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English-medium education in Turkey a myth or an achievable goal? An evaluation of content-based second language instruction at the Middle East Technical University

Akunal, Zuhal (1993) English-medium education in Turkey a myth or an achievable goal? An evaluation of content-based second language instruction at the Middle East Technical University. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86154) (KAR id:86154)


This study is aimed at examining and discussing evidence for and against the effectiveness of content-based second language instruction at university level in Turkey. It deals with the following central questions: Is the integration of content and anguage teaching the best way to develop students' English language proficiency? Is it really working in Turkey? How does English-medium education affect students' content learning?

The first three chapters of this study set out the problematics of the content-based second language instruction (CBSLI) with reference to Turkey. Chapter one is concerned with the theoretical underpinning of CBSLI. The focus of attention in Chapter two is on French immersion programmes in Canada because of their significant contribution to the spread of immersion programmes to various other countries. Studies of immersion programmes in the Philippines and Tanzania are also taken into consideration in so far as they help assess the transferability of Canadian experiments to other countries in very different socio-cultural and economic circumstances.

Chapter three discusses the implementation of CBSLI in the specific context of Turkey. Special attention is paid to the choice of the language of instruction. Arguments for English-medium education and Turkish-medium education are examined.

The last three chapters are concerned with factual evidence relating to the efficiency of CBSLI in Turkey. Chapter four presents the research design and methodology, working hypotheses and rationale for the study. Chapter five analyses the data obtained from students and teachers' questionnaires under the following three headings: 1)English language and study skill, 2) Academic performance 3) Attitudinal considerations. Chapter six focuses on CBSLI classroom interaction in METU and assesses the extent to which CBSLI principles are being implemented in real classroom situations: whether CBSLI classrooms provide opportunities for the kind of input, interaction and output in the second language which have been deemed essential to promote second language acquisition.

The overall conclusion of the present study is that content-based second language instruction lacks theoretical and empirical support in the context of Turkey. Our findings show that the integration of content and language teaching under existing conditions does not provide the most favourable environment either for second language learning or content learning. There seems to be a case for the use of Turkish as the medium of instruction and for intensive tuition in English as a second language.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86154
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: Education; Training; Turkey; Second languages
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 16:31 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 14:21 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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