Adapting an apprenticeship model to the needs of English-medium education at the tertiary level in Turkey
Despite the difficulties that we have regarding the use of English in tertiary education in Turkey, we argue that it is necessary for those involved to study in the medium of English. Furthermore, significant advances have been made on this front. These efforts have been for the most part language-oriented, but also include research into needs analysis and the pedagogy of team-teaching. Considering the current situation at this level of education, however, there still seems to be more to do. And the question is, what more can we do? What further contribution can we make? Or, how can we take this process further? The purpose of the study reported here is to respond to this last question. We test the proposition that it is possible to take this process further by investigating the efficient management of transition from Turkish-medium to English-medium at the tertiary level of education in Turkey. Beyond what is achieved by only the language orientation of the EAP approach, and moving conceptually deeper than what has been achieved by the team-teaching approach, the research undertaken for the purpose of this study focuses on the idea of the discourse community that people want to belong to. It then pursues an adaptation of the essentially psycho-social approach of apprenticeship, as people become aspirants and apprentices to that discourse community. In this thesis, the researcher recognises that she cannot follow all the way through to the full implementation of her ideas in a fully-taught course. She is not in a position to change the education system. What she does here is to introduce a concept and sample its effects in terms of motivation, and thereby of integration and of success, for individuals and groups of learners. Evaluation is provided by acquiring both qualitative and quantitative data concerning mature members' perceptions of apprenticed-neophytes functioning as members in the new community, apprenticed-neophytes' perceptions of their own membership and of the preparation process undertaken, and the comparison of these neophytes' performance with that of other neophytes in the community. The data obtained provide strong evidence in support of the potential usefulness of this apprenticeship model towards the declared purpose of improving the English-medium tertiary education of Turkish students in their chosen fields of study.