About Us

About Us - The English Navigator

Now you’ve found us, who are we?

About Us

What kind of people would want to create an education service? Well, obviously we must be teachers. After all, quite a lot of teachers want to start a school because think they can do better than the schools they work for.

Teachers who are sick of their bosses behavior, sick of the stupid rules that don’t make sense, sick of the unnecessarily bureaucratic systems that don’t help the students or the teachers.

Teachers who see how much money the private schools make, and dream of grabbing a big piece of that for themselves. It looks like easy money, why should the boss be the one to get rich?

After all, it’s not like the students would care. The students are just resources to be used, right? In fact, shouldn’t students just be grateful for the chance to pay to take our classes?

A dream to make a ton of money as quickly as possible, for as little work as possible. Get a lot of respect and status from our families, friends, colleagues and everyone who hears about us. Achieve great success, as quickly as possible, for very little effort. Have an awesome lifestyle! Doesn’t that sound great?

Oh wait …

That’s not us.

But that might be a lot of the people who did start a school or private teaching service…

So who are we, really?

Ok, so yes, we are teachers. At least kind of. And yes, we had an idea about making a better service for teaching English. Not a dream, more of a mission. Because honestly, if we can’t do it better than most of the schools are doing it now, then we have more interesting things to do with our time.

And we are doing it for money. It is not a “get rich quick” scheme though. It’s a “make a lot of money by giving you the service and results you need” business model. We teach sales and customer service in our other businesses, so here is the way we see it:

Any transaction should be a fair exchange of value.

You pay a fair price for a valuable service.

So what is a fair price?

The answer is, if you think it is a fair price, then it is. A thing is only worth what people are happy to pay for it. If you’re happy, then it’s going to be much easier for us to work together.

So how much is our service worth to you?

We charge a price that reflects the value we put into our service, and the value you will get out of it. One of the strange things about setting a price for something like this is that if we gave it away free, then you might not think it is very valuable. If you don’t think it is valuable, then you might not feel it was worth working hard to get your results. If we charge the price we really think our service is worth, as the life changing doorway to your future success, most people probably won’t be able to afford it. A new life and career? Perhaps priceless.

So we aim to charge a fair price that hurts your pocket enough to get your attention and take it seriously, but not so much that it causes you financial stress. If you respect the value of our services you will get better results. It’s all about your results.

We’re going to be as successful in building this English teaching service as we have been with the other businesses we’ve built. We are going to continue delivering great, life changing results for our students. University acceptance, new jobs, new lives. Can we achieve your results, and those of everyone like you, with very little work? No, unfortunately not. All success comes with great effort, don’t believe anyone who says otherwise. But we can use our systems and process knowledge to make it easier and more effective for you.

So once more, who are we?

The English Navigator is a very small team of experienced teachers. We got that experience working just about everywhere else. We have a full range of experience, covering general English, Academic Exam English, Business English, conversation classes, speaking clubs, and lots more. We have done it all. Oh, and we are highly successful, award-winning business people, who think that great customer results are the most important thing a business can focus on. This is followed closely by customer satisfaction, even if results are not quite what they hoped for.

We are on a mission to get you better results. We hope you join us. You can read more about our individual stories below.

Sinem

Hi, I’m the Turkish one.

I’m a graduate of TED Ankara Kolej, finishing 3rd in Turkey in the national rankings. I then graduated from Bilkent Universiti (double major), Bilgi Universiti (MBA) and Cambridge University (Ph.D.). I have spent a lot of time living and working in English speaking countries, including six years in the UK and 1 year in the USA. I have also taught at several universities in English and Turkish, and given many classes and courses at over 28 different private language schools, universities and government ministries.

I have been working with international businesses for more than twenty-five years. I have worked for McKinsey and Accenture, and a number of other high profile companies, so I understand the language of business at executive and worker levels. In addition I created my own multiple award winning technology business, so I know the language of entrepreneurs, startups and small business. In addition to this school, I also consult to corporate companies in Turkey on human resource organization, business process and personal performance, sales and marketing, and give a lot of seminars to private and government organizations on business topics. This keeps my business English current and practical, which is a benefit to my students too.

I am not a qualified or trained teacher, but I feel a great empathy with students and the problems they face. I am interested in helping people to understand how to beat these tests, and I have an excellent track record for doing this, with hundreds of satisfied students. More importantly, I am interested in helping people to achieve the potential they have inside themselves, a potential they have not reached yet. Most people can achieve great things if they have someone who believes in them and a little help and guidance, and that is what I provide. The pressure and stress of being a student in Turkey is unbelievable, and we all need a friendly and supportive mentor to help us get through our daily challenges. If you are feeling that life is too difficult and you cannot focus on the exams you need to pass, I am here for you.

I have a strong interest in education and learning, including systems and methods as well as psychology. This led me easily into teaching the English academic exams. I have been an IELTS examiner at the British Council, co-founded the GMAT testing centre in Ankara, and I am a Pearson Teacher Trainer for PTEA. I teach English at all levels from A1 to the most advanced, and specialize in teaching mathematics for GRE, GMAT, SAT and YOS. If you are struggling to solve these challenges, you have found the right place to ask for help.

We opened our service to help more students, and to offer an alternative to the generally limited quality of the teaching available elsewhere. There are many good online alternatives, but for years it has not been unusual to find local language schools and Yurt Disi Egitim consultancies in Turkey which have been misrepresenting their services and failing to help students get the scores, university places or foreign visas they needed.

There are plenty of general English teachers being offered as exam teachers, when exam teaching requires special knowledge and skills that general English teachers usually do not have.

There are plenty of schools advertising online and offline, on the signs outside their schools and in their reception area leaflets, that they offer IELTS, TOEFL, GMAT or GRE, when they don’t have any of the necessary resources or experienced staff.

These practices are very unfair for the students, who are paying a premium price and are not getting the real service.

For the last six years we have been focused on delivering these exams, and while we haven’t succeeded in every single case, we have hundreds of satisfied students. You don’t have to choose us, but it’s probably worth a conversation with us to discuss what you really need. At least we can help you clarify your goals and help you understand what you can realistically achieve. We will also point you in the direction of good alternatives, and you won’t waste time and money on things that don’t work.

We also don’t have to choose you, we have to limit our student numbers in order to keep our quality high and get you the great results you need. If you are motivated and at the right level to start, we will definitely do our best to help you achieve your maximum.

John

Hi, I’m the English one.

I have lived in Turkey since 2012, and been teaching English part-time since 2013. First thing to share; I am not a teacher. Not trained or qualified, and never had any plan to be one. I started by accident, because people kept telling me that being a native speaker, schools would want me. I thought that must be wrong, but unbelievably, being a native English speaker is a super-power. It’s like being a Marvel superhero in Turkey! After a few interesting adventures, I have now taught in 6 cities, in more than 30 private language schools, a few government ministries, even in the Parliament a few times.

I guess there may be other teachers who have this much experience, but I know a LOT of teachers now, and I have never met anyone who has worked in even half the number of places that Sinem and I have. Additionally, most teachers work in only one or two regions. But I have given classes all over Ankara (Kizilay, Sihhiye, Yildiz, Gazi Osman Pasa, Bahcelevler, Balgat, Tunali, Kavaklidere, Umitkoy, Cayyolu, Batikent, Incek, Cankaya) and also in other cities such as Erzurum, Erzincan, Van, Gaziantep and Istanbul. It’s been interesting, and I learned a lot about how these schools are operated, what the owners are like, what books and other materials are used, what the teachers are like and how they work, and a lot more.

I teach English from B1 to as advanced as you want to go, and have given creative writing and literature analysis classes, literary editorial of novels, proofreading of scientific theses and a lot more. My vocabulary knowledge is expert level, and comfortably above the most advanced academic and business English exams that I teach. If you want to decode these exams and quickly improve your speed and score, you have come to the right place.

Unlike most people who work in a school, I am not a teacher, I am an entrepreneur. This means I joined them to teach, but actually learned everything that was wrong (and sometimes right) about their business. I was able to quickly see so many problems:

  • Owners, teachers and students all complaining about each other and about the materials, the buildings and the course format.
  • Schools chasing money instead of education and results
  • Students signed up to unsuitable courses they are not qualified for
  • Reception staff who don’t speak the languages being taught
  • Classes too over-crowded to have much interactive learning
  • Mixed levels with students bored or frustrated
  • Teachers just working through the books instead of teaching the concepts and solving problems
  • No personal attention to each student
  • No focus on student results

and a lot of arrogance about the school’s way being the best or only way.

I don’t believe in complaining AND doing nothing, so I offered my ideas. However, any time I suggested a way to improve the student experience or make the owner more money, I got some version of this answer:

“John, we know what we are doing, you are new here, you don’t understand the conditions,

this way is what works for us, we’ve always done it like this!”

Whenever teachers complained to me about their jobs, I would remind them that the teacher has the power to make a lesson good or not. The teacher decides if the lesson is happy, exciting, interesting, informative. The teacher decides if it is boring, stressful, or a waste of time. In every teachers room I got some version of this answer:

“We hate it but we can’t change anything, this is the system,

and it is the students who make the class boring because they don’t work or don’t speak,

I just want to get paid and go home.”

I am a high energy person and I never like to accept the status quo, or to complain AND do nothing. Either accept the conditions without complaining, or change the classroom conditions, or leave and go to work somewhere else. Why suffer in a job you hate and make the students suffer too?

Most of the teachers are too scared or too comfortable to leave their jobs, and very few try to make any positive changes. Many told me they are not paid enough to do that extra effort. Nearly all of the teachers seem to have forgotten that students are customers. Teaching is not just a regular job, it needs real effort to motivate and excite a class and really help people to learn and improve their lives. Students don’t pay for classes to help the teacher have a job, you are paying to improve your life opportunities. If I meet a teacher who hates their job, I say nobody forced you to work there, so put away your negativity and let’s make it fun for everyone. Most of the time the response was some version of this.

Blah, blah, blah, do what you want John …

True. Who am I to tell others what to do? I got the point.

All of the above might seem arrogant, but that is not my intention. I am confident, and bold to make my case, but my way is not the only way and my way might not be the best way for everyone. Whether you choose my service or not, I think you will agree that there are certainly many problems in the existing market.

Anyway, it showed me there is a gap in the market for another way of working. As I said, I am not a teacher, I am an entrepreneur. For me, the best way to show people what I consider to be a superior student experience is by creating it and delivering that service. Nothing convinces people like a reality they can see and touch for themselves.

Once students see it they become happy, and happy students leads to happy teachers, which leads to more course sales, more money, and happy owners. It’s not that difficult, every business has to make the customer the primary focus of its operation. Unhappy customers leads to no customers, which means no business.

So I decided to create this online service.

Obviously this site is about my own service, and I want you to choose us for your English education needs. However, we cannot serve everyone, so if you are thinking of going somewhere else that’s ok. You should do your research and make the best choice for yourself. If you are checking the private language schools, there are a few good ones out there, but not many. It really depends on exactly what you are looking for. What service and result you want, and how much you are willing to pay. My advice is to ask lots of questions before you give anyone any of your money. Seriously, after you pay your money, it will be too late to ask questions or change your mind. I’m going to qualify that by saying that since the pandemic started, everything might be different, but you still need to do your own research.

I should also add that if you are a teacher or thinking of starting teaching, then equally ask all of your questions before you accept any work. There are one or two schools that are actually quite reasonable, but just be careful before you make any decision.

Since 2013 I have had thousands of students in hundreds of group and private classes, mostly with a lot of success. You can’t please everyone, and I have had some unhappy students and some failures too, but I think most people have been very happy with my services. I have also given many speaking clubs in schools around Turkey and in different cafes in Ankara. More on those later.

What else? I am a graduate Software Engineer with a long list of other computer qualifications, a national award-winning entrepreneur, and a national award winning sales expert. I will be sharing a lot more about other things I have done or experienced, but there are too many to mention here. In my other businesses I teach sales and marketing (especially the dark arts) and sometimes do it for businesses when they cannot learn it. I also consult to companies all over Turkey on business strategy. In my free time I play chess, poker and other psychological games, as well as taking a lot of self-education on human psychology (the most important and valuable topic that everyone should study) and on new twenty-first century digital business models to plan my next venture.

Everyone told me that opening an online language service will make a lot of money, but that is not my main motivation. I have always had lots of ways of making a lot of money. My reason for opening this service is to offer a results-oriented alternative and to help people like you to understand how to avoid losing your hard-earned money or your valuable and limited time on unsuitable lessons, classes or courses. I want to help you make good choices and become more successful in your lives.

Our Team – A work in progress

Nothing can be achieved without a good team. One of the agreements I have with Sinem is that we won’t employ anyone unless they really fit our requirements and add value. Managing people is a difficult skill. Even though we have built or managed multiple businesses employing hundreds of people. Even though we teach management methods in our training business. Even though we consult to other businesses on human resources management. It’s even harder when you have a passion for your business. How do you get new people to share that and behave the way we do? The way our customers want? The best way is to be really selective, and to only hire when you find that spark in someone.

That applies to partnering too. We have been freelancers and held multiple part-time roles for many years. In the 21st century the ‘side-hustle is the new way of converting your time and talents into as much money as you want to earn. A good freelancer can earn a lot more money than a full-time worker, and have more fun, flexibility and freedom doing it too. It does require extra energy, motivation and organization though.

As a note, if you think you could be one of those people, read this.

So right now, why should you trust us?

Well, we have years of experience in general, academic and business English. We have an expert native English speaker. We have an academic exam teacher trainer (teaching other teachers how to teach). We have an academic exam administrator and assessor (for the international exams). We have worked everywhere and seen what everyone else has to offer. We can give honest advice.

We have delivered years of general English

  • English conversation classes and clubs
  • English creative writing classes
  • business English classes for the workplace
  • private English coaching for academic, business or pleasure.
  • General English Courses
    • A1 (Beginner)
    • A2 (Elementary)
    • B1 (Pre-Intermediate)
    • B2 (Intermediate)
    • C1 (Upper-Intermediate)
    • C2 (Advanced)
  • Years of academic exam English classes
      • GRE – One of the few teaching teams delivering GRE in Ankara
      • IELTS – close working relationship with the British Council in Turkey
      • TOEFL – we regularly send students to American universities
      • PTEA – we are teacher training partners for Pearson Turkey
      • SAT – expert preparation for students preparing for US universities
      • ACT – less popular than SAT, but sometimes preferred
      • PAE – fast preparation for local universities in Ankara
      • YDS – the standard exam for proving English for Turkish government
      • YOS – mathematics for university entry in Turkey
      • DuoLingo – Basic and cheaper English test for simple proof of ability
      • IMAT – entry level medical English for medical degree in Italy and other countries
      • ERASMUS+ OLS – entry level English test for working and travelling in countries which offer the Erasmus programme
    • Business English classes
      • BULATS – the most common test, accepted worldwide
      • Linguaskill – the replacement for BULATS
      • BEC – a more detailed test of Business English skills
      • iTEP – a test of practical use in business situations
      • a range of legal, medical, engineering, scientific or other subject- specific uses of English, often with exams designed just for one discipline in one country.
      • OET – for all medical professionals seeking to prove their English for a life in healthcare, medical, dentistry, veterinary or pharmacy practice in an English speaking country. We help lots of doctors, nurses, vets, and related professions to pass and relocate.
      • DLA – entry level English test for airline staff, cabin crew and pilots

    We are also experienced in

    • Preparing academic students for MBA, Degree, Masters and Ph.D. applications in Turkey or abroad
    • Coaching business people who are moving to work in the USA, UK, EU or are working on international teams using English.

    So there you have it. We could keep talking, but if you have taken a tour of the site you should have found enough information to decide what to do next. We hope it was helpful. So if you decided to go somewhere else or to change your plans, good luck. We wish you every success and hope it works out. If you work hard enough, you can probably succeed anywhere.

    If you liked what you read, or you are coming here after failing elsewhere, what are you waiting for?

    Want some real help to achieve your goals?

    Click the image – we are waiting to meet you 🙂

    The English Navigator – Book Now

    Seriously, click the image 🙂