Sorry, no Turkish: Foreign volunteers help students learn English at Speaking Cafe
by Anadolu Agency
IZMIT, TurkeyFeb 02, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Anadolu Agency
Feb 02, 2016 12:00 am
Speaking Cafe in the northwestern İzmit province has become a hot spot for students unable to afford language courses as well as locals who want to improve their English with the help of foreign volunteers and academics. So far 70,000 people have visited the Speaking Cafe, where speaking in Turkish is forbidden. With the "Global Village" events, participants have a chance to learn the different cultures from around the world. Foreign students also attend the events, during which they introduce their local cuisine, traditional attire, music, customs, songs and dance. Last year, 50 countries were introduced at the Global Village events.
Speaking to an Anadolu Agency (AA) reporter, Mayor Nevzat Doğan underlined that the Speaking Cafe is Turkey's first cafe where visitors are required to speak in English. Participants are warned when they speak in Turkish.Primarily designed for students who cannot find a place to practice English, in 2011 the Speaking Cafe was designed to host university students and businessmen who want to improve their English. Participants can read newspapers, watch TV, attend social activities and chat with others in English. The cafe also provides books and dictionaries in English. "While you are in the cafe, you are expected to ask all questions in English. The cafe hosts not only students, but also young children. It attracts great interest," he said. Foreign volunteers introduce their country though videos. "The cafe helps participants to establish interactive communication while learning a foreign language," he said. Doğan said that the Speaking Cafe is an exemplary project that other municipalities can be inspired by, adding that they receive positive feedback.