This programme will create an unprecedented interest to tackle some of the problems of English teaching in Turkey among English teachers. It encourages teachers to think about the system itself and gives hints that new approaches and ideas will be rewarded rather than curbed.
Meryem Gültekin, Master Mentor Trainer
Ministry of National Education in Turkey
To develop a sustainable, continuing professional development framework for English language teachers in Turkey through a national programme offered jointly by the British Council and the Ministry of National Education.
Education reform is a priority for the Turkish Government. The Ministry of National Education wants to ensure inclusive and equitable English language learning opportunities for all students in the country. We know that teachers have the greatest effect on language learning outcomes, so we want to help them improve their pedagogical skills and thus improve their students’ English language learning to equip them for the future and enable them to engage with the rest of the world.
During the first phase of the CPD Programme, a selected group of teachers were sent to the UK to be trained as Master Mentor Trainers (MMTs). These teachers now understand the core principles of communicative language teaching and how they can be applied in the Turkish school context, as well as recognising the value of peer training. They are also more confident in mentoring them on the communicative classroom approach.
In the next phase, these MMTs worked together with UK trainers to plan and deliver a ten-day teacher-mentor training course in Turkey, delivering up to 20 Teaching for Success modules based on our Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for teachers framework to around 150 Teacher Mentors.
The Master Mentor Trainers and Teacher Mentors (TMs) have now established Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) in their schools. In the PLCs, they establish teachers’ needs and develop and deliver further CPD activities for them. In these sessions, teachers from the same area meet to share ideas and techniques and develop action plans to try out new activities to teach English in a more practical and communicative way.
Piloted in Ankara, the programme is already expanding to four more regions in Turkey. In three years’ time, we aim to reach 37,505 English language teachers from lower secondary schools across the country and have an impact on one million students’ English learning.
Through the programme, we have worked with the Ministry of National Education to achieve their strategic outcomes more effectively by working together and jointly exploring new approaches to improving the quality of English language teaching in Turkey.
This programme’s mutuality-based cultural relations approach develops trust in and attraction towards the UK, its values, diversity and people. The programme also helps to build connections, influence and partnerships which demonstrate the value of UK expertise in responding to Turkey’s stated needs.