SCHOOL OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES


Turbulent Years (1970 - 1980)

The English Language Preparatory School and the Humanities Freshman Division continued to operate in a well-established manner in the beginning of the 1970s by further improving their instructional systems. However, both were deeply affected by a series of difficulties encountered during this period, which lasted until 1982.

 

The “negative public image” regarding the English proficiency levels of METU graduates possibly emerged during this period.

  • The support provided by Ford Foundation ended and the group of specialists left. Some complications arose in the Testing Office and the Teacher Training Unit.
  • Although still working on a contractual basis, a large number of native-speaker instructors resigned towards the end of the 1970s due to the erosion in their salaries resulting from the high inflation levels in the country.
  • Demonstrations and boycotts greatly hindered education and many class hours were lost.
  • The 2 student quota increases implemented during this period were difficult to digest by the English divisions, making them face inevitable losses in quality.
  • The Foundation Law of METU gradually became unworkable, the Council of Higher Education was established in 1982 and METU was eventually included in the centralized system with the rest of the universities.
  • The student quota increase in 1978 forced the English Language Preparatory School to convert from full-day to double-shift education, and the teaching staff became twofold with the additional recruitment of 30-35 instructors.

 

During these turbulent years, we can see that many instructors served as directors of the English Language Preparatory School:

 

Dündar UÇAR (1969 – 1970)
Pervin ADATAŞ  (1970 – 1971)
Müşerref DEDE (1971 – 1973)
                      Huban ÜÇÜNCÜOĞLU  (1973 – 1974)
Giray ATATÜR (1974 – 1975)
İdris ESEN (1975 – 1976)
Şener ÖZER 1976 – 1977)
Yaşar ATAKAM (1977 – 1980)
Evren OKTAR (1980 – 1982)

          

In the Humanities Department, on the other hand, Prof. Yuluğ Tekin Kurat handed over the chairmanship to Assoc. Prof. Hüseyin Batuhan, and he, in turn, handed it over to Prof. Cemal Yıldırım. Nevin İnal and her colleagues continued to serve in their posts. Contact hours in the Freshman Division were still 6 – 10 hours a week depending on the level of the students. It has been reported by both former instructors and former students that Modern English, Advanced English Practice, Let Us Write English and People, Places and Opinions were the main books used, but that mandatory reading programs in which novels like Lord of the Flies were incorporated also existed in Advanced and Intermediate levels.

 

2 significant academic changes made in the English Language Preparatory School during this period should be noted.

 

Prepared by: Prof. Dr. Hüsnü ENGİNARLAR

Interviewees: Prof. Dr. Ayten BEAR, Doç. Dr. Joshua BEAR, Öğr. Gör. Nevin İNAL, Öğr. Gör. Naz DİNO