Hassan, From Tanzania, Teaching English in Turkey During COVID-19

By
July 13, 2021

From his home country, Tanzania, Bridge grad Hassan Kalufya moved to Turkey to study and later started his EFL career at an English center there. Just before the COVID-19 crisis broke out last year, we interviewed him on his TEFL work and career plans. Curious to know how he has grown as a teacher, we caught up with him to see how he has taken his teaching qualifications up a notch and how he’s adapted to the pandemic.

Hi, Hassan! It’s been a while since we last talked with you. How has your English teaching career progressed since last year?

My teaching career has progressed relatively fine. I’m still working for the same English school. The only change that has happened since our last interview is that I’m now taking the 120-Hour Master Certificate course. I took this course simply because the higher the level you go, the better.

A lot of changes must have happened within your ESL work. How have your English teaching skills and methods developed in the last months?

The additional knowledge that I’m currently learning from the Master Certificate course has improved my English teaching skills and methods.

Also, I have used most of the strategies and methods that I took from the Teaching Young Learners and Teenagers course.

Prior to the pandemic, Hassan taught English to kids, teenagers, and adults in person.

Prior to the pandemic, Hassan taught English to kids, teenagers, and adults in person.


How is the COVID-19 situation in Turkey these days, and how has the pandemic affected you as an English teacher?

As for the COVID-19 situation in Turkey these days, I’m very happy that there is an improvement.

The global pandemic has affected me mainly in the way I teach, as I had to shift to teaching English online.

Find out how the pandemic has affected other global English teachers.

How did you adjust to teaching English online?

Was it easy for me to adapt to teaching online? Definitely not, because my students prefer learning in person. So, I’ve had to acclimatize myself to some techniques, such as making sure that I keep the students’ attention as much as I can. One of my techniques for this is to make more jokes in class. With the lockdown, students are bored, so making jokes does the trick!

Taking a Specialized course in Teaching English Online equips you with skills for giving virtual classes.

Hassan switched to online English teaching when the lockdown in Turkey started.

Hassan switched to online English teaching when the lockdown in Turkey started.


Have you returned to teaching in person yet?

No, we haven’t completely returned to teaching in person yet, but possibly by September, we will.

What are your plans for the next weeks or months as the world continues to deal with the global pandemic?

My plan for the next weeks or months is to be calm and wait for the pandemic situation to improve.

Hassan with one of his young EFL learners

Hassan with one of his young EFL learners


What is your top tip for English teachers who want to teach in Turkey?

For English teachers who want to teach here, I advise them to learn a little bit of the Turkish language before pursuing their dream to teach in Turkey.

Want to teach abroad like Hassan? Take a look at this timeline for teaching abroad during the coronavirus pandemic.