Karaman tackles teaching task

Junior Abdullah Karaman teaches an Elementary Russian class of one student. Karaman is a computer science major who is interested in creating apps.

Junior Abdullah Karaman accepted the challenging job of teaching a foreign language to students.

Karaman said he discovered the Critical Language Partner position on LionJobs and started working his sophomore year.

Karaman fits all of the requirements needed to become a Critical Language Partner, said Director of the Center for Critical Languages Craig Christy.

“Abdullah Karaman is one of the best embodiments of all those desirable qualities: energy, affability, outgoing personality, socially engaged across campus and, of course, a native speaker,” Christy said in an email.

Karaman said he became a Critical Language Partner to challenge himself.

“I feel like there is more to teaching than just making sure the student knows the subject,” he said.

He said the true challenge comes when explaining a topic to someone who does not know it.

“It forces you to find different ways to explain the material easier,” he said. “I like it when a student finally understands the topic. It makes me feel more confident about my teaching.”

Abdullah slows down the lessons until I understand them, said junior Rebekah Manley, who decided to study Russian to prepare for a job with the FBI.

“He starts out trying to make it really easy for me,” she said. “It’s hard, but I’m doing better than I thought I’d be doing.”

Students can learn more if they are taught by a teacher who lives the language and culture, said junior Marissa Phillips.

“I am not taking a class taught by a Critical Language Partner, but I would like to because it will help me,” she said. “Tourists who learn from one of these partners won’t have that much trouble in a foreign country.”

Christy said students have said good things about Karaman.

“Students have consistently told me how much they appreciate that Abdullah really cares about them learning his language and that he goes out of his way to help them, both inside and outside the classroom,” Christy said.

Karaman said his classwork is 70 percent from the book.

“The other 30 percent is me providing activities not found in the book for the students to do outside of class,” he said.

Christy said Karaman’s personality helps him in the classroom.

“His overall happy demeanor and winning smile exert a positive influence on the classroom environment,” Christy said.

Karaman said his inquisitive nature is his driving personality trait as a teacher and as a student.

“I have liked computers since I was a child,” he said. “That is why my major is Computer Science. I want to know ‘what is under the hood’ of the computers. I also do research, so I can teach my students better.”

Karaman said his main focus is school, but he makes time for other activities.

“I hang out with my friends,” he said. “Sometimes I go and play soccer with another group of friends.”

He said he was on UNA’s intramural soccer team last year, but decided not to this year.

“I hope to eventually join the soccer team again,” he said. “I would love to play for the school again.”

Karaman said he is glad he came to UNA.

“I like it here very much,” he said. “The campus is small, so everything is close by. The people here are nice and friendly. The city also makes it easier for me to study. There’s not much to do, so I’m less distracted.”