Why do Portuguese People speak better English than Turkish people?

Why do Portuguese People speak better English than Turkish people?

I have been living in Portugal since 2015. I was shocked when I saw almost everyone could speak English fluently. If they don’t speak fluently, they understand you at least and solve your problem. This made me so surprised because I know how the situation is in Turkey as an English teacher. I have always been looking for best ways to teach English to my Turkish students, so I started to look for the magic in Portugal.



High Schools in Turkey (Mostly)

P.S: Please don’t read this part if you have a heart disease or something. I am telling you 😥

As an EFL (English as Foreign Language) learner, I know how difficult English was for me to learn. I had studied English for 4 years in high school. 6 hours of English a week in the first year and 12 hours a week for the last 3 years! I am not joking. (I was in Language Learning Class). 😫

However, there were a few times at high school that my teacher taught the classes in English. We even did some speaking activities!? Wow!

In Turkey when we finish high school, we have to get a crucial exam for a university; I think it is similar in everywhere, but whatever. But you know how the exam was? 80 multiple questions!? Only reading, grammar, and vocabulary. No speaking no listening. I want to make sure if you are following me because this is not a joke. So as you may guess, my focus was only on multiple questions for 4 years to be able to go to a good university. And I did. Applause Applause? 👏 💪

The rest is not important I guess. So the main question is “What do Portuguese people do so great at the school that we haven’t in Turkey?”

Here are my observations.

  1. They do not do anything magical at the schools. The real magic is on TV. Yes. Many channels are publishing movies in English. No dubbed as in Turkey. I have never watched even one cartoon in English when I was a child (I am very young, by the way!) and I don’t think my generation watched either. Almost everything has been dubbed in the Turkish language. Maybe that’s why Turkey is one of the best counties in dubbing.

Also music! I think I have just heard a few Portuguese songs here and there. They listen mostly in English. While my boyfriend(he is Portuguese) was growing up with Scorpions and Police, I was exposed to Ismail Yk.(Don’t google him. The worst singer ever. You can google Baris Manco, though 😊)

2) Another observation of mine is the broadminded cultural identity. They welcome the unknown, the change, and different one. I believe this has a strong effect on language learning. Black, white, Brazilian, African, Muslims, Christians, Jews, unbelievers, gays, English, Chinese and whatever you may call. They all live here in peace. Utopic, ha?!

3) What about Turkey? I love my county and my people. However, we admit that we are not used to having so many cultural differences or new tastes whatever you say. (We are becoming better, though) We have deeply rooted traditions since Ottomans, I guess, and it is not easy to welcome the different one for most of us.

( Maybe Portuguese people will find my next observation quite awkward. (Don’t keep reading if you are a Portuguese).

4) Even old people watch English movies. Maybe they don’t understand completely, but they don’t find it odd, either. Can you imagine my father (he is in his 50s) watching GOT? For those of you have no idea what I am talking about, my father’s biggest fun is like this.

The Turkish dance style 😅

P.S: Please forgive my general talks. Of course, there are Turkish daddies in their 50s and 60s but not like my dear daddy (I love him 💞 ) and of course there are Portuguese people who don’t speak English as I have an English teaching job here, you may guess)

Thank you for reading!

ALC- Alfama Language Community


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