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Digital at heart of Turkish language ed. strategy

Digital learning will take precedent in foreign language lessons in Turkish schools, while the lessons taught will vary depending on the type of school from this year, the government has detailed in its Education Vision 2023.

“Restricted elective language courses" will be redeveloped under the proposals. Photo: Max Pixel

Student and staff mobility is also highly encouraged

Goals for foreign language teaching include customised classes, introducing new resources and improving teacher proficiencies and qualifications.

Interactive and game-based learning materials and techniques will be used for English learning at early childhood ages, while “online learning environments” and “mobile technologies” will be used across age ranges, the report revealed.

“Integrating technology in education helps students stay engaged”

“Digital settings” will be created so that students can watch teachers using English, German, and French as native languages, it explained.

Additionally, original foreign language products will be developed, such as live-action and animated films, in cooperation with Turkey’s national public broadcaster TRT.

“While listening and speaking skills are given greater weight in hotel management and tourism vocational high schools, reading comprehension and presentation skills will be given greater weight at the social sciences schools,” the document read.

“Restricted elective foreign language courses will be redeveloped in line with needs,” it added, and for grades 9 through 12, content will be prepared to “allow students to develop speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills, in accordance with the priorities of the types of school the students are attending”.

Language teachers will complete post-graduate programs to “improve their qualifications”, and they will also be offered opportunities to attend international certification programs overseas.

“While goal two [of the vision] offers teachers and educators to be sent overseas for teacher-training certification programs during the summer holiday, we were expecting a similar method for the students too,” Ayse Seda Peker, marketing manager, International Education Fairs of Turkey suggested.

“We strongly believe these improvements should be taken a step further and more Turkish students should be encouraged to take the advantage of a study abroad programs,” she said.

“By living and studying in a foreign country students become more independent, self-reliant, and self-confident,” she said, noting that “studying abroad brings out the students’ independent nature”.

“The traditional passive learning model is over,” Onur Yaldizkaya, founder of Idealist Education Consultancy, told The PIE News, but English remains an imperative, so new model must be embraced.

“Having a very good communication skills in English is a ‘must’ to get a good job in Turkey,” Yaldizkaya noted. “As the country grows in strength, it will need more highly skilled graduates,” and learning at least one foreign language either in Turkey or overseas will remain important for Turkish students, he added.

“With technology in the classroom the teacher becomes the encourager, adviser, and coach,” he argued. “Integrating technology in education helps students stay engaged. Most students today have been using mobile devices like tablets and smartphones to play and learn since they could crawl.”

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