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Proud of our Bookworm, Yalcin Kalay!

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by Sheetal Makhan / AYC


Yalcin Kalay from Turkey
Yalcin Kalay
from Turkey

I recently received this message from past Turkish student, Yalcin Kalay:

Hi my dear teacher, how are you? I wanna give you a good news. In Turkey there was an Oxford Book Reading Competition between 150 private schools. My school was in that competition and I came fourth in Turkey! And they will put my pics on the billboards in Turkey!”

Of course, having taught him last year, I jumped for joy!

With the help of his teacher, Yalcin entered a book reading competition whereby students had to read books from the Oxford Bookworm Series. They had to find three interesting scenes in the story and had to write about why they found it interesting. Finally, the student had to recommend the story, backing it up with reasons why friends would enjoy it. Juries will choose ten summaries from each part of Turkey, sending the best ones to Istanbul. Finally, they will be rated and a finalist will be chosen.

This is Yalcin’s winning piece – which earned him fourth place in Turkey for the competition! All of us at EC Cape Town are extremely proud of you and so happy that we were part of your “English journey!”

Rabbit Proof Fence
Review by Yalcin Kalay

Rabbit Proof Fence is Dorris Pilkington Garimara’s novel. It is published by Oxford University Press and it is among many other factual books in Oxford Bookworms reader series. It is based on a true story. The story is set in Western Australia during the 1930s.

What I have learnt from this book is 20th century was a colonial one with an ill oriented  and disastrous mentality where some of the people either because of their colour, race or religion claimed that they were superiour over ‘’others’’. It was all because of this sick mentality that they have left ‘’others’’  exposed to all these kinds of nonhuman, painfull and subversive actions.

As I have understood from the story, the colonialist white man feels free for what he wants to do, like using and raping the Aborigine women, using their men as slaves and enslaving children as they call it half-casts the way they are pleased.  As I can speak of the book, those three girls are taken away from their families to be trained as good domestic servants for the white men. It is like a miracle coincidence that after I finished reading the book I watched the movie named Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom in which a similar story takes place at a different continent by the same hegemonic power. In the movie Africa is colonized by colonialist European white men, some of the African black men and women are sold to overseas as slaves and some others are forced to work in mining and crop fields. This situation continues until the twenty-first century. Unfortunately this has caused too many unforgettable and unhealable.

All in all, I wish everyone were equal and were treated equally. I wish God had delivered enough justice into the heart of people so that could use the freedom without taking over ‘’others’’ freedom. At this point I cannot help quoting from dear George Orwell’s Animal Farm this very meaningful saying “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than the others.’’

This is Yalcin’s second summary and he is going to enter for the finals as well.

Yalcin's Certificate
Yalcin’s Certificate

Yalcin was a EC Cape Town General English 20 student

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