|Mr. Ibrahim Sevimli helps Christopher Morrison, Andres Georges, and Bintou Diebate with their homework during the lunch time academic support period. (photo by Xiaowen Hu)|
By Yudi Arevalo
Did you hear about the new teacher from Turkey? His name is Mr. Ibrahim Sevimli. He is an exchange teacher from Turkey to the U.S. and is part of the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program.
Mr. Sevimli is teaching ESOL 1 students, “I feel good teaching here at Blair because I have students from different parts of the world and because I have the opportunity to know other students,” he said.
Teaching in Blair is different from teaching in his country. “In Turkey I don’t have the opportunity to have different students because all are from Turkey. But here I have that opportunity,” he said.
Mr. Sevimli said that there “is a clear difference” between teaching English in Turkey and teaching English in the U.S. Here his students are very ambitious about the learning of English. But in Turkey he said, ”My students care less about learning English because they don’t need to speak English in the street or at home. That way they care less,” he said.
But learning English in the U.S. is different. “Here my students of ESOL 1 are very focused on the language because they need to speak English everywhere they go,“ Mr. Sevimli said. And he added, “I’m very proud of my students because they put a lot of effort to learning English.”
One of his students is Maysi, a Spanish speaker. In her opinion Mr. Sevimli’s class is “very comfortable.” “It feels different from other classes because he teaches better and I understand more,” she said.
For Mr. Sevimli it is not easy to understand his students sometimes so he has a teacher to help him with the students. Her name is Ms. Funes. She speaks Spanish. Also Mr. Sevimli is trying to learn Spanish even though he has only been in this country for a couple of months.
Maysi said that in her opinion “Mr. Sevimli is a wonderful teacher because he helps the students a lot because when they don’t understand something, he explains over and over.” Another thing that he is putting in practice are new techniques with his students.
For Mr. Sevimli coming to the U.S. is an adventure that started when he started learning a new language, English, in the summer of 1987. In his summer course he had the opportunity to meet an instructor who spoke English and taught him English. In 1993 he went to take an exam. He had the fortune to enroll in the college of English and literature.
Mr. Sevimli said his first day at Blair was exiting because it was a different environment. But he has quickly learned about teaching in Blair.
Mr. Sevimli is happy to be here in the United States and teaching his students at Blair. body