Mar 02

SPREAD YOUR ENTHUSIASM – “Teachers Can Do It!” by Zeynep Cihan

This is the story of three lovely English teachers and entrepreneurs in Istanbul, Turkey. If you like to meet them, they will be at ISTEK ELT 2013 Exhibition Area waiting for you at their wonderful stand:)

As ESL teachers who have been working at many different language schools and private schools, my partners Gizem Altunyuva Korkmaz, Ipek Cihan and I ( Zeynep Cihan) wanted to open our own language school. The reason that we decided to do so, was not being satisfied with the current ESL education system at many private language schools. As teachers who are a part of the system, we observed that neither students, nor teachers were happy and satisfied. However, language schools were pleased, because they could make money out of it. Unfortunately, education has been led on commercial basis, that we wanted to change everything about it! Sure, it was difficult to change the mentality, but we believed that if we could give a good start, it might inspire people, and make a difference at the end.

Using the opportunity of being experienced teachers in ESL field, we identified every missing point in ELT system at language schools and what students really need, and shaped the vision of Queen English Language School’s education system. We created a new brand, a new vision to teach English according to students’ needs, and built a cozy butique school atmosphere to make them feel comfortable. We are aware of our students busy lifestyles, that’s why our school is all designed according to their needs ; when they come, they can have their coffee or tea at our terrace, and watch the islands view, enjoy their lessons with our effective teaching system and feel satisfied and happy during and after their course.

No one could believe the before and after of our school. The first time when we had our place, there was nothing in it. An open office without floors, nothing… We drew the project of it, chose and customized the furniture according to ‘’Queen’s place’’ like a palace, and decorated. We were with the constructers everyday during the construction, learnt a lot about it! Found our web designer, graphic designer, created our brand and logo, chose books one by one for each level and program, created our curriculum; in short, we did every step head to toe by ourselves. Thanks to our families and friends support, we never lost our courage, belief and strength.

So far, it looks like we have achieved what we dreamt of; at least the first few steps… Recently, we opened our new school Queen TESOL Centre, where we offer the first and original TESOL Certificate in Turkey. As ESL teachers and founders of a language school, where education takes the first place, it has always been our dream to train English teachers who are eager to improve themselves, deliver modern classes, be aware of what is going on in ESL field around the World, and make themselves ‘’international ESL teachers’’.

Due to our affiliation with King George International Business College, we offer TESOL to ESL teachers, with a Canadian Certification. This means teachers get their TESOL Certificate as if they studied in Canada , which gives them the privilege to hold a diploma from an English speaking country. Besides, we offer International Education Consultancy and English Experience Programs to our ESL students.

The happiness of our students and their being reference for us are the things that feed us, make us more enthusiastic, and willing to do more. We started a journey and we have a lot of destinations, hope we will do it altogether with our students and teachers and staff. Last but not least, we also would like to thank Burcu Akyol, who believes in us and supports everybody in ELT field. We are the teachers who create generations, so why not change the mistakes?


Zeynep Cihan
ESL Teacher & Founder
Queen English Language School & Queen TESOL Centre









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  1. Vicky Loras

    First of all, thank you so much Burcu for having these three amazing ladies on your blog!

    Dear Zeynep, Gizem and Ipek,

    First of all, congratulations on your new school! The only thing I can say is that it looks amazing and it shows your enthusiasm while doing it! You are so brave for doing this and deciding to stick to your principles, and not put up with the commerciality of the private educational system, which can be the same in many countries. Unfortunately, many schools now everywhere are more interested in making money rather than putting their students first! However, you have decided to change all that and it is great!

    The coincidence is that my sister and I have just opened a new school in Switzerland (we had one in Greece before, for ten years), so we know and we understand what goes into opening a new school, the sleepless nights and anguish, but also the happiness and satisfaction when it is ready!

    My sister and I wish you all the best! I will be so happy to meet you at ISTEK – see you there!

    Best wishes,

    1. Patrick

      Looks absolutely gorgeous. Maybe you could be sister schools, building links between students studying English in different places.

      1. Zeynep Cihan

        Thank you Patrick,

        Your plenary speech was also great! Hope to see you again!

        Best wishes,

        Zeynep Cihan

    2. Zeynep Cihan

      Thank you Vicky,

      We get more enthusiastic and happy when we meet people who understand and support us! I bet you know what we are going through, so it will be great when we meet at ?STEK ELT Conference and share ideas;)

      Thanks a lot!
      I believe you are also doing well and feeling great!
      See you soon!

      1. Vicky Loras

        I will be so happy to meet you at ISTEK ELT – we can talk about our new schools : ) We are doing well so far, thank you so much for asking! All the best to you too.

        See you soon,

  2. Ken Wilson

    Many congratulations on your idea. You deserve to be a big success.

    1. Zeynep Cihan

      Thanks a lot Ken! Your support is priceless! Hope to meet you at ?STEK ELT:)

  3. Eugenia Loras

    Dear Burcu,

    Congratulations on your blog and your great educational work.

    Dear Zeynep, Gizem and Ipek,

    Congratulations on your beautiful school and methodology. We wish you all the best personally and professionally. Vicky and I can truly feel all your efforts as we have always had a huge passion for our schools, former and current. If you read Vicky’s blog post: http://vickyloras.wordpress.com/2011/09/30/how-did-she-get-here-in-the-first-place/ and my recent one: http://eugenialoras.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/feat-no-9-the-loras-english-academy-the-ground-breaker-and-the-heart-breaker/, you will have the chance to connect with us even more.

    Thanking you all,

    1. Zeynep Cihan

      Hi Eugenia,

      Thanks for your best wishes! We feel like we are like sister schools who are going through same process and we do understand you totally! I read your stories as well, so inspiring !

      Congratulations on your strength, belief and hardwork !


      Can’t wait to meet you in Istanbul!

      Warm regards,


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