The education sector has been affected dramatically by the coronavirus pandemic. In response to this, the Yunus Emre Institute (YEE), which has the task of promoting both the culture and Turkish language around the world, are now providing one-to-one language lessons to approximately 60,000 online students thanks to the vast array of technological infrastructures.
The head of the YEE, Seref Ates, said that they started to offer distance learning after their courses were disrupted by the pandemic. Ates confirmed that they swiftly developed the infrastructure whilst also building green box recording studios once they received 400 applications from people that had responded to an online advert for Turkish classes in Italy.
Ates went on to say that: “Right now we give one-on-one lessons to 60,000 people, six hours a week. These courses are offered all over the world. We reach 5,000 people in Latin America alone. Last week in Kazakhstan, 8,000 people applied after we ran an ad.”
Ates then talked about their YouTube channel and the content that they created in their virtual studio. He said: “We produce materials that contain not only pronunciation, but all the grammar rules, and this service is open to the whole world. Over the last year, Turkish has risen to the top five among languages learned as a foreign language.”
Language and Culture
As well as teaching the Turkish language through distance classes, Turkish culture is taught in the same way at the same time. The courses are available in countries where there are no institute offices thanks to the distance learning portal and the infrastructure available in the virtual studio. Ates, confirmed that: “For in-person courses, you have to rent a place for a limited number of students and send teachers. But this way, we can reach 10 times as many people.”
The institute is based in Ankara, the Turkish capital, and it is here that the content is created for beginners. The dialogue is written by teachers and they act out mini plays which demonstrate the way Turkish is used.
One of the course lecturers explained that the aim was to assist students learning Turkish without the need to see the teachers in person. She said: “We help them with speaking in daily life situations, which Turkish words they can use and how they can learn grammar in the simplest way possible.”