Teaching Turkish to non-native speakers within the context of Turkish Armed Forces practices

Ali Taştekin
649 128


The historical process of Turkish Armed Forces’ activities concerning teaching Turkish to foreigners has not yet been completely identified. However, the first known Turkish language education given to Guest Military Personnel after the foundation of Turkish Republic was recorded in the enactment signed by Ghazi Mustafa Kemal on 24 April 1933 and issued 14234 on “the admittance decree regarding the Saudi Arabia Government’s wish to send students to “Türkiye Harp ve Tayyare Mektepleri” (Turkish Schools of War and Aviation) and this is acknowledged as the beginning of this practice. It was observed that in this Teaching Turkish to Non-Native Speakers activity performed by Turkish Armed Forces, “Eclectic Method” was applied and four language skills (reading, writing, comprehension, speaking) were allocated an adequate amount of time and the same amount of importance within the bounds of possibility while teaching Turkish. In order to make this exemplary practice of Turkish Armed Forces known in the science world, it would be beneficial to include topics such as “Teaching Turkish for Professional Purposes” and “Teaching Turkish to non-native adults for specific purposes,” etc. in national and international workshops. There are certain relative problems in teaching Guest Military Personnel Turkish as a foreign language. It was determined that these problems were tried to be solved by means of additional precautions and that selecting the trainees from abroad according to TAS exams first applied in 2005 has had a positive contribution to the quality of Türkçe Tekâmül Kursu (Turkish Improvement Course). Precautions must be taken in order to increase the number of experimental research made to identify the problems encountered in teaching Turkish to foreigners. Training programs must be prepared by experts and Turkish Armed Forces staff should also be included in research groups to be founded for the update of the program.

Keywords: Turkish language education, foreign language, Turkish Armed Forces, military personnel.

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