Leaders for Conversation Circles (CC)
Being a leader for KOLT Conversation Circles offer a unique experience for exchange students at Koç University. CC Leaders are expected to lead a group of 3-5 students to stimulate speaking English on daily occasions and intellectual discussions on various topics. Each leader holds three meetings on a weekly basis. The meetings are usually an hour long and depending on the flow of the discussion and the avilability of the CC leaders, the groups may continue the session.
KOLT staff trains the leaders for their new position at KOLT. The training includes the do’s and dont’s of holding a conversation circle and some cultural factors that may interfere with effective sessions. KOLT also provides the CC leaders with a handbook that consists of suggested topics, activities, vocabulary and visual materials to be readily used in circles.
Experiences of Previous CC Leaders
“I felt that it was a great way to get to know local students and participants in conversations that truly enabled me to understand issues and opinions in Turkey. I feel that KOLt has better enhanced my communication skills and it has definately helped me get to better communicate with the student population here. It was incredible informative with regards to teaching me about Turkish plitics, culture and traditions. 🙂 Sadly, I won’t be here next semester :8 So I can’t continue my work here. I feel like KOLT has done a great job with KOLT conversation leaders. They are all excited, engaged and interested in their students & conversations.”
Mathew Cory Spence (CC Leader, Fall 2012 & Spring 2013)
“When I came to Koç, I really wanted to be able to interact with local student campus, community in here on campus and get to know the students. I feel like KOLT enabled me to have in-depth conversations about politics, culture,traditions with students and learn about the opinion that I never really had about and that was a very important thing for me.”
Farzanah N. Ausaluth (CC Leader, Spring 2013)
“You have to figure out your own approach for how to teach language, how to teach your own language, it is something you never think about as being a native speaker. It is interesting to form a sort of plan for teaching English. You gain friendships, gain cross cultural knowledge of what similarities and differences between you and poeple living in Turkey. It gives me an opportunity to talk to people and to see what life is like here for them and I feel like KOLT is like the gateway for me to do that.”
Zachary T. Malin (CC Leader, Spring 2013)
“Working at KOLT has truly been a unique opportunity that I will never forget. In the sessions, everyone not only has an opportunity to improve their English but also learn about the unique experiences from others. I was able to learn more and more about Turkish history, customs, and geography, while students were able to learn about America and its culture and customs. It was definitely a great experience for everyone to gain a new perspective and learn new things.”
Tommy (CC Leader, Fall 2012 )
“Tutoring at the KOLT center allowed me to meet Turkish and other foreign students that may otherwise have been too shy to talk to me. Being able to talk with them in a small group setting was both great practice for these students and taught me how to think critically about my own language. I realized quickly which American idioms I use quite often and how sometimes they just dont make sense when you really think anout them! I highly suggest becomng a tutor during your time abroad and getting to know more students on campus!”