DECEMBER 2017 – JANUARY 2018
Being a part of METU family was always my ultimate dream, and I can barely describe my feelings when I first heard from my mum that I was selected to METU Civil Engineering Department. I had a solid background in English during my childhood, because of my interest in getting to know new cultures and languages. However, I was very nervous that I was going to have English lectures, it was a totally new experience for me. Having got a decent grade in English Proficiency Exam, I skipped ENG 101. However, ENG 102 was one of the most beneficial lectures I took in my first year. In an academic environment, not only is it important to express your statements and findings in a coordinated way, but it is also important to explain your referenced according to several standards. This lecture was the right address for me grasp these ideas. I am still using the fundamentals of my reports and projects.
In the second year, I probably took my one of the most important lecture of my undergraduate life; ENG 211. That lecture aims students to get the basics of how to prepare an organized presentation and present it in front of a crowd. As I desire to be a businessman in the future, such presentations will be a routine in the future and my success would be directly correlated with the success of my presentations and how to convince the clients. Thus, I was conscious of the importance of ENG 211. Frankly, even thinking of speaking in front of a crowd makes me shiver before ENG 211. I was very amateur and shy in the first weeks, having problems in timing, especially. However, ENG 211 enables us to prepare lots of presentations about different topics, which made me gain confidence day by day. My lecturer was very concerned about my progress, and she was always warning me about my weak points. Hard work and confronting my weaknesses helped me overcome my fear, and become a self-confident speaker.
As time progressed and getting used to speak English often, I was able to be abroad several times. I have been in Russia, Serbia, Greece, and Cyprus to attend to student-based events as an active participant. This year, I gained a scholarship from the Japanese government and had a chance to spend my summer in Niigata, Fukushima, and Tokyo. I collected such unforgettable memories during my stay. Since it is an academic event, I was responsible from giving a small lecture in front of several important attendees, like the Dean of Fukushima University, the Dean of the University of Tokyo, the Dean of Niigata University, and the President of Niigata University. During this process, I was in contact with my ENG 211 lecturer about how to improve my speech in an effective way. At last, I managed to give a wonderful speech about natural disaster phenomena. I would like to show my sincere gratitude for those who helped me thrive in English.
Now, I am a senior student, thinking continuously of master opportunities. I have applied to several colleges in Europe and still waiting for response. During this application period, my English background was as precious as my academic successes. Thanks to METU and MLD, English evolved to a strength of mine from my weakness.
As I started my University life, the new door for academia was in front of me. To reach that door, I needed to climb the stairs one by one. As a Molecular Biology and Genetics student, which was my childhood dream, I knew I would use intensive English both in my research and daily life. As we all know, surviving in the academia is the first necessity of success. At that point, METU English Preparatory Program helps all new-coming students right before the freshman year. I took prep classes for two semesters and each semester gave me different perspectives. Each week we were discussing various topics as well as doing readings, learning vocabularies and; of course, taking pop-quizzes 🙂 In my freshman year, during ENG101 and ENG102 courses, we entered more deeply to “how to do academic research” and “which rules should be obeyed for citations”. Thanks to our lecturers, I am still using what I learned from these classes.
After all, during my sophomore year I met with my favorite MDL course I took at METU! It is ENG211, lots of students see it as a presentation course, but it is exactly more than this! It helps for giving talks in front of folks at any place, actually not only in English but also in other languages because ENG 211 lectures showed me what I had to do and improved my self-esteem. Sometimes students get bored during classes because of the tight schedule, but it wasn’t the case for us! Every day we enjoyed, and no one in my classes wanted to miss even a lecture! We had presentations for different events & subjects, role scripts & speaking tasks and group working.
Those courses that are given from MLD help us to become more socialized after starting our departmental classes because they gave us a chance to meet new people out of our departments, which is perfect for collaboration! The other thing I really like about ENG101, 102 and 211 courses is that all of them use books that are written by our instructors/professors, as lecture materials so in each class, they always understood our needs and helped. For those, who are taking these courses, please enjoy it! They are given as must courses in order to help you, and I can say it with my whole heart that these enjoyable classes helped my other courses, kept me updated about general knowledge, and prepared me for the academia.
Now as a Ph.D. student at Clemson University Genetics and Biochemistry Department, I’m still applying the way I learned, and our professors’ words are always in my mind!
Whenever you’ll go & whatever you’ll do,
HOME = METU.
I studied Electrical and Electronics Engineering at METU. After I graduated in 2012, I enrolled in a PhD program in Physics at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. So, communicating in English has become more and more important for me. Having lived in USA for almost 5 years, I haven’t said a single Turkish word for most of the days in this time period.
The English Preparatory Program in the first year of college helped me acquire the fundamental skills. Of course, this alone would not be enough for someone who plans on working/studying internationally. It was basically in survival mode for most of my time as a student in the elementary level class. Following up on this introduction, I took ENG 101, 102 and 211. These classes let me be aware of what I learned and practice different aspects of the language. The friendly atmosphere of the classes encouraged students to speak, which I think is really important but is ignored in our English education most of the time. The confidence I had at the end of this period helped me build on these skills by traveling abroad and eventually living in a country where English is people’s native language.
I don’t remember a lot of the specifics of my English classes at METU because it’s been 8 years since I took them. Still I guess the overall impression I give is a valuable source. One thing I remember well, though, is that one of the assignments was to interview a person outside the class. I interviewed an African student about his thoughts on racism in Turkey. It was a nice experience but I would never have had this conversation if it hadn’t been an assignment. So, I’m glad that I was forced to do such an interactive homework. I encourage current English students at METU to work hard and take risks with their English practice!
“The first year English courses (ENG 101 and 102) taught me planning and organizing. These skills are important because I believe that they will help me throughout my life. For example, while writing a report or doing homework, or even in exams… Before I start working on any of the above, now I firstly plan what I will do. In other words, I think of how to begin, develop, and conclude beforehand, which makes my life easier. I believe the benefits of planning and organizing are not limited to academic life, but also extend to daily life. For example, if we talk in a planned and organized way, we will be able to convey our ideas better, which will, in turn, improve our communication with others.
Another important skill taught in these classes is giving references. Though this may seem like a simple skill, I believe that it is very important because it taught me that I should respect the works of others, and provided me with the tools to do so. Although I knew that I needed to respect the works of others before taking these courses, I did not know how to do it. I think this skill allows students to be more ethical.
Finally, although I was able to feel these changes, I did not realize that they are thanks to these courses. To be honest, when I was asked to write this paragraph, I became aware of them. Thus, although we students mostly do not realize the benefits of these English courses, I believe we use what we learn in these courses in our lives much more than we think”.
2nd year Aerospace Engineering student