Country:  Turkey 

City:  Samsun

Turkey seems to defy easy categorization. It has the feel of Europe, the excitement of other Mediterranean countries, a cuisine that straddles the east and west, and a faith that looks eastward. It is unique in many other ways, which may be why so many Fellows have requested a second year. While news in the last few years may have dampened the west’s enthusiasm for Turkey as a touristic destination, visitors continue to arrive in increased numbers since the events of July 2016, ex-pats thrive professionally and academically, and schools and universities continue to search for new ways to improve ELT in their institutions. While high-level political ties with the U.S. are strained, Turkish hospitality continues to thrive, and Turks on the street are eager to learn what more can be done to improve relations.


Ondokuz Mayis University is located in one of Turkey’s medium-sized cities, Samsun, on the picturesque Black Sea coast, about 1 hour by plane from Ankara or Istanbul. The progressive city is proud to have played a pivotal role in the founding of the Turkish republic close to 100 years ago, when it was already a fast-growing fishing town. The city is filled with parks that follow the coast, as well as lush, green spots as one climbs the hills behind the port. It recently played host to the 2017 Deaflympics and, as such, has world-class athletic facilities.

Host Institution:  Ondokuz Mayis University

Ondokuz Mayis’s ELT Department is well known for having produced English teachers for most of the vibrant Black Sea coastal cities, as well as further inland. It just hosted its first international ELT conference that was attended by academics from around the country and abroad, despite having a temporarily closed airport. The campus is considered one of Turkey’s prettiest, sitting atop a hill with prime views of the Black Sea. It has successfully hosted Fellows in the past, many of whom tout the Black Sea’s hospitality.

Primary Duties

  • The Fellow will primarily be responsible for preparing students to become effective English language instructors. Courses range from direct language instruction in the first year to higher level methodology and linguistics-related courses in the final two years of the students’ four-year program.
  • The Fellow is also encouraged to take part in in-service opportunities, as well as play an active role in sharing best practices – through informal discussions, observations and feedback sessions, or workshops – with other instructors.
  • The Fellow is also encouraged to ensure that students and teachers alike take part in American English webinars and MOOCs as part of this pre- and in-service professional development.

Secondary Duties

The Fellow may be asked to:

  • Provide outreach to ELT faculties and university prep programs in and around Samsun. These will consist primarily of presentations to pre-service students that focus on life-long learning and professional development, with an emphasis on resources and programs both inside Turkey as well as through the Office of English Language Programs
  • Provide outreach to schools identified by the Ministry of Education for in-service professional development to support either teachers in middle schools that are piloting an English immersion 5th grade year, or teachers in vocational high schools focusing on supporting the tourism industry
  • Provide outreach and collaborate with Access programs to share best practices with area public schools. Additional workshops could include sessions for parents about supporting their child (simultaneously translated) as well as prep for local off-site overnight immersion experiences.

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English Language Fellow Melissa Van De Wege gave an interactive presentation about the United States to students at Bahcesehir Koleji, a private K-12 school. It was the conclusion to a week-long learning series about U.S. Topics, which included American geography, food, pop culture, history, and the English language.

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