15. Testimonies from Students and from Teachers

At the beginning of the course, the students are trained to become curriculum builders. They examine the resources available and organize themselves in terms of how they want to interact and act with or without any given materials.  

Extensive knowledge of the instructional materials and deep understanding of subject-matter knowledge lead both teacher and students to scaffold learning projects according to a principle of instructional convergence. This unifies instruction, evaluation and learning. The plans clarify the possible steps of realization of educative projects.

Note: A federal grant allowed us to create deep instructional materials for Turkish learning.; it serves as an example of what can be be done to scaffold the Deep Approach. Two books giving the practical details and guidelines are in press for early 2013, See DUP - Deep University Press. For more information with teacher training videos, see HERE.

STUDENT REFLECTIONS ON DEEP APPROACH AFTER ONE SEMESTER:
“My experience with the Deep Approach modules was unique and helpful. In no other foreign language class had I ever encountered such an in depth yet easy to operate system for language learning. I also appreciated the cultural aspects included, as it's hard to get an understanding of a different country's culture when living overseas.” Ellen (Language Learner)
language learning testimonies
 
language teaching testimonies
 

1. How would you briefly describe your experience with the Deep Turkish modules?
- My experience using the modules was very helpful. My teacher utilized many of the modules during class and for homework assignments to improve my reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in Turkish. They forced me to think creatively and out of my comfort zone. They also were great cultural tools to learn more about the history and people of Turkey.

2. What did you like most about working with the modules?
- I liked that the modules had a lot to do with actual Turkish culture. Not only did it make it easy to interact with my classmates, but it was also a learning experience to be able to learn about Turkish traditions.

3. What is your favorite module? Why?
- I really enjoyed the module on the movie, "Babam ve Oğlum." It was a really great Turkish movie and using the module while watching it was sort of like having a study sheet that we could fill in. It made a huge difference between just watching a movie and trying to understand it, and actually having to think critically about what is going on in the movie and the language that is used.

4. What project did you work on?
- The project that my classmates and I did was a video presentation that was used as a sort of introduction to any foreign students that were not familiar with the University campus. We showed students the most important and vital places on campus and the entire presentation was done in Turkish. It was a really awesome video and what made it even better was the fact that it was practical!

5. In what ways did this project help you improve your target language?
- The project helped me improve my Turkish because I was speaking in a much different way than I had previously in class. We were able to mix formal Turkish with some joking around. We went deeper into descriptions and we really had to speak clearly for people to understand us. It was a very helpful project. 

1. How would you briefly describe your experience with the Deep Approach modules?
- My experience with the modules was unique and helpful. In no other foreign language class had Imever encountered such an in depth yet easy to operate system for language learning. It helped to augment my language speaking and listening far greater than any other program I had tried previously. I also appreciated the cultural aspects included, as it's hard to get an understanding of a different country's culture when living oversees.

2. What did you like most about working with the modules?
- I really liked how they incorporated the most important aspects of the target culture. Often, when learning from a textbook, the things you learn are that which are important to an American as opposed to what a native speaker would consider important. The modules made for a more earnest and deep learning experience because of their cultural insights.

3. What is your favorite module? Why?
- My favorite module was "Kadınlar" because I find the topic of women in Turkey to be fascinating. People are easy to dismiss Turkey as a supremely patriarchal society and thus repressive towards its' women, so learning more about the way things -actually- are, is extremely interesting.

4. What project did you work on?
- A friend of mine and I made a power point with recorded conversation. We both learned a lot of vocabulary as our conversation centered around a specific place and topic. Sure, it was about ice cream, but that's important to me.

5. In what ways did this project help you improve your Turkish?
- Apart from the aforementioned vocabulary acquisition, it helped me get an idea of the normal pace of a Turkish conversation. Speaking and learning the emphasis on words helps to know what is being said, as  opposed to just hearing one long sentence and interpreting it as gibberish.

language teaching testimony
 
TEACHERS REFLECTIONS ON DEEP APPROACH:
“My students seemed receptive to this idea of creating an environment where they are creating how and what they want to learn about a particular topic; I always wanted to have them be part of the creation process-- but it's never as individualized and as independent as the deep approach has been so for me, I feel as though I'm gazing out into an open field, filled with all sorts of possibility. It develops their own sense of self-awareness, a critical life quality that is dynamic and which is continues to grow outwardly." Daniela 

“Students have expressed their eagerness for the deep approach and that it accommodates variety of levels in the same classroom in a positive way.” Zuleyha

“Deep approach is a very detailed and user-friendly online material for intermediate and advance level Turkish. Teachers can use the material according to studentsʼ own needs and they should feel free to selectively use particular sections of videos. They should be aware that there is this flexibility.” Feride 

“My students begin to see themselves anew. No longer are they students, but they are the catalysts in a research/ creation environment. I try to be as supportive as possible, without holding their hands. It has been a really challenging move on both ends, since my students are used to sit-n-get for most of their day, and I am used to leading things. We are growing together!”  Stephanie 

“Give them the power to create their rubric, and they will take the power to execute their own expectations. Not always, but mostly.”  Jen 

 

language learning testimony

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