M.A. in Teaching English as a Foreign Language

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  • ItemOpen Access
    Yes they can! Demystifying the effects of foreign language learning for students with special needs
    (National Network for Early Language Learning, 2018) Regalla, M.; Peker, Hilal
    This paper addresses the issue of integrating students with special needs into foreign language programs in the early childhood years. A partnership between a university and a charter school in central Florida began as a result of parent and teacher interest in providing a foreign language program for its prekindergarten students. Since 2014, prekindergarten students have been receiving French instruction twice per week in a typical foreign language exploratory (FLEX) program designed to introduce the French language and culture; however, this program is atypical because of the population of the charter school, United Cerebral Palsy (UCP). At UCP, approximately 50% of the students have special needs ranging from mild delays to significant physical and cognitive disabilities. Since the beginning of the French program, questions have been raised by various stakeholders (including some parents and other educational professionals) about students with special needs experiencing confusion in foreign language programs. The educators who started the French program designed a study to address questions raised about the suitability of foreign language programs for students with special needs. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of a French language program on the first language skills of an inclusive prekindergarten population. This article presents the preliminary results from the ongoing research study.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A case study on the perceptions of professional development unit members at an EFL program
    (2019) Peker, Hilal; Özkaynak, O.; Arslan, Z.; Tunç, H.
    Prior research focusing on teacher training indicated that professional development is considered as a continuous process, and trainings are essential for teacher development. In this qualitative case study, researchers examined the perceptions of professional development unit (PDU) members regarding the training sessions they offered at a foundation university in Turkey. After ethical committee permissions were obtained, the data were collected through semi-structured interview questions besides note taking during the interviews. There were five PDU members as participants. Content analysis was utilized after all the notes and transcriptions were brought together. To carry out the content analysis, the researchers employed a modified van Kaam method as defined by Moustakas (1994). Thematically analyzed data indicated three main findings: continuous professional development, good rapport, and motivation. These themes are discussed as reflected by the participants and implications are provided for future professional development series.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Exploring the perceptions of pre-service english teachers on vocabulary learning strategies in a foreign language teaching context
    (Untested Ideas Research Center, 2018) İstifçi, İ.; Peker, Hilal
    The purpose of this study was to investigate vocabulary learning strategies (VLSs) of pre-service English language teachers in a foreign language teaching context. The data were collected during Fall 2016 semester from 34 second-year and 54 third-year undergraduate students studying English Language Teaching (ELT) at the College of Education of a state university in Turkey. The instrument used to collect the data was a 5-point Likert-Scale survey adapted by Riankamol (2008) from the Taxonomy of Vocabulary Learning Strategies developed by Schmitt (1997). The main purpose of the study was to identify mostly preferred VLS categories (Cognitive, Memory, Metacognitive, Determination and Social) by second and third year pre-service teachers in ELT programs and to examine if there are any differences between the second and third year pre-service teachers in terms of the specific VLSs they use. Further, semi-structured interviews were also conducted with 20 students to triangulate the quantitative data with the qualitative data on pre-service teachers’ beliefs and attitudes about VLSs. The results indicated some similarities and differences between the two groups of students. Implications highlight the importance of teaching VLSs to pre-service English teachers.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Examining the relationship between Latinos’ English proficiency, educational degree, language preferences, and their perceptions on the Americans
    (Selcuk University, 2020) Peker, Hilal
    Using data from the 2018 National Survey of Latinos that was conducted by The Pew Hispanic Center/Kaiser Family Foundation, the researcher in the present study reports on the perceptions of Latinos on English and their educational degrees as well as their language preferences. This non-experimental quantitative study is considered one of the first ones focusing on Latinos’ language preferences conducted all over the United States. A highly randomly stratified 2,288 Latino adults (1,041 males and 1,091 females) who are 18 years old or older identified themselves as Latinos in this study. These participants were from 48 states in total. The results indicated that there was a positive relationship between the last degree attended and participants’ English proficiency; however, there was no association between participants’ preference of English over Spanish and their perceptions on the friendliness/closeness of American individuals. The implications and future direction are recommended at the end of the study based on these results.
  • ItemOpen Access
    EFL learners’ use of formulaic language in oral assessments: a study on fluency and proficiency
    (Hacettepe Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dekanlığı, 2016) Üstünbaş, Ü.; Ortaçtepe, Deniz
    Despite the recent, increasing interest in the research of formulaic language which constitutes a significant part of languages, there is little research on formulaic language use in registers such as classroom teaching and textbooks. Therefore, this article aims to investigate a) formulaic language use of EFL learners in multi-task oral proficiency exams consisting of an individual and a paired task, b) the task type in which these learners use more formulaic language, and c) whether the use of formulaic expressions is related to their fluency and overall proficiency scores. The data were gathered from the content analyses of video recordings of oral proficiency exam belonging to 190 EFL learners with different proficiency levels according to the description of CEFR and the course book used at School of Foreign Languages at a state university in Turkey. The findings indicate that EFL learners used formulaic language which they were exposed to through their course books in oral proficiency exams with different tasks; they used more formulaic language in the paired tasks in which they interact with another exam taker and their use was significantly related to their scores of fluency and language proficiency.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Mobile Augmented Reality and Language-Related Episodes
    (TESOL International Association, 2019) Sydorenko, T.; Hellermann, J.; Thorne, S.; Howe, Vanessa
    Applications of locative media (e.g., place‐based mobile augmented reality [AR]) are used in various educational content areas and have been shown to provide learners with valuable opportunities for investigation‐based learning, location‐situated social and collaborative interaction, and embodied experience of place (Squire, 2009; Thorne & Hellermann, 2017; Zheng et al., 2018). Mobile locative media applications’ value for language learning, however, remains underinvestigated. To address this lacuna, this study employed the widely used construct of language‐related episodes (LREs; Swain & Lapkin, 1998) as a unit of analysis to investigate language learning through participation in a mobile AR game. Analysis of videorecorded interactions of four mixed‐proficiency groups of game players (two English language learners [ELLs] and one expert speaker of English [ESE] per group) indicates that LREs in this environment were focused on lexical items relevant to the AR tasks and physical locations. Informed by sociocultural theory and conversation analysis, the microgenesis of learners’ understanding and subsequent use of certain lexical items are indicated in the findings. This understanding of new lexical items was frequently facilitated by ESEs’ assistance and the surrounding physical environment. A strong goal orientation by both ESEs and ELLs was visible, providing implications for task‐based language teaching approaches.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Conceptual socialization in EFL contexts: a case study on Turkish EFL learners’ request speech acts realization
    (Selçuk University, 2019) Şanal, Merve; Ortaçtepe, Deniz
    Conceptual socialization refers to the process second/foreign language learners go through to transform their conceptual system so as “to fit the functional needs of the new language and culture” (Kecskes, 2002, p. 157). Therefore, the present study examined Turkish EFL learners’ conceptual socialization by analyzing the similarities and differences between native speakers of English and Turkish learners of English in their request speech acts realization. The data were collected from Turkish learners of English (focal group) and native speakers of English (baseline group) through role-plays and a written discourse completion task on requests both in Turkish and English. Participants’ responses were rated in terms of the level of formality, politeness, directness and appropriateness. The results indicated that although the Turkish EFL learners were higher level learners, they could not produce the required level of politeness, formality and appropriateness in their speech acts as much as the native speakers did. This study reveals that in EFL contexts, where there is lack of authentic social interaction and engagement with a community of practice, language learners’ conceptual socialization process is bound to their experiences of classroom instruction and L1 socialization.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Turkey 2010: transforming education to meet challenges
    (Information Age Publishing, 2008) Akşit, Necmi; Mutua, K.; Sunal, C. S.
    This chapter discusses the state of education in Turkey and the emergence of new key ideas within the framework of one of the strategic goals of the Lisbon 2010 Strategy: improving the quality and effectiveness of education and training systems. Since October, 2005, Turkey has been a European Union (EU) candidate country. In December 2006, the EU suspended eight out of 35 policy areas because of Turkey’s restrictions regarding Cyprus. Nevertheless, Turkey remains committed to its bid to join the EU. The Lisbon indicators form key development points and emerging trends in education in Turkey.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Turkey: paradigm change in education
    (Information Age Publishing, 2006) Akşit, Necmi; Sands, Margaret; Mutua, K.; Sunal, C. S.
    Teaching in Turkish schools has long been delivered in a teacher-centred way. The means of assessment also has been traditional, and because the major examinations are used for entry to quality schools and ultimately to universities, they have a powerful backwash effect on the high school curriculum. National results in three subject areas indicate that the Turkish model of teaching is not yielding results comparable with 25 other OECD countries. Current change, led by the Ministry of National Education, is directed to both curriculum and the means of assessment, as well as to teaching methodology. In addition to changes in the school classroom, the Higher Education Council recently instituted wide-ranging reforms in teacher education.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Turkey: towards homegrown theorizing and building a disciplinary community
    (Routledge, 2008) Aydınlı, Ersel; Mathews, Julie; Tickner, A. B.; Waever, O.
    The International Relations (IR) discipline has existed in Turkey for well over half a century, yet in many ways it is still struggling to come together as a coordinated disciplinary community. Perhaps the most distinctive characteristic that emerges when trying to understand the discipline’s development and current state is the complex and uncomfortable relationship it holds with the world of IR theory and theorizing. Over the past 15 to 20 years in particular, “theorizing” and the professional identities associated with how – and whether – one does it have resulted in a divide in the local disciplinary community between “theorists” (a title claimed by most) and “others” (a title generally bestowed by “theorists” on the rest). This divide splits along academic generations, educational backgrounds, professional interests, and socio-economic classes, and is inextricably intertwined with a desperate competition for disciplinary power. Ironically, given the pivotal role that theory has come to play within the local discipline, it is in the realm of theory in particular that Turkish IR has achieved the least. In this chapter we look at this inconsistency in Turkish IR by focusing on the issue of IR theory – when and how it was introduced to the local disciplinary community, the factors surrounding its emergence as a privileged and therefore often claimed disciplinary activity, and the forms of scholarly activity that fall under the title of “theorizing.” We end by considering the prospects for change in these established patterns and the implications these might have on broader core-periphery relations within the discipline.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Teacher identity (re)construction within professional learning communities: the role of emotions and tensions
    (IGI Global, 2016) Gedik, P. K.; Ortaçtepe, Deniz; Dikilitaş, K.; Erten, İ. H.
    The research on teacher professional identity mostly focused on the process of teacher professional identity formation, the characteristics of teacher professional identity according to the teachers themselves as well as the researchers, and the representation of professional identity through teacher narratives in written and spoken discourse (Beijaard et al., 2004). However, there is much to explore in teachers' tensions and emotions regarding the issues between teacher cognition, and personal and professional sides of teacher identity (Day & Leitch, 2001). In this chapter, we have reviewed the literature on teacher professional identity in relation to communities of practice, imagined identity, and imagined communities. Various definitions of emotions and tensions as well as their roles in teacher professional identity construction have been presented and relevant studies on teacher identity construction, emotions and tensions have been discussed.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Scholarly transitions: finding eden in the academic periphery
    (University of the Free State * Department of Education, 2009) Mathews-Aydinli, Julie
    How do international doctoral students in the "west" make the decision to return home when their studies are completed? Upon return, what types of re-adaptation problems do they face? Are they able to fully engage with the international academic community--or do they suffer from a form of Geertzian "exile-from-Eden" syndrome? In this study I explore these questions by looking at the cases of six Turkish scholars of Foreign Language Education and Applied Linguistics. In their own words, these scholars describe their experiences and call into question certain assumptions some western scholars may have about international students, the relative importance of geography when considering their transition and re-adaptation processes, and the appropriateness of phrases like "exile from Eden" to describe their academic socialization in their native country.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Selected research in applied linguistics and English language teaching in Turkey: 2010-2016
    (Cambridge University Press, 2018) Aydınlı, J.; Ortaçtepe, D.
    In this state-of-the-art review, we aim to build on Alptekin & Tatar's (2011) article covering research conducted in Turkey between 2005 and 2009, and survey published research in 31 Turkey-based journals between 2010 and 2016. As the second review paper on Turkey's English language teaching (ELT) agenda, our goal is twofold: first, to introduce the research of those researchers whose high-quality, Turkey-based work may not be known outside Turkish academia; and second, to point to recent scholarly developments that have occurred in Turkey and set these in the context of recent shifts in language teaching research worldwide. This paper presents approximately 140 articles that appeared in locally published peer-reviewed academic journals, and clearly demonstrates that Turkey as an English as a foreign language (EFL) context presents a vibrant research scene in language teaching. The reviewed works cover a wide spectrum of timely topics (e.g., computer-assisted language learning (CALL), the European Portfolio for Student Teachers of Languages (EPOSTL), language assessment, affective factors), and present findings that have much to contribute to current discussions in the field. Nevertheless, our review also reveals some concerning trends, including an almost exclusive emphasis on practical concerns over conceptual development; shortcomings in locating research within broader disciplinary debates; and few efforts to bring together and build on local research in a manner that might allow for original and creative influences on the broader discipline. It is therefore the further aim of this article to spark debates on these issues among Turkish scholars and contribute to the strengthening of the local disciplinary community. Copyright
  • ItemOpen Access
    How good is your test?
    (Oxford University Press, 2009) Küçük, F.; Walters, J.
    This article reports on a study of the validity and reliability of tests administered in an EFL university setting. The study addresses the question of how well face validity reflects more objective measures of the quality of a test, such as predictive validity and reliability. According to some researchers, face validity, defined as the surface credibility or public acceptability of a test, has no theoretical basis since it is based on the subjective perceptions of stakeholders such as teachers and students. However, due to lack of time or resources, or due to a perceived lack of competence, practitioners tend to rely on the ‘appeal’ of language tests, rather than seek empirical evidence. This article describes several ways of evaluating achievement tests, comparing their results in order to shed light on what measures can and should be taken to ensure that achievement tests accomplish their purposes.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The effects of a professional development program on English as a foreign language teachers’ efficacy and classroom practice
    (Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc., 2015-12) Ortaçtepe, D.; Akyel, A. S.
    The purpose of the present study is twofold: (1) to investigate the relationship between the efficacy of teachers of English as a foreign language (EFL) and their self-reported practice of communicative language teaching (CLT) and (2) to examine the impact of an in-service teacher education program on teachers’ efficacy and self-reported and actual practice of CLT. Data came from a Teachers’ Background Questionnaire, English Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale (Chacon, 2005), Communicative Orientation of Language Teaching (COLT; Spada & Fronlich, 1995), and € the questionnaire version of COLT. Fifty Turkish EFL teachers working in eight schools responded to the questionnaires, and 20 of them were observed. The findings indicate that after the in-service education program, the teachers not only improved their practice of CLT but also became more efficacious. The findings highlight the importance of awareness-raising activities for professional development programs as well as the need for multiple instruments to analyse the extent to which teachers’ self-reported beliefs and practices concur with their observed teaching practice.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The effect of L1 on the production of L2 formulaic expressions
    (Turkish Association of Applied Linguistics, 2016) Pfeiffer, K.; Ortaçtepe, D.; Corlu, S.
    This study explores whether formulaic expressions congruent to the ones in an individual's native language (L1) have an effect on the production those expressions and their respective contexts in that individual's second language (L2). Fifteen EFL students were given a pre- and post-Discourse Completion Test and a Writing Prompt to assess their improvement in producing English idioms and their contexts after a workshop that focused on idioms of varying similarity to the participants' L1: Category I, word-for-word translations of the idiom used in L1; Category II, conceptually similar versions of the idiom used in L1; and Category III, idioms specific to the L2. The results of the study suggest that explicit instruction and comparison of any category of idioms can promote its production, but also that EFL learners are more comfortable working with Category II idioms.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Searching the TESL‐L Logs
    (Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc., 2002) Snyder, B.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Toward an ethics of silence: Michael K
    (Wayne State University Press, 2007) Chesney, D. M.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Reflective practice-oriented online discussions: a study on EFL teachers' reflection-on, in and for-action
    (Elsevier, 2016) Burhan-Horasanlı, E.; Ortaçtepe, D.
    This qualitative case study examined in-service EFL teachers’ reflective practice oriented online discussions in a graduate course. The analysis of reflective discussions and individual interviews brought about two conclusions about the nature of reflective practice as an embedded and collaborative process. First, the results regarding participants’ simultaneous engagement in reflection in, on and for-action indicate that reflective practice is an embedded process benefiting from the interplay of these three reflection types working together to lead to positive outcomes. Second, teachers benefit more from collaborative reflective practice through online discussion platforms that provide them with an online community of practice.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The identity (re)construction of nonnative English teachers stepping into native Turkish teachers’ shoes
    (Routledge, 2016) Mutlu, S.; Ortaçtepe, D.
    The present study explored the identity (re)construction of five nonnative English teachers who went to the USA on a prestigious scholarship for one year to teach their native language, Turkish. In that sense, it investigated how this shift from being a nonnative English teacher to a native Turkish teacher influenced their self-image, self-efficacy, and beliefs about teaching/learning. The data were collected mainly through three different instruments: a personal data questionnaire, ongoing controlled journals along with follow-up questions, and interviews. All the qualitative data were first analyzed according to Boyatzis’ [(1998). Transforming qualitative information: Thematic analysis and code development. Sage) thematic analysis, and then the emerging themes were related to three sensitizing concepts, which were (a) self-image, (b) self-efficacy, and (c) beliefs about teaching and learning. The findings revealed that (a) the participating teachers in this study had high(er) self-efficacy but low(er) self-image when teaching English compared to Turkish because of their idealization of native speaker norms; (b) their multiple identities were interacting with each other, and shifting from being a native to a nonnative, and a language teacher to a language user; and (c) their beliefs about teaching and learning coming from their core identity as an English language teacher worked as a catalyst in this process.