Case Study

Turkey: Edinburgh College Teacher Training

Edinburgh College

Turkey: In December 2020 Edinburgh College significantly scaled up its involvement in an important national teacher training programme in Turkey.

In partnership with the British Council Turkey and the Turkish Ministry of National Education, Edinburgh College provided bespoke online training to over 300 English teachers from 24 regions across Turkey over a four-week period.

This course followed on from Edinburgh College’s successful involvement in the initial pilot stage of this project, which saw a group of 22 teachers of English from Turkey travel to Edinburgh for a 2-week intensive master mentor training programme in September 2019.

South East Europe, Asia, Global
Language Training, Teacher Training

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The courses designed and delivered by Edinburgh College were the first stage of a large nationwide programme (English Together) aimed at restructuring and reforming teacher training and professional development systems for the 80,000 teachers of English in Turkey.

The English Together programme is itself part of a wider framework of education reform being prioritised by the Turkish Government and underpinned by Turkey’s Education Vision 2023.

This Education Vision 2023 outlines the core changes needed in different areas of the Turkish education system, and includes strengthening and improving the professional development of all foreign language teachers. It envisages a new blended professional development system, including both face-to-face and online education to be put in place between 2019 and 2022.

The British Council is collaborating with MONE on the design and implementation of the English Together programme and Edinburgh College was selected as the delivery partner for this crucial initial stage of the programme.

In the first (pilot) stage of the programme, Edinburgh College provided face-to-face “Master Mentor” Training in Edinburgh for 22 teachers from Ankara. The course included sessions on technology to enhance learning, creating effective teacher action groups, course and session design, setting aims and objectives, planning training sessions and giving effective feedback.

The aim of this course was to ensure these teachers returned to Turkey well-equipped to develop and deliver their own mentor training sessions and build effective professional learning communities in their region.

In the second phase of the programme, Edinburgh College provided bespoke online training to over 300 English teachers from 24 regions across Turkey over a four-week period.

This expansion of the programme saw Edinburgh College trainers working with groups of up to 25 Turkish teachers to develop their capacity as mentor teachers, preparing them to lead CPD opportunities and Professional Learning Communities for English teachers in their own region.

Each group of teachers completed 6 hours per week of face-to-face online classes with Edinburgh College trainers and 4 hours of complimentary asynchronous learning to build on the concepts covered in face-to-face classes.

After the pilot stage of the programme, Edinburgh College provided in-depth feedback on participants’ progress and suggested next steps to make a successful transition to the second phase of the programme.

The 22 Master Mentor teachers who received training at Edinburgh College used what they had learned from the course to themselves plan and deliver a 3-week Teacher Mentor training course in Ankara for 130 state school teachers. This cascade approach ensured that the project went on to benefit a wider group of teachers and has provided the platform to develop a system of professional development driven and sustained by the teachers who trained with Edinburgh College.

These Master Mentors Teachers have been responsible for the ongoing coordination and development of the project in their local region, and have held PLC meetings in their schools and districts, as well as writing a CPD e-booklet based on their training experience.

The 300 teachers who received training in the second (online) phase of the project will now, likewise, be supported to create their own Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) in regions across Turkey following a similar cascade model. In these PLCs, teachers from the same area will meet to share ideas and discuss new techniques and approaches, thus creating a network of teachers working collaboratively to improve their practice.

The project will therefore have a lasting impact upon the professional development of English Language teachers across Turkey.

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