Progressive vs modular system in preparatory school English language teaching program: A case of system change at a state university in Turkey

Due to its importance in almost all significant fields such as science, technology, education and trade, English language is offered as a compulsory course in all levels of formal education in Turkey. In the higher education context, most universities offer one-year compulsory English preparatory education for students enrolled in departments whose medium of instruction is in English. Commonly, the two systems existing in preparatory programs known as modular system and progressive system enact the legislation and organization of courses as well as the assessment, classroom procedures and material design. In progressive system, English education is offered throughout the year based on learners’ level of English according to the placement test given at the beginning of the education year; on the other hand, in modular system English is taught in different modules at the same time allowing learners to move forward or fall behind their current levels. Because of the poor English levels of the preparatory class students at a state university in Turkey, a system change from a progressive system to a modular one took place which started to be implemented from 2015-2016 academic year onwards. For the purpose of evaluating both systems, English language instructors’ views related to strengths and weaknesses of the modular and progressive systems were gathered through a semi-structured opinion form. The data were gathered from 23 participants who actively taught English in the both systems and were analysed through inductive content analysis. Findings of the study show that the participants found the modular system effective and efficient since students were placed in their correct levels of English unlike in the progressive system and since they were assessed based on their current level of English, Additionally, the participants favoured the modular system due to well-planned placement system in each module although they reported that modular system caused confusion on the part of the instructors because of the frequent exams and quizzes applied within a limited period. Besides, delivering English in more than one module at a time also caused the instructors to feel under pressure and a burden. As for progressive system, it was found that it was practical in terms of planning and organization in spite of decreasing student motivation. These findings indicate that although instructors find modular system effective and efficient, it needs a good planning and organization.

Hazırlık eğitimi İngilizce öğretim programında ilerlemeli ve modüler sistem: Bir sistem değişikliği incelemesi

Bilim, teknoloji, eğitim ve ticaret gibi önemli alanlardaki öneminden dolayı İngilizce Türkiye’de eğitimin her kademesinde zorunlu ders olarak okutulmaktadır. Yükseköğretim kademesinde ise birçok üniversitede eğitim dili İngilizce olan bölümlerin öğrencileri için bir yıllık zorunlu hazırlık eğitimi verilmektedir. Türkiye’de hazırlık okullarında genellikle ilerlemeli ve modüler sistem adı altında iki farklı sistem uygulanmaktadır. İlerlemeli sistemde öğrenciler yıl boyunca yerleştirme sınavı sonucunda yer aldıkları seviyede ilerlemeli olarak öğrenim görürken, modüler sistemde ise öğrenciler dil öğrenmedeki seviye gelişimine göre seviye atlayabilmekte veya mevcut seviyede 8 haftalık eğitimi tekrar almaktadırlar. Öğrencilerin istenilen düzeyde İngilizce bilgisine sahip olmadan hazırlığı tamamlamaları ve konu ile ilgili artan olumsuz geri bildirimler sonucunda bir devlet üniversitesinde 2015-2016 öğretim yılında ilerlemeli sistemden modüler sisteme geçiş yapılmıştır. Bu bağlamda bu çalışma hem ilerlemeli hem de modüler sistemde hazırlık sınıflarında görev almış akademisyenlerin her iki sistemin güçlü ve zayıf yanları ile ilgili görüş ve değerlendirmelerini almayı amaçlamıştır. Çalışmaya 23 akademisyen katılmış ve yarı-yapılandırılmış görüşme formu aracılığıyla veriler toplanmıştır. Çalışmanın bulgularına göre her iki sistemin de olumlu ve olumsuz yönleri bulunduğu ancak akademisyenler tarafından modüler sistemin tercih edildiği sonucuna ulaşılmıştır.

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