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The role and status of English in Turkish higher education: English is the language of instruction in around 20% of the programs in Turkish universities

  • Beril T. Arik and Engin Arik


Kachru's (1992) Eccentric Circles framework has been very influential in understanding and explaining trends in the unprecedented spread of English around the world. However, so far the research within the World Englishes paradigm has focused mostly on Inner and Outer Circle countries and their English varieties (Seidlhofer, 2009), rather than Expanding Circle countries. While Expanding Circle countries in Asia (e.g. Chang, 2006) or parts of the European Union (e.g. Coleman, 2006) have been gaining increasing attention in recent years, Expanding Circle countries like Turkey have not been examined to the same degree. Notable exceptions include Doğançay-Aktuna (1998), Büyükkantarcı (2004), and Selvi (2011), which we summarize below. As in many Expanding Circle countries, the spread of English has not been equally distributed in all domains of life in Turkey. For example, little is known in the field regarding English in the higher education context compared with other domains, such as language policy, business, or media, both in Turkey and in other Expanding Circle countries. We address this issue through this study.


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