Course Description

The set of teaching materials consists of two textbooks and audio recordings. Two audio CDs contain recordings of the alphabet, all of the conversations, and the listening sections. There are thirty units, six of which are review units: one after every four units. Each main unit includes one or more core conversations around which the other sections of the unit are built, short dialogues to illustrate grammar points, several detailed grammar points, substitution drills, class activities, exercises, reading texts, listening and writing sections, and finally a section of exercises. Many units also include cultural notes, games, translation exercises, and sections on pronunciation, phonology, morphology, and lexicon.

Each main unit focuses on specific social functions and grammar points and revolves around particular topics. The content of each unit is specified in the book’s plan that follows the preface.

Conversations on topics specific to each unit are the centerpieces of the unit. The language of these conversations is natural, including vocabulary and phrases encountered in everyday usage. Yet, the language is somewhat simplified, especially in the earlier units. Most conversations are short and can be memorized easily. An English translation is provided for each conversation. Every core conversation in the book is recorded so that students can listen to them repeatedly. Conversations are usually complemented by supplementary vocabulary, useful expressions, cultural notes, and drills. Various drills, such as transformation, translation, substitution, or response drills follow each conversation. These drills are based heavily on the frequently-used language patterns encountered in previous conversations.

Each grammar point covers one particular grammatical item, and grammatical explanations are further strengthened by exercises and examples in Turkish. An English translation of each sample sentence is also provided. Since Turkish grammar is fundamentally different from English grammar, grammar explanations tend to be more detailed than those given in other language textbooks. It should be pointed out, however, that the grammar points are not necessarily comprehensive. A short conversation or two sometimes precede a particular grammar point to focus the students’ attention on it and to make the point easier to grasp.

Substitution drills are an important means for going over the topical or grammatical material presented in conversations. Repetitive drills allow students to practice important patterns. Through repetition, students learn to generate similar structures and this provides them with a basis to build on in the newly acquired language. The cues for these drills are given in Turkish in the first ten units; in the remaining units, they are in English.

Class activities may include exercises to be practiced by the student alone or with a partner; group work, role playing, or games to be performed by two or more students. Many of these activities are designed to enhance the students’ speaking and functional abilities. Directions for these activities are given in English in the first twenty units and in Turkish in the last ten units.

Reading texts were created specifically for this textbook. Most of the reading passages enhance the grammatical and topical points covered in the same or previous units, but the difficulty level of the language used in the reading passages tends to be higher than that used in other sections of the same unit. Many, if not all passages are followed by one or more reading comprehension exercises. Contents of the reading sections correlate with those established for novice-low through intermediate-mid in the Reading Proficiency Benchmarks for Turkish by AATT.

Each unit has at least one listening section, designed to further the students’ listening skills. Each listening section is recorded. Listening sections are important and fun ways to strengthen the students’ listening skills.

Cultural notes provide important information about Turkish culture. These notes are most valuable for those who have never been to Turkey but intend to go there after they acquire the language. Many of these notes also provide native vocabulary items related to a particular topic. Since language is a means of expression in a specific cultural setting, it is very important for students to familiarize themselves with the Turkish cultural values expressed through the Turkish language.

Each unit includes at least one writing section to further the students’ writing abilities. Often the writing sections follow written samples and are based on either the topic or the grammar point covered in the unit.

Many units provide phonological rules and pronunciation patterns in the pronunciation sections. This is in addition to what is covered in Unit 1, which contains extensive information on the letters, sounds, and pronunciation features of Turkish.

Word focus sections are about Turkish vocabulary in general. Detailed explanations on many commonly used words or derivative suffixes are included in these sections. Dearth of English cognates makes it harder for the student to acquire a sizable Turkish vocabulary in a short period of time. Word focus sections are designed to help students address this challenge.

Vocabulary is given particular importance. Students are introduced to approximately 1,200 Turkish words.

Functions covered in a unit may be presented in conversations, texts, or other materials, or they may be introduced separately. Most functions, grammar points, and topics covered in this book are compatible with those addressed in AATT’s LLF Interim Report.

Games used in the classroom setting are educational as well as fun.

There are a number of exercises within each unit. There is also a separate exercises section that ends each unit. Many exercises are mechanical, and some are communicative in nature. There are at least two translation exercises in each unit. All of the exercises in a unit relate to points covered in that unit. Students can work on the exercises in the classroom, right after related topics or grammar points have been discussed. The instructor can also assign these exercises to students as homework.

Each review unit is designed to reinforce the topics, functions, or grammar points covered in the preceding four units. Review units include eighteen to twenty-five exercises similar to those found at the end of each main unit.

The Answer Key to Listening Sections include the correct answers to the listening comprehension exercises.

The Answer Key to Exercises section at the end of each book provides answers to the hundreds of exercises included in that volume.

The Turkish-English Glossaries, which include about 1,200 words, were created by consulting several most-frequently-used Turkish word lists, including the one produced by AATT.

The English-Turkish Glossary in each volume mirrors the Turkish-English glossary of the same volume, providing an easy access to the Turkish vocabulary items.

The Index section facilitates searching for grammatical structures and important Turkish suffixes.