Konuşan Paragraflar (Talking Paragraphs)
The current textbooks for learners of Turkish trying to move from the intermediate to advanced level are simply not suitable for use in the U.S. higher education system. Materials are either designed for learners who live in Turkey as foreign nationals and receive several hours of instruction per day in an immersion setting or are exclusively dedicated to grammar drills and exercises. Neither pay any meaningful attention to communicative competence, presenting material with an overreliance on tables and charts in place of explanations and overwhelming students with an avalanche of vocabulary that is either assumed knowledge or presented in one unit and then not seen again. Material presented in reading and listening activities is neither authentic nor of practical use, while structured speaking and writing activities are few and far between. Moreover, Turkish culture is largely ignored, limited for the most part to a few colorful pictures presented without any thought to integration with the larger themes of the unit.
Konuşan Paragraflar (Talking Paragraphs) will take a process-oriented and student-centered approach geared specifically for Anglophone learners of Turkish. Activities will be guided by the three modes of communication (interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational) and the exploration of authentic materials will be structured to encourage cross-cultural comparisons. Learning outcomes will be clearly provided at the beginning of each unit, with grammar and vocabulary introduced in a carefully controlled manner and with a wide variety of activity types that increase in complexity over the course of the unit.
Each unit will have a text written by the authors to introduce the theme(s) of the unit as well as an authentic text, both with warm-up activities and reading comprehension questions that require the learner to work on and with the text and to identify the text type, topic sentence, supporting arguments, and other salient details. Each text will be accompanied by a “Spotlight on Culture” section that examines a cultural practice, product, and/or perspective mentioned in the text in addition to explanatory sections on grammar and vocabulary. Task-based, communicative activities focused primarily on developing speaking skills (information gap, choice, and feedback) will be employed throughout each unit. Each unit will conclude with an extended writing assignment that activates schemata for vocabulary, syntax, and cultural content, while exploring a variety of different text types, including personal writing, public writing, social writing, creative writing, and institutional writing. Homework assignments will be provided in pdf format and print-on-demand versions. Chapters in this project will be released in a serialized fashion, with work completed during the summer of 2022.