SWEDISH MODEL FOR TEACHING ENGLISH
The Ministry of National Education is moving to improve English language education in Turkey by focusing on communication rather than grammar, in line with the “Swedish model” of teaching.
- Yaşar Özay
- Updated : 03.04.2014 01:09:45
- Published : 03.04.2014 01:08:43
ISTANBUL — The Ministry of National Education is moving to improve English language education in the country as most students’ proficiency in English remains at a basic level. Too much focus on grammar is regarded as the main obstacle for students’ low English language capabilities.
The Turkish Association of Private Schools conducted a survey among students, teachers and parents in 13 provinces for a report entitled “Analysis of National Needs on Education of English Language at Public Schools.” The survey found that despite attending more than 1,000 hours of English classes from primary to secondary school, a large percent of students were only at beginners level in English.
The report cites that English lessons are handled like other lessons instead of teaching English as a language for communicating with native speakers. It listed four obstacles to achieving quality English education, including a grammar-based approach to teaching, with a similar approach in exams; seating arrangements in classrooms; and curricula and textbooks that disregard the varying abilities of students to learn a new language.
Students responding to the survey said it would help improve their proficiency if they were taught English using subjects they liked and were interested in.
The report was presented to the Ministry of National Education, which now plans to adopt the “Swedish model” for teaching English. Students will be encouraged to improve their language skills by practicing speaking instead of lessons concentrated on grammar. Lessons will be more activity-based, teaching English through songs, games and conversations. Starting from grade five of primary school, English lessons will be based on “courses” and students will be obliged to complete the courses in one grade to qualify for the lesson in the next grade.
In the first year of secondary school, which is part of the compulsory education system, curricula will concentrate on English education, and preparatory classes for English will be implemented at some schools depending on the availability of English teachers.