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An investigation of the effectiveness of the theme-based curriculum in the 2003-2004 academic year at the department of basic English at Middle East Technical University

Topçu, Tansu
This study examines the implementation of the theme-based curriculum in the 2003-2004 academic year to meet the goals and objectives of DBE students at METU. The research design of the study includes questionnaires and focus group interviews with former DBE students and DBE teachers. At the first stage, 231 students and 60 teachers took the questionnaire. Then, 19 students (in groups) and teachers (individually) were interviewed. The results indicated that there was a big difference between the perceptions of teachers and students and teachers were more negative about the program. Especially, pre-intermediate group teachers were quite dissatisfied with the program. Implementation and quality of the materials and lack of communication between teachers and administrators were considered as probable reasons. In terms of materials, reading was the skill most successfully developed. Moreover, students found handouts much more useful than the books. Writing seemed to be the most problematic area in the program. Finally, as a result of time limitation, teachers were perceived to be more active in class and pair/group work were considered as ineffective.