Turkish Language as Foreign Language Teaching Program within the Turkish Maarif Foundation Schools

Turkish Language as Foreign Language Teaching Program within the Turkish Maarif Foundation Schools

The President of the Turkish Maarif Foundation, Prof. Dr. Birol Akgün, declared: "We have been preparing a program for two years regarding the teaching of the Turkish language in different levels and we have completed the most important part of it.”

A presentation of the Turkish Language as Foreign Language Teaching Program and an assessment meeting were organized by the Turkish Maarif Foundation with the aim of continuing the teaching of the Turkish language in international language teaching standards.

The program was held at the Headquarter of the Foundation in Altunizade, with the participation of the members of the Board of Directors, academicians and teachers who helped in the prepare of the curriculum, as well as participants from different institutions and universities.

Speaking during the opening speech, the President of the Turkish Maarif Foundation, Prof. Dr. Birol Akgün, explained that they taught in 34 countries and that during the year they would extend the teaching in 50 countries.

Stating that they were working for teaching the Turkish Language in each school belonging to the Turkish Maarif Foundation, Akgün explained: “Teaching Turkish is a must in our curriculum. A method, a content and materials are required for it. We prepared a program that we have been working on for two years to teach Turkish to different levels of students, from kindergarten to high school. We achieved the most important part of it. We teach Turkish at least 4 hours in each class on a regular basis and our aim is to bring the students at the level B2 for the Turkish language within the framework of European language proficiency standards. Our program aims at this."

Expressing that the language is the most important carrier of the culture, Akgün stated:

"In teaching a language, you are actually teaching culture. As Nurettin Topçu said, 'There is no education for a nation without a philosophy', and language is the most important carrier of culture. Images you use, the words you choose, concepts, photos, stories actually all should serve the promotion of the universal values which Turkey has for thousands of years. We're telling these to friends who prepare materials. It is necessary to develop a language that will unite the wisdom of Anatolia with the universal values of humanity. The most important thing here is the richness of our heart. It is not only about power and wealth, but also the human language that will win the hearts of people. We have prepared a Turkish Corner in each of our schools, where we have a brief summary of Turkey’s history and culture, we show on a map the heritage from the Hittites, the Seljuks to the Ottomans and all those who lived on this land. Thus, Turkey is a very important country among world civilizations."

Indicating that the interest for the Maarif Foundation schools abroad are quite important, Prof. Dr. Birol Akgün declared: “Each school we took over or newly opened the interest is getting more and more important. Because all over the world, people have an interest towards Turkey. Turkey expresses a very different value, on the one hand, it is a part of the globalization system, on the other hand it is a representative of the Turkish-Islamic tradition, then it has relationships with Europe, every word it pronounces is collecting interest in the world, we are opening up to the world with TV series and, we are trying to respond to the growing interest in Turkey’s economic, social, cultural aspects and in the Turkish language. Actually, the interest for the Maarif Schools we open represents the interest for Turkey in the field of education.”

In his speech, Turkish Maarif Foundation Board of Directors Member Ahmet Türkben thanked everyone who contributed to the program and added: “I remember with gratitude those who contributed first to set up our national consciousness, to protect our culture and to transfer it the following generations, to widespread our most beautiful heritage that is our Turkish Language such as Ahmet Yesevi, Yusuf Hacip, Kaşgarlı Mahmut, Karamanoğlu Mehmet and at last but not least the one who built love bridged with the Turkish language, Yunus Emre. I would like also to remember in this occasion the pioneers in the near-age who followed the path of their predecessors and contributed to make the Turkish language a World language. The need of a program for teaching the Turkish language as a foreign language within the formal education from the nursery to the university level has led us to create a special unit in the field of teaching Turkish at our Headquarter. In this context, we have come now to the result of the workshops and meetings held for 9 months under the leadership of our Turkish Teaching Coordinator. I would like to express my gratitude to our academicians and teachers who have taken part in these studies and who volunteered to devote their weekends in this project.”

As for the Turkish Teaching Coordinator Doç. Dr. Ibrahim Gultekin, he assessed the program “Turkish Language as a Foreign Language Teaching Program”. Doç. Dr. Ibrahim Gultekin demonstrated the importance of this program through a presentation he made. 

The Prof. Dr. Ahmet Bilgili was the moderator during the panel “Turkish Language as a Foreign Language Teaching Program”, and Prof. Dr. Yasemin Aydoğdu, Prof. Dr. Kemal Sinan Özmen, Prof. Dr. Mustafa Kurt and Doç. Dr. Özay Karadağ took part as guests.

The program ended with a souvenir photo.



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