Monday, October 11, 2010


DESCRIPTIONS: A PERSON / Descriptions of people were covered out of Successful Writing by Sue O’Connell
There is a woman who is very precious in every man’s life. That woman in my life is my mother. My family is very important for me and my mother is the one in charge now. She gave birth to me, she has brought me up and she is always there for me when I need her.
Physically, my mom is a short woman just like the average Turkish women. She is in her early fifties. She has short blond hair and pale skin. That is why dark colored clothes look good on her.  For me, she is the most beautiful woman.
As for her personality, she is one of the most protective people I know. Even though I am 18 and my sister is 21, she still treats us as though we are babies. She is a self sacrificing woman who can do anything for her family; not just for her family, for her friends as well. She is perfect.
One important thing I have to say about my mom is her talent for cooking. She can cook any food that you can imagine: Asian, European or American food are not a problem for her. My mom is very creative when she is cooking too and maybe one day she can write a cook book.
She was with me every single day of my life; not always physically but always spiritually. I owe my life and a lot more to her. Of course everybody loves their mother but mine is very precious for me.
                                                      SARP YILDIZOGLU /INT; Week two
DESCRIPTIONS: A PLACE / They were given a map and some figures
Iceland is a very inhospitable and impractical place to live. First of all, it is an island that is far from everywhere. It is 500 miles from The UK, 180 miles from Greenland and 606 miles from Norway. Second of all, it has a total land area of 39.000 square miles but that means nothing because 74% of the land area is rock, lava and wasteland so it is no good. About 25% of the land area is grassland and only 1% is cultivated. Third of all, Iceland has a cool, oceanic and temperate climate which causes the average annual rainfall to be 80.5 cm. Because of these, the density of population is just two people per square mile which is very low and this shows nobody wants to live there.  Icelandic is spoken in Iceland and that is why the language is so unknown.
               MELISA UZ/ INT; Week two
DESCRIPTION: A PLACE / A region of Turkey; the terminology had already been covered. Figures were provided.
We are living in a country which is a natural and cultural paradise. It is called “Turkey”. It is separated in to regions. The most crowded and most important region of Turkey is The Marmara Region.
The Marmara Region is also divided, like Turkey, in to four smaller regions and twelve provinces. It is surrounded by The Black Sea Region to the east, The Aegean Region to the south and The Central Anatolia Region to the south-east. The region has a total area of 67.000 square kilometers. The region is mainly flat but there are some high mountains like “Uludağ” and “The Yıldız Mountains” too. About 30% of the land area is devoted to farming and about 12% is covered with forests. The rest is devoted to urban development but there are also wastelands and empty districts. The region doesn’t have a permanent and obvious type of climate but if we try to generalize, we can say it has cool winters and mild summers.
In 2000, the estimated population of The Marmara Region was more than 17 million. The Density of population was more than 250 people per square kilometer. The most crowded city of the region is Istanbul (It is also Turkey’s most crowded province). It is home to more than half the region’s population. It is also the most famous destination for immigrants in Turkey because of the opportunities it provides for the working population. This is also a feature of The Marmara region. In places like İzmit, Bursa and Sakarya, there are many branches of industry to work in. We can say The Marmara Region is the heart of production and business life in Turkey.
Well of course there are six other regions in Turkey but I think The Marmara Region is the most suitable one to live in. In my opinion, it can also be interesting to live in a region that connects two continents.  
                                                                                                 BATIHAN TOSUN / INT; Week two
DESCRIPTION: A PLACE / Same as above. This student followed the plan for our handout on France.
The Marmara Region is in the north-west of Turkey. The sea, which makes the climate mild and temperate, also divides the region in to two. The connection between the two regions is provided by boats and bridges. However, pollution is a big problem because of industrial and vehicle emissions.
The Marmara Region isn’t very large geographically but the population density of the area is very high due to good circumstances. Also, women are more active in the work force than in other regions so the total fertility rate is low. Moreover, there are many universities that have good facilities for students. This shows how developed the education system is.
As regards the economy, the people who are employed usually work in industry. Prevalent industries include machinery, automobiles, chemicals and electronics. Also, tourism is developed in The Marmara Region because there are many historical places dating back to the Ottoman Empire. If you want to feel the spirit of The Ottoman Empire, I recommend that you visit Istanbul and Bursa; you’ll enjoy it.
In The Marmara Region, you can find many kinds of people who come from different regions and countries. When you get on a bus or a boat, you can hear different languages. You can see different cultures and different styles. That is why it is very difficult to be close to people.
In conclusion, The Marmara Region is a good place to live. It has good facilities for students, tourists and locals. I am really happy to live here despite all the problems like traffic and the cost of living.
                                                                                               HATİCE SAPMAZ / INT; Week two

DESCRIPTION: A PLACE / A city you know well. The description of London was covered out of Successful Writing by Sue O’Connell
Set in the heart of Turkey and the Middle-East, Istanbul is one of the biggest, busiest and most cosmopolitan cities in Turkey. Every year, six million tourists visit this city and research shows that one in five people wants to see the capital city of history and culture.
Istanbul is a very mystical city which has many ancient places to see. Every tourist should visit The Grand Bazaar and inhale the secret air of the bazaar. Furthermore, located in the best place in Istanbul, The Topkapı Palace should be seen by every person. Also, we should add Yıldız Park to our list of places to visit to see small squirrels running.
Istanbul is also the capital city of our culture. I think there is no other city like Istanbul which is home to so many ethnic groups. Due to this, there are lots of tastes which await you. You can try hundreds of different Turkish dishes in Taksim, Sultanahmet and Sirkeci. There are also lots of modern shopping malls where you can find the designer labels.
Istanbul is a very successful city and captures visitors’ hearts so every person should come to this city and fill his heart with Istanbul’s beauties.
                                                                                        Ilgaz Çakın / INT; Week two
NARRATIVE: THE LIFE OF JAMES COOK / Penguin Advanced writing Skills; notes are provided.
James Cook, whose father was a farm worker, was born in a village in Yorkshire on the 28th of October 1728. Despite never having seen a book until school, he was very good at arithmetic which is probably what prompted his parents to send him to a fishing village to learn shop trade at the age of twelve. This was very exciting for young James as he had never left his village before. He had his first ever sight of the sea from a hill overlooking the village and was bewitched. Bored by shop work, he started spending more and more time at the water side. Finally, at the age of fifteen, he could stand it no longer and ran away to sea by trading ship.
It was some years later that he volunteered for The Royal Navy which wasn’t the profession of choice as life there was terrible. He took an interest in studying charts and maps and gained a quick reputation for efficiency. A few years later he got his lucky break when he was asked to sail ahead making charts for the British fleet going to Quebec. The charts being perfect, every ship was safe.  About ten years later, he went on the first of three famous voyages into unknown seas.  Sadly he was killed in Hawaii during his third voyage.
Cook was normally very popular both with crews and local people. Despite being very strict and quiet, he was an expert seaman who was concerned for his crew’s welfare. For instance, he made them eat well so they wouldn’t die of scurvy which was commonplace in those days. It was because of all this that the crew refused to leave Hawaii until cook’s body was returned. It was a great pity that he insisted on going on this third voyage as it was completely unnecessary. He had a wife and children in England and he was rich and famous but his love for the sea stayed with him until the end.
                                                                   Yours truly writing student-speak.

NARRATIVE: AN ACCIDENT / Penguin Advanced Writing skills; notes are provided.
Having spent the weekend in London, I was returning to Oxford for an important meeting the following morning. It was late a Sunday night in February and bitterly cold. To make matters worse, there was a biting wind.  No sooner had I got out of London than my windscreen wipers stopped working. I decided to improvise and drove with one arm out of the window wiping the windscreen with a cloth. The system seemed to work quite well.
It around then that I got to a crossroads. There was only one car on the main road and as it was in the distance, I thought I could get across easily. Things didn’t go to plan though: in the middle of the crossroads, the engine stalled. Meanwhile, I noticed that the other car was much nearer than I had thought. Naturally, it couldn’t stop and hit me. As I spun round on impact I had this crazy feeling that I would be alright. The whole windscreen did come out though and went sailing across the road. When things had settled down, I got out of the car to talk to the other driver. Typically, the other cars went speeding past.
Eventually, I started off again and realized immediately how useful a windscreen is. It was absolutely freezing. There was no garage or phone nearby so I kept driving. I still haven’t shaken the chest cold I developed as a result.
                                                                          Yours truly writing student-speak.
The students are provided with a set of notes based on a couple of texts out of The Guardian and asked to reconstruct the murder of Luke Walmsley by a classmate. The notes follow the format used in the Cornell method of summary writing. When the students are done, it is a good idea to distribute copies of the texts, which you can find on The Guardian website ( The titles of the texts are as follows: “Handsome sporty and popular: why Luke,14, died with a knife through his heart?” and “School stabbing murderer gets life”. This activity also teaches students a method of studying and is therefore invaluable. A student reconstruction would go something like this:
Yet another teenager has fallen victim to the ever increasing teenage crime in our schools. The murder of Luke Walmsley has shocked and devastated his family and friends. Luke Walmsley, whose parents were separated, was a fourteen year old secondary school student. Although he lived with his mother, stepfather and sister Lauren, he often stayed with his father too. He had a cheerful and happy disposition which meant he was a social success: he was popular with girls and the staff thought he was a positive role model. This was also due to the fact that he was a keen sportsman enjoying judo, climbing wrestling and football. Being so much in the limelight did have its disadvantages though: some students were jealous of him.  Although teenagers don’t, as a rule, talk, there were rumours of a classroom feud; so much so that his parents were worried about the possibility of bullying. Two days before the end of term, Luke got in to a fight but later made up after which the head teacher delivered a talk on anger management. This, however, didn’t seem to be of much help as became obvious later on. Luke was obviously still uneasy as his mother phoned the school a day before the stabbing to explain that Luke was afraid to go to rugby practice as he was scared to come home after dark. He was afraid of being jumped.
On the day of the stabbing, Luke was stabbed by Allen Pennel outside the classroom in front of his friends. Allen used a flick knife which he thrust to the hilt after which Luke staggered down the corridor bleeding and dying. His friends, meanwhile, thought he was fooling around. Allen, the murderer, lacked Luke’s talent and charm and had a chip on his shoulder as his mother had died young and his father, a lorry driver, was often away. He is said to have difficulty expressing himself and to often resort to violence.  He had even received a warning from the police for attacking a policeman the previous year. Allen claimed to be innocent in the case of Luke’s murder claiming that he was just showing the knife and that Luke had walked into it.
At the trial, Allen got life but will serve twelve years after which he will be released on parole. During his psych assessment, he was asked what he would wish for if he had three wishes. Allen replied that he would want his mother back and he would want to turn back the clock. He couldn’t think of anything else to say.
                                                                                  Your truly writing student speak
PROCESS ESSAY / How to prepare for the proficiency; the students follow the plan posted in the writing file on this blog.
Studying at Boğaziçi University is every student’s dream in Turkey. However, the fulfillment of this dream requires some skills besides passing ÖSS. The main skill is learning academic English to tackle the lessons at Boğaziçi which is an English medium university. Therefore, there is a proficiency to assess the students’ English. However, it is not the kind of exam which can be passed without careful preparation. All this means there are various things a student needs to do both in class and after class in order to pass the proficiency.
There are various things a student needs to do in class in order to pass the proficiency. One of these requirements is regular attendance which is also important in ones department. Unless a student attends regularly, he falls behind. On the other hand, if a student doesn’t pay attention to the lesson while in class, his presence will count for nothing except sitting on a chair. Paying attention involves concentrating on the lesson and asking the teacher questions provided they are necessary and relevant. All of these enable learning in class rather than at home which is very hard.
On the other hand, there are also various things a student needs to do after class in order to pass the proficiency. Although learning in class is essential, language learning is a continuous activity and requires studying at home after class. Doing homework and revision consolidates the learning that takes place in class. In addition, one can always do extra listening and reading activities from sources such as films, music, novels and newspapers. These can be more fascinating for the student and help eliminate any weaknesses.
In conclusion, although the proficiency is a hard exam, preparing for it is not very hard if the advice that is provided is followed. Of course all this requires diligence and perseverance but one can achieve success without facing any trouble with the right approach.
                                                                           BAYRAM AKDENİZ / INT. the first week of November
PROCESS ESSAY / How to become a successful sportsman; the students use the thesis statement and topic sentences posted in the writing file on this blog
Kobe Bryant, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal… The most famous sportsmen in their own fields, earning millions of dollars every year yet these people worked really hard to get to this point in their careers.  They have a luxurious life, sports cars and other trappings of wealth. However, why do these men earn hundreds of thousands of dollars while others can? What makes them so strong and successful?  Becoming a successful sportsman depends on both certain physical and certain psychological factors.
Becoming a successful sportsman is closely linked to certain physical factors. Of course successful sportsmen are talented but they train really hard too. They all spend most of their time at the gym. For example Ronaldo does two hours of extra abs exercises and Kobe does an extra hour of training each day. Doing extra work is their advantage; it keeps them on form and better than others. Although these people have the money to eat any kind of food, they will be dieting until their retirement. It may seem like they have an easy life but their lives involve a lot of hard work and is very stressful. They prefer a regular life to be good sportsmen.
Becoming a successful sportsman is also closely associated with certain psychological factors. There are not a lot of sportsmen who come from rich families. So, all these men are really ambitious and determined people. What’s more, they all get plenty of help from their families because their sports lives began in childhood and not on pitches or tennis courts. The worst thing that can happen to a sportsman is injury. With the right attitude, resilience and patience, any injury can be overcome. One of the most important footballers, Ronaldo, played perfectly after his leg was broken while playing for Inter. The Brazilian striker worked really hard and never dropped his guard and now he is a legend in football. A strong mentality can always keep a sportsman ready for all kinds of trouble.
Of course chance and talent are required to be successful but neither is enough on its own. Working hard and remaining motivated will bring great success to a sportsman. All these things will help anyone in all walks of life not just in sports.
                                                                        SARP YILDIZOĞLU / INT. the second weekof November.







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