CLIL: News from Turkey

It is well over a year since the first CLIL materials from Turkey were posted on the FACT Website and the Turkish flag was added to the FACTWorld banner. These materials, and subsequent additions, originated from a small CLIL enclave in the Izmir University of Economics, an English-medium university where members of the Teacher Development Unit were piloting a project to assist subject teachers with language support for undergraduate students and to promote closer cooperation between the university faculties and the School of Foreign Languages. Since then, there has been considerable interest in CLIL, not only within the university, but also from other universities, high schools, and from the national Ministry of Education.

  • Within the Izmir University of Economics, there have been positive responses to the pilot project at two levels. Individual lecturers have sought advice and consultancy over language issues while others have successfully implemented some of the techniques. At the institution level, there has been a call for interdisciplinary cooperation, closer communication between faculty and language instructors, and a request for further instruction for faculty staff in alternative teaching techniques and teaching/learning in a foreign language. To this extent, the project has been successful in setting some wheels in motion.
  • Other universities have begun to look at CLIL and content-based language instruction as viable alternatives to a one-year intensive preparatory language program and language support courses for undergraduates. The majority of this kind of teaching goes on in private institutions such as Sabanci University in Istanbul but there is also interest from individuals in state institutions such as Gazi University in Ankara where postgraduate students are basing their masters and doctoral studies on research into CLIL.
  • Individual private schools such as the Bahcesehir Colleges have expressed interest in training for subject teachers at elementary and middle school levels in how to exploit texts for language. There has also been substantial interest from schools in elementary course/resource materials such as Incredible English (OUP) which contain CLIL components.
  • The Turkish Ministry of Education is investigating the possibility of implementing CLIL as part of the elementary school curriculum.
  • Several international ELT conferences held at Turkish universities this academic year have included presentations on CLIL. The most recent, at Bilkent University, Ankara, was a workshop in which the classroom application of CLIL was demonstrated through a geography/general studies lesson on Vancouver. The PowerPoint slides from this presentation (A CLIL Lesson) are available on this Website:

 first published October 2007

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