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Session R5808 (AATT Roundtable: Materials, Development, & Design), 2020
How to Design a Turkish Language Textbook
One of the biggest problems that Turkish instructors of students in their third-year of learning Turkish face is the lack of suitable textbooks. Most textbooks or supplementary materials are either designed for language learners who live in Turkey as foreign nationals and receive several hours of instruction per day in an immersion setting or exclusively feature grammar drills and exercises. Available materials lack any meaningful attention to communicative competence or real life tasks. A common picture that is seen over and over is the overreliance on tables and charts (in place of explanations), an overwhelming avalanche of unknown vocabulary (not to be used or seen again in subsequent chapters), inauthentic materials presented in reading and listening activities, as well as limited structured speaking and writing activities. Furthermore, Turkish culture is largely ignored, limited for the most part to a few pictures presented without any thought to integration with the larger themes of the unit. In this roundtable presentation, the presenter(s) will share their experience with writing a Turkish language textbook. After a brief discussion of the reasons that led to the decision of designing a third-year Turkish language textbook, the presenter(s) will share with the audience their ideas as to what a Turkish language textbook in the 2st century should look like. Next, the presenters will explain how they approached the task of textbook design, their reasoning for a particular layout, and their strategies of developing materials for it. The presenter(s) will show excerpts from the book and explain the decision-making process behind certain language teaching materials. The presenter(s) will end their talk with some general tips for developing and designing effective language teaching materials, specifically for the field of Turkish language teaching.