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Beginner's Turkish 2


Admission requirements

Beginners' Turkish I or equivalent.


Beginners' Turkish I & II are designed for students who are interested in learning Turkish as a foreign/second language and have little or no previous knowledge of Turkish grammar and vocabulary. Through an integrated and communicative approach, it emphasizes the fundamentals of grammar without underestimating the basic oral communication skills and micro-sociolinguistic rules of conversation in Turkish.

Course objectives

Turkish has an agglutinating structure, which means that students will learn to attach multiple affixes to a stem to form individual words. It also has a sentence structure with a more flexible word order than Dutch does. Therefore, students will also learn the discourse rules that govern this flexibility. Reading activities provide early access to naturally-occurring language tailored for students’ needs and interests. Speaking and listening activities underline real communicative events with information gap. By the end of the second block, students will have developed an elementary to pre-intermediate proficiency level of Turkish grammar and vocabulary as well as basic communication skills (A1), and will have become ready to take the next level (A2).

  • Grammar: Students will develop an understanding of simple tenses, other basic constructions including the existential, the possessive, postpositions to mark time and manner of events, verbs that inherently assign dative and ablative cases, directives and the optative, comparatives and superlatives, specificity and differential object marking (accusative case), and the abilitative.

  • Vocabulary and use: Students will learn a wide range of basic vocabulary items, such as numbers, occupations, countries and nationalities, verbs denoting everyday activities, kinship terms, various adverbs of time and manner, food names and classifiers, various adjectives needed to describe people, places and things, and complex verbs commonly found in Turkic languages that involve a bare noun and a simple verb. Students will also learn frequently used daily expressions.

  • Spoken interaction: We will emphasize spoken interaction since language is primarily for interacting with people. By the end of the course, students will be able to introduce themselves, ask and talk about personal information, describe people, places and things, talk about daily activities and hobbies, ask and talk about past, present and future events, give directions, talk about wishes, desires and possibilities, describe events and compare and contrast people, places and things.

  • Listening: Students will learn to recognize Turkish lexical and sentential stress, understand commonly used words and expressions when speakers speak carefully, recognize Turkish vowels and consonants and distinguish between minimal pairs that include problem sounds for Dutch speakers (e.g. [ɯ]), recognize two-way and four-way vowel harmony in Turkish, follow simple directives and understand the relationship between words in simple, commonly used sentence structures.

  • Speaking: By the end of the second block, students will have learned to form simple sentences, wh- questions and yes/no questions with appropriate intonation and stress. They will also have mastered the Turkish consonants and vowels including the ones that are potentially difficult for Dutch speakers to produce. We will focus on Turkish vowel harmony rules throughout the semester because almost all Turkish suffixes follow either the two-way or the four-way vowel harmony.

  • Reading: Students will read short texts to look for information, understand the main idea, recognize the order of events, understand the relationship between words in a sentence, understand descriptions of people, places, things and events. Some short texts include signs, forms, timetables, descriptions, short biographies and autobiographies, menus, recipes, etc.

  • Writing: By the end of the second block, students will have learned to fill out forms with personal information, write post-cards or other short texts where they introduce themselves, their families and friends, make daily schedules and shopping lists, give a recipe, and short descriptions of events.

European Common Framework goals after fulfilling Beginners' Turkish II
Listening A1.1
Reading A1
Spoken interaction A1
Spoken production A1
Writing A1



Mode of instruction

Seminar with mandatory attendance.
Class participation is extremely important in learning a language. It is even more important in learning a language for which the classroom context is the main source of input. You are therefore required to attend every session. The percentage of absence may affect your grade. In case you have to be absent in order to observe any religious holidays during the semester, you must let the instructor know within the first two weeks of class through email. Assignments or projects are expected to be submitted on time. Deadlines will be enforced strictly with exceptions like documentation from a hospital or athletic/academic excused absences. Mobile phones and electronic devices are allowed only if they are used for classroom purposes, such as when using a dictionary app.

Course load

5 EC x 28 hrs = 140 hrs
Lectures (7 x 6 ) 42
Assessment 2
Class preparation 45
Homework assignments 51

Assessment and weighing

Student performance will be based on the following distribution:

Partial Assessment Points Weighing
Quizzes 2 x 12,5 25%
Project 10 10%
Homework assignments 5 x 3 15%
Final exam 50 50%
Total 100 100%


The resit exam is a make up for your scores for the final exam only.



Blackboard will be used for course information (syllabus and deadlines), course documents (homework assignments and review materials for each module), announcements, student grade center and for some occasional links to websites of Turkish language and culture.

Reading list

There are two required course books for both blocks:

  • Turkish Tutor – Grammar and Vocabulary Workbook (Emine Çakır & Berna Akça, 2018, John Murrey Press Learning)

  • A Student Grammar of Turkish (Nihan Ketrez, 2012, Cambridge University Press)

We will also be using a number of extra materials to supplement this book. The extra materials include grammar and vocabulary exercises, reading activities based on authentic texts, writing activities, listening activities, guidelines for spoken interaction in the classrooom.



Registration à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


B. Erdem-Boonstra MA


Students with disabilities

The university is committed to supporting and accommodating students with disabilities as stated in the university protocol (especially pages 3-5). Students should contact Fenestra Disability Centre at least four weeks before the start of their courses to ensure that all necessary academic accommodations can be made in time conform the abovementioned protocol.

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to be familiar with Leiden University policies on plagiarism and academic integrity. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you submit any work with your name affixed to it, it is assumed to be your own work with all sources used properly indicated and documented in the text (with quotations and/or citations). It is also unacceptable for students to reuse portions of texts they had previously authored and have already received academic credit for on this or other courses. In such cases, students are welcome to self-cite so as to minimise overlap between prior and new work.

Students must submit their assignment(s) to the blackboard through turnitin, so they can be checked for plagiarism. Submission via email is not accepted.