‘UNIVERSITIES MUST PREPARE YOUNG PEOPLE FOR THE FUTURE’
It has been reported that generation Z started their university education this year, and learning methods for this new generation needed to be researched thoroughly. Izmir University of Economics (IUE) hosted the “English as a Medium of Instruction at Universities: An Integrated Approach 2” workshop sponsored by the Cambridge University Press.
“Why English is Chosen as a Medium of Instruction in Higher Education?” titled panel was held as part of the workshop moderated by IUE Rector, Prof. Dr. Can Muğan with the participation of Prof. Dr. Murat Borovalı, IUE General Coordinator, Prof. Dr. Muhammed Şahin, Rector of MEF University, Prof. Dr. Cemali Dinçer, Rector of Yaşar University, and representing the business world, Emre Kızılgüneşler, Vice Chairman of Izmir Chamber of Commerce, and Member of IUE Board of Trustees.
In his speech, Vice Chairman Emre Kızılgüneşler said, “What does the business world want? Analytical thinking from our perspective is very important. The fact that students learning other languages in addition to English gains importance in terms of business world because a bipolar "trade-environment" is emerging worldwide. Being able to speak only one foreign language is not enough anymore. We need to steer the students towards their careers appropriately.”
IUE General Coordinator, Prof. Dr. Murat Borovalı pointed that language instruction was very essential in education, and mother tongue was very important in terms of making students gain analytical skill. “Language education is a must. Thinking skills are very important. We need to think about the content very carefully. Education is not limited to 4 years anymore, it is continuous and we are constantly in a relearning process,” said Prof. Dr. Borovalı.
‘We Should Fret over Education’
MEF University Rector, Prof. Dr. Muhammed Şahin, stated that not only language education, but also education in general was being neglected nationwide. Şahin said, “We are constantly discussing the same issues because we neglect these subjects. Type of learning has changed. It is no longer teacher lecturing at the board, and students learning by listening to the teacher. Teacher, nowadays, is no longer the scholar, but rather a moderator. The newly graduates are up against a very different race. Being able to speak English only is not enough; one needs to be able to speak 2 or 3 languages.”
Prof. Dr. Şahin, who reminded that students who started university education this year belonged to generation Z, said, “Generation Z is nothing like other generations. They want fast, they consume fast. We need to research this generation thoroughly as we are planning our curriculums. University is no longer an institution to train for an occupation; it is an institution to prepare young people for the future.”
Yaşar University Rector, Prof. Dr. Cemali Dinçer indicated that English was a universal education language rather than a foreign language. “We need to do something at all stages of foreign language education. Education is an integrated process. It has to be reciprocal,” said Prof. Dr. Dinçer.
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