Where the heart lies: One teacher’s calling
Sevgi makes English lessons sound exciting, even to someone who already speaks the language! Passionate about teaching from a young age, Sevgi trained as an elementary school teacher in Turkey. After moving to Canada in 2006, she worked first as an early childhood educator, and later as a cultural teacher and coordinator at a community centre in Edmonton, before going on to receive her TESOL certification in 2017 so she could teach ESL to adults.
At CCI-LEX, Sevgi takes a practical and engaging approach to teaching. Every lesson involves an applied element or practice in the field. For example, she’s taken her students to coffee shops and restaurants to teach them how to order, and to the mall when learning about shopping; her class has explored Edmonton’s downtown and River Valley; and together she and her students have shared potlucks and cultural food exchanges – even online! For Sevgi, and for her students, adding that extra dimension outside of the textbook makes all the difference.
Having gone through the experience of learning English as a second language, it’s important to Sevgi to not only ensure her students understand what they’re learning, but also to make learning fun and approachable. She regularly takes webinars and researches about teaching, and has accumulated a sizeable home library of ESL materials, which has proven most useful while working from home throughout the pandemic. While Sevgi acknowledges there are a number of challenges with online learning – including for more beginner students who may not be as familiar with technology – she ultimately finds online and in-class technologies to be quite similar, such as visual materials and powerpoint presentations which she uses in both settings.
Having taught at CCI-LEX since 2017, Sevgi speaks highly to the team spirit at the school. The positive energy and staff support make it an enjoyable place to be and work, and the school does a great job of balancing both teachers’ and students’ needs. This fall Sevgi looks forward to teaching Beginner classes in the CCI program and is eager to continue helping newcomers learn English and Canadian culture. When she’s not busy teaching, Sevgi enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, reading, and drinking coffee.