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English Access Microscholarship Program

The purpose of the English Access Microscholarship Program in Turkey is to make the study of English more accessible to adolescents from an economically disadvantaged background and to thereby increase their chances for participation in higher education and the formal economy. In addition, while working on their language skills, the participants will become familiar with aspects of U.S. culture and thus develop a deeper understanding of current issues in North American society. A greater sensitivity to cultural differences, coupled with the language skills they acquire, will enable the participants to take advantage of opportunities that had previously been unavailable to them.

Currently, Access courses in Turkey are conducted via a partnership between the U.S. Embassy and the Turkish Education Association (Türk Eğitim Derneği).  The Turkish Education Association provides qualified English instructors, classroom facilities, instructional materials, and administrative coordination. The Public Affairs Section’s English Language Office provides oversight and indirect support in the form of program monitoring, curriculum development, teacher training, and guest speakers.

In the 2009-2010 academic year, 175 students in 7 cities (Afyon, Ankara/Polatli, Batman, Isparta, Karabuk, Malatya, and Mersin) were selected to receive 360 hours of after-school English instruction.  At the end of the 360-hour program, successful students will be invited to attend a ten-day English language summer camp that will be held in July 2010.  

For the 2010-2011 Access program, 8 new cities have been added (Antalya, Bursa, Gaziantep, Karadeniz Eregli, Kayseri, Konya Eregli, Samsun, and Zonguldak), making a total of 15 cities in Turkey where local students have the opportunity to participate in the English Access Microscholarship Program.

Upon completing the Access program, the most successful Access graduates will be encouraged to apply for relevant youth exchange program, such as YES scholarships (a program run by American Field Service and funded by the U.S. Department of State which allows 11th or 12th graders to study in the US).

U.S. Ambassador opens Access at TED Polatli

March 30, 2009

U.S. Ambassador to Turkey James Jeffrey officially opened the Access Microscholarship program in Polatli, Turkey.

On March 30, U.S. Ambassador to Turkey James Jeffrey officially opened the Access Microscholarship program in Polatli, Turkey.  The Polatli program is one of 7 new locations for Access programs.  During his presentation to students, teachers and host institution administrators, Ambassador Jeffrey emphasized the role Access can play in opening various doors of opportunity to economically disadvantaged students.  He also discussed his own experience in learning and using Turkish and how it helped him in his career and life in general.  

Access Microscholarship Program Opens with Fanfare in Malatya

English Language Officer Dr. Craig Dicker made a speech at the oppening.

English Language Officer Dr. Craig Dicker made a speech at the oppening.

The Access English microscholarship program opened in the city of Malatya, demonstrating collaboration with Turkish organizations and USG involvement beyond the large metropolitan areas.

The ceremony included speeches by English Language Officer Dr. Craig Dicker, the Head of the Ministry of Education for Malatya Mehmet Bulut, the Deputy Rector of Inonu University Dr. Turgay Seckin, the Dean of the Faculty of Education Dr. Nevzat Battal, students, parents, and various local educators. All speakers noted how English opens doors to international educational and employment and the significance of embassy collaboration with the local ministry of education and the Turkish Educational Association in promoting shared interests. The 24 students, selected from a pool of over 150 applicants from Malatya state sector secondary schools, will receive a quality English course over the next 18 months. These students will be well prepared to compete for USG-sponsored exchange programs.

English Access Summer Camp Program

Residential Access Microscholarship Camp
Karabük, 5-18 July 2009

The U.S. Department of State, in collaboration with the Turkish American Association and the Turkish Education Association(TED), have organized and facilitating the English Access Microscholarship Camp in Karabük, Turkey. This camp was residential for 65 students and 10 teachers and included a professional development component for the teachers and interactive/experiential English learning opportunities for the students as well as opportunities to participate in various artistic and athletic activities. The objective of the camp was to improve student language skills, provide teachers with interactive approaches to language learning,  expose students to aspects of US society and culture, help students learn about other cultures, provide students with opportunities to learn to respect and preserve our environment and, most importantly, to have FUN.
 Under the guidance of the camp director, the English teachers, and counselors from both Turkey and the United States, campers have learned games to build relationships, practiced English through new fun and interactive techniques, and participated in activities including dance, football, kickball, volleyball, arts and crafts, photography and film-making music, and acting. Everyone at the camp had the chance to share their experiences with other campers from different regions in Turkey. In addition, campers had the opportunity to learn from the experiences of their counselors (YES Alumni), who participated in programs where they lived for one year in the US.  
Participating in the summer camp have provided campers the opportunity to practice their English everyday for two weeks in a row. They have also gained valuable experience meeting and developing friendships with other students who come from all parts of Turkey. The camp featured day trips to both Amasra on the Black Sea, and Safranbolu.  At the end of the camp, campers received certificates of participation from the U.S. Department of State.

English Tolerance and Cultural Sharing Summer Camp

July 2009

The U.S. Department of State, in collaboration with Canakkale Koleji organized and facilitated the Teaching English Through Tolerance Summer Camp in Canakkale, Turkey. From July 19-31, 45 Turkish, Armenian and American high school students worked, played and shared experiences, beliefs and dreams during the “Teaching Tolerance through English” residential camp in Canakkale, Turkey. The program was opened by Counsel General Sharon Weiner and organized, facilitated and supported by the Public Affairs Offices in Ankara and Yerevan. In addition to the student program, 12 teachers from Armenia, the US and Turkey participated in a teacher training program focusing on cross-cultural communication facilitated by English Language Specialist David Malatesta. The teachers implemented their “lessons” during the formal English lessons at the camp. Students were engaged in a wide array of athletic, artistic and cross-cultural sharing activities facilitated largely by Youth Exchange and Study (YES) alumni who, along with a number of American university level students studying in Turkey, worked as camp counselors. The camp opening and closing sessions received electronic and print media coverage. At the end of the camp, campers will receive certificates of participation from the U.S. Department of State.