helpful suggestion, one teacher to another. Good luck in your pursuit, Geezer.
  10. I can't resist commenting here. On your point, Geezer, you don't have to be a native speaker to be a good teacher of a language. I've had American and Canadian colleagues who were awful teachers and Turkish colleagues who were excellent teachers of English, French and German. I've taught Italian myself, and I'm not native. Sometimes the perspective of someone who is has learned the language later in life is helpful for understanding the process his/her students are going through.On Ben's and Agamemnon's comments, though, I have to agree that you will have more credibility if your writing on-line looks like that which you would be teaching young learners for academic purposes. It's the level of formality and professionalism that will make people impressed enough to recommend you, even if you make a grammatical error now and again.
  11. Dear Geezer, I can give you some information about this: first, the official answer is that if you are going to teach in any K-12 school, whether it be private or state, you need to have a Bachelor's degree in the subject you are teaching and a teaching credential for elementary or secondary education. The top schools (the ones with the best salary, benefits, and reliability with regard to paying what they promise) will require both. That said, some schools can bend some rules if you can get the title of "usta ogretici" (which is loosely interpreted as "teaching specialist") from the Ministry of Education. They will review your college transcripts to see if you have enough English classes to make them confident you know the subject. If you are usta ogretici you can teach but not sign report cards and such, and only some schools will risk it, but not all. The reason is that grades are all-important and if a parent thinks their child was given a low grade unfairly they will challenge it with the school, the Board, or higher. Sometimes parents bully teachers and principals even when their child hasn't done a thing to deserve any grade at all. There are other schools who will hire you with insufficient credentials, but under the table to one degree or another. You may not even get a contract, and I advise you to stay away from those schools because you might not get paid on time. Inspectors come around from time to time and then you have to hide or get lost. The hiding game even happens at good schools sometimes because there is always someone who is not an official teacher, or who still hasn't received the work permit that is pending, or whatever.I hope this helps, good luck to you.
  12. I agree with all your observations. I've been affected by life in Turkey too. I've slowed down and become more laid back about details and disorganization. My mantra about living here is that if you want to be happy you have to be "patient, positive and flexible."Also when I go back to the States I always want to say "Kolay gelsin" to all the folks who are doing a job. I'm sorry we don't have such nice expressions like that, or "Elinize saglik" for the person who's made a delicious meal.
  13. I don't want to generalize either, but I know that in Turkish schools at least, we are very much restricted in our ability to provide consequences for bad behavior. There is a strict discipline policy set by the MoE that involves a lot of incremental measures and basically gives an indefinite number of second chances. We are told to encourage students to be good, rather than punish them for being bad. How abstract is that?! And how effective...well, at my first school, where the students were mostly children of nouveau riche agribusiness tycoons, a kid could get away with nearly anything. One year a student was expelled for blowing up a live chicken by putting a lit firecracker in its back end. I believe the expulsion was reversed. The second year I was there 40 seniors gang-beat a 9th grader because he talked to a student who was being ostracized. Maximum sentence: 5 days suspension (which for those students was merely a vacation). A phone call from a rich daddy to the local official pretty much wipes out all the careful procedures that are taken by the administration. At my new school, by contrast, most students are on scholarship and all live in a dormitory. Those are privileges that the MoE has little control over, so they are carrots and sticks that can be enforced with MUCH better results!
  14. Thanks, Fil, that's good to know. We plan to be in Turkey pretty much indefinitely, and it would be nice not to have to take a huge cut in pay if I decide to go 'native'.It's also true that the best English teachers aren't necessarily native speakers. I've had some Turkish colleagues who were fabulous at teaching English, French and German. In fact, the people who have had to learn a foreign language often know better how to teach it because they understand the language acquisition process first-hand. Kudos to the schools that recognize that and compensate them accordingly.
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