The Foundation Years
The English Language Preparatory Division (ELPD), called the English Language Preparatory School (ELPS) after 1965, was founded in 1961. It can be inferred that students who lacked the required level of proficiency in English were not admitted to METU between 1956 and 1961. During this period, there were a few English Language instructors who offered Freshman English courses at the Humanities Department, three of whom were Nevin İnal, Nili Tlabar and Belma Ötüş.
When the admission of students who lacked the required level of proficiency in English became possible in 1961, 3 instructors were hired through a newspaper ad saying “English Preparatory Year instructors to be recruited at the Humanities Department”. These instructors started working on the METU premises behind the Parliament Building downtown. Among the initially hired instructors were Ayten Coşkunoğlu (Bear), Faruk İrfaner and Gülsen Canlı. Shortly thereafter, Utku Tamer joined the team. Later, some of these instructors transferred to the Freshman Division. During the first 2-3 years of the foundation period, the administrators of the ELPD were a British national, F. Diment, Head of the Humanities Department, Dr. Yuluğ Tekin Kurat, and person-in-charge of English courses, Nevin İnal. The latter two served as administrators for many years to come.
Instruction in the English Language Preparatory Division was carried out in 3 classes 25 hours a week per class on the premises behind the Parliament Building. Instructors were responsible for implementing their own instructional programs. During the Freshman year, the weekly contact hours for credit English courses were 6 hours at the Advanced level and 10 hours at the Intermediate level. An instructor responsible for training the students who completed the English Language Preparatory Program gave lessons 10 hours a week throughout the academic year. In other words, having completed the English Language Preparatory Program, students went through a second run of a semi-intensive high-level language training during their Freshman year.
Prepared by: Prof. Dr. Hüsnü ENGİNARLAR
Interviewees: Prof. Dr. Ayten BEAR, Doç. Dr. Joshua BEAR, Instr. Nevin İNAL, Instr. Naz DİNO