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AN ACTION RESEARCH: HOW TO HELP B1 AND B2 LEVEL LANGUAGE LEARNERS TO FIGHT AGAINST C1 AND C2 LEVEL DEPARTMENTAL COURSES VIA GRAMMAR TRANSLATION

O.S. İnamlık

Eastern Mediterranean University (CYPRUS)
GEED 168 Writing on global issues course is a teacher action research which emerged to heal the ongoing language problems of the 1st year Business and Economics Faculty students at the Eastern Mediterranean University(EMU), where the medium of instruction is English. After one-year intensive language education at the English Preparatory school, students have encountered drastic language incompetency and shock during their departmental studies. The core of the problem is so simple; the gap between their language level (B1 & B2) and the level of departmental studies and books (C1 & C2). Specifically, students have low vocabulary capacity, limited knowledge about ideas to write on, limited grammatical variety and competency. Throughout their first year in departments, students take two must English courses which are in B1 and B2 level. Researches reveal that students can hardly cope with the level of English. It is a truism that students are not competent even in B1 and B2 levels. The most significant indicator of low-achievement is the written pieces of the students. Demographical studies have indicated that the vast majority of the low-achievings are Turkish-speaking students from Turkey and the north part of Cyprus.
GEED 168 course is a grammar translation course from Turkish to English. It aims to heal three major points which hamper the students produce quality written products: lack of adequate vocabulary, idea and grammar. This course has entwinned these three points with global economical, political and environmental issues which aim to extend students’ general knowledge about global and also domestic issues.
The basic philosophy behind this study is to help students make proper sentences by familiarizing them with new ideas, neglected or not digested grammar structures and high level of vocabulary in a meaningful context.
Despite the 3-hour input per week, thanks to MOODLE, this study has revealed very significant findings. Both the perceptions of the students and their products drastically show that this course has enabled students to create written pieces in C1 level by developing general knowledge on global issues, by extending vocabualry capacity and by enhancing high level grammar use.