English for Turks: A Mystery Unsolved?

Aqmal Ahsan tarafından yazıldı. Aktif .

What shall I call it, a plight or a bitter truth? Well not so serious but a little. I thought of writing about this issue on this month’s issue of the Fikir Adası. That’s about how far Turks are friendly with the English Language. As I currently stay in turkey I think this article is worthy to written by me not in insult to my Turkish friends but as a complement or aid in a way that induces them to get interested towards learning this precious language which serves as a common language to the whole world at least in a little amount.

In my stay here in Turkey I have come across different people who are students, professionals, professors, teachers, religious figures and many more. What I could observe in many of them was the absence of English speaking ability. This may sound as something weird but this is the prevalent truth among many turks which in most cases even they themselves regret for not knowing it. If it was only a handful of crowd that didn’t knew this or even a half I might in no way have written this; but since this is identified as a gigantic problem by Turks themselves to the extend even the Google shows much results for ‘Why don't Turks speak English’ , I think this must be considered something serious and measures should be taken to remove this huge obstacle  from a fast developing global player.   

English is spoken widely around the world. Whether in the west or east no matter what or where the country is, English is considered merely a common medium of communication at least when it comes to tourism. May be it was the colonial rule by the GB which was spread until the past century that has made the status of English today to be spoken as an official language in about 52 countries and as the de-facto language in 6 countries. Moreover it has also been serving as the Education, business and common tourist language in many parts of the world. Still English speaking is being promoted day to day by reputed organizations like the British council by establishing branches all over the world.

Sri Lanka, where I come from was under colonial rule for about 150 years by the British and was declared freedom in 1948. Since then the importance for English has been much prioritized in many areas and today there is a good crowd of English speaking people to be found. More than 90% of higher education courses are provided in English and there are also many international schools and government schools which suffice the community with English speaking personalities, by providing education in English. 

I think turkey must also adopt an English speaking climate within the country because having a lot of English speakers is going to mean a lot in the future for the burgeoning giant in the region. As a  growing Economy and as a nation which builds bridges between other nations in the region and outer region, Turkey must certainly promote English from now and must consider a dire need. If it could promote and propagate this worthy language with more attention among the university students or from high school itself, it would be as if half of the goal is achieved. Another important reason why this is vital for turkey is because the increasing tourist arrival, currently with more than 3 million per annum. To attract more tourists or to act tourist friendly, this is indeed something a precious magic!

I have seen the endeavor among the Turks to solve this problem. I have seen they pay hundreds of thousands of liras to overcome this, some even fly abroad to an English speaking country in a strong hope that they would solve this. And I have seen that they have reached their goals in many cases too. And what I would like to suggest at this point is that there’s nothing that cannot be learnt. The time may differ but it’s just a matter of passion or how far you show interest towards it, then you solve it. I hope my fellow Turkish brothers and sisters will take this into a serious account. 

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Aqmal Ahsan

Aqmal Ahsan

A village, a town and now a metropol. Excelled in oratory, thrived in school. Best high-school experience was being the founder cum-president of the Media Forum. Now away from thousands of miles to learn something worthier. A fairly good reader, writer and have the passion to manage-and always! Hoping something in between the pearl of the Indian Ocean and heart of the Ottomon Empire. 



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