Hello, I 'm Esra Makara, living in Chania, Crete and I have a deep love for language, teaching and communication!
I was born in Kayseri, Turkey, grew up in Istanbul and I 'm a native Turkish speaker. My passion for writing and language started from my early youth, making up stories on the shores of Bosphorus. Growing up, this led into studies of American Literature, Translation, Language teaching (English and Turkish as foreign languages) and
later a master's in Journalism, where I 'm now also pursuing a PhD.
Through my work as a journalist in a yachting magazine, I have traveled to several countries (Greece, France, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, Netherlands, Brussels, USA and Australia) and have had the chance to speak with many different people and experience the beauty of cultural diversity.
My principles are responsibility and hard work, while staying cheerful, sociable and enjoying life as it comes!
I got my first degree in American Literature from Istanbul University in 2008. Between 2007-2008 I also studied Teaching English as Second Language (TESL) from Marmara University. This diploma included courses in teaching Turkish to English speakers as well.
After graduating I've taught English at a language school in Istanbul for 3 years (various age groups and levels) and between 2013-2015 I was teaching Turkish to adults (expat employees living in Istanbul) as my second job. I've continued teaching Turkish here in Crete (mostly adult students) ever since I moved permanently in 2015.
My postgraduate studies in Journalism (master's, PhD candidate) and my job as an editor in Yacht Turkey, as well as my works as a translator since 2004 (one of my translations, "eat, pray, love", even became a best seller in Turkey) and my later works as a freelance writer, editor and translator have given me a very strong command of Turkish language in all its breadth and detail.
My experience in media and communication also reflects on my teaching by making it easier to prepare additional educational material, customized to the background or needs of my students.
I generally follow the methodology of "Communicative Language Teaching" and recently the books of Istanbul University, since it is becoming the dominant certification for Turkish language (at least here in Greece). Of course, every learning situation is unique and I 'm always open to customize my lessons according to the age, level, learning context, background and objectives of my students.
My translations and writings for various companies and magazines in Turkey provide a rich set of examples to draw from and my media experience makes it easier to provide additional material for any specialized domain (e.g., fashion language or tourism/legal/technical/political/business/medical topics).
My first priority in teaching is always to develop a student's conversational skills. This helps a lot to maintain the motivation to learn the language, makes it effortless to expand the vocabulary, makes things like Grammar, idioms and style easier to teach and most importantly begins the immersion of the student into Turkish culture which provides the essence for the language (e.g., cuisine, music, bargaining, family relations, religious metaphors ...).
I typically use visuals, music, games and activities to attract the attention of my students and also provide homework at the end of every lesson.
Last but not least :) I try to use many different books and to prepare my own resources. Actually, you will find some in the "Resources" section of Verbal Planet. They are available for everyone. Please feel free to give feedback.