Ahmet Öztel, Turkey
I'm a Turkish second language teacher who has graduated from the English Language Teaching Department of Bilgi University. During my undergraduate degree, I had a chance to select one of the best "elective courses" that I've ever taken which changed my life and my career completely, "Teaching Turkish as a Foreign Language". The course was given by Nihan KETREZ who has been one of the most significant professors in this area. Having taken her classes, I had a chance to observe the Turkish classes that were given to international students of Bilgi University. While observing one of the classes, I've met Atanur MEMİŞ, who had been working in the university as a Turkish instructor for foreigners and manager of Bilgi TÜRMER. My interest in his classes must have called his attention, he offered me to be his assistant in his courses. After about 3 weeks, I was asked to teach in Bilgi TÜRMER, which was the official Turkish teaching institution of the university. My first year with Bilgi TÜRMER was hectic as I had to study, work and continue to assist Mr. Memiş with his classes. In my second year with Bilgi TÜRMER, I was promoted to be the education coordinator of the institution yet still taught Turkish as a foreign language, coordinated the Turkish language certificate examination(TYS) in the years 2016, 2017 and 2018. I also partook in a project organized by American Research Insitute in Turkey (ARIT). In the project, I examined and assessed the Turkish speaking skills of American students studying at Boğaziçi University. After my graduation from the university, I started to teach English in some private schools. However, I realized that I liked teaching Turkish more than teaching English. So I decided to focus on teaching Turkish as a foreign language. In 2020 I was giving private classes to many students all over the world. When my students started recommending me to their friends, I decided to give online group classes for Turkish learners. In 2021, I officialized not only my teaching with the certificate provided by Sakarya Üniversitesi TÖMER but also my courses in the name of "Turkish Academy".