Old Wine in a New Bottle: Implementation of Intensive Language Program in the 5th Grade in Turkey

Erdem Aksoy
TED University
Derya Bozdoğan
TED University
Ufuk Akbaş
Hasan Kalyoncu University
Gölge Seferoğlu
Middle East Technical University
Keywords: English language policy, intensive language program, English language teachers’ opinions, teaching English to young learners


In search of ways to better the foreign language proficiency levels of their citizens, governments frequently announce macro foreign language policies. In Turkey, the latest education reform in 2013 lowered the onset of foreign language learning to the second grade. The piloting of the latest foreign language policy is in progress to transform the fifth grade to an English Language Preparation Program (ELPP). In line with the current changes, this study collects the secondary school English language teachers’ opinions at the initial stage of the implementation. This qualitative case study questions the advantages, disadvantages, success and possible challenges of the implementation, and the necessary support mechanisms. The secondary school English language teachers reflect on their past experiences of intensive language programs and hold an overall positive approach to the new ELLP implementation. All in all, to achieve success, the findings highlight the need for teacher training on teaching English to young learners, for a sound integration of communicative language teaching with authentic materials.

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