Dr. Michael J. Martirano, superintendent of schools, welcomes Ms. Sinem Ozyagci (center) to St. Marys County. Ms. Ozyagci teaches English to students in Kusadasi, Turkey, and is shadowing teacher in the school system for one month. Dr. Martirano and Ms. Ozyagci are joined by Dr. Linda Lymas, SMCPS supervisor of world languages and services to English language learners. (Submitted photo)
LEONARDTOWN, Md. (March 1, 2011) A teacher from Turkey is spending one month with the St. Mary's County Public School system. Ms. Sinem Ozyagci, who teaches English to elementary and high school students at the Ozel Naci Akdogan Foundation School in Kusadasi, will spend most of her time shadowing teachers of English language learners (ELL).
The purpose of Ms. Ozyagci's visit is to observe the methods used to teach English to students whose native language is not English, and to replicate some of the strategies used in the Turkish schools, particularly in high poverty schools. In Turkey, students begin to learn English as early as kindergarten. Ms. Ozyagci is also interested in learning about the integration of technology into instruction.
Under the arrangement, a SMCPS teacher will spend three weeks shadowing English language teachers in Turkey and will show them strategies for teaching ELL's. Ms. Judith Downing, who teaches ELL at eight schools in the school system, will be returning to Turkey with Ms. Ozyagci for this purpose.
The teacher exchange is a cooperative arrangement through the Lexington Park Rotary Club, the Kusadasi/Soke Rotary Club, and St. Mary's County Public Schools. Dr. Linda W. Lymas, SMCPS supervisor of world languages and services to English language learners, and Dr. Paul Manchak from Lexington Park Rotary are the project coordinators.