Effects of Erasmus+ Experience on the Instructional Approaches of Turkish Pre-Service Teachers
Being an interculturally competent and sensitive global citizen has been an educational goal for higher education institutions across Europe and Turkey. Erasmus+ is one of the most popular student mobility programs, and Turkey, although a non-EU member state, has been part of this program since 2009 to provide Turkish students with opportunities for cultural diversity. Research, mainly conducted in Europe, shows that student mobility programs contribute to the students’ L2 language acquisition (Kinginger, 2011), critical thinking (Nguyen, 2012), and intercultural sensitivity (Stier, 2006). The present study was conducted with 19 Turkish pre-service teachers (PTs) of English who had participated in the Erasmus+ program for one academic semester studying in different European countries. The aim of the study was to find out to what extent Turkish PTs could reflect the cultural knowledge they gained in the program in their lesson plans. Analyses of lesson plans revealed that PTs started integrating different cultural aspects to their teachings and this is important in teaching English as PTs share their own experiences with the learners who have limited cultural exposure.
Keywords - Erasmus+ Student Mobility, Exchange Programs, Intercultural Sensitivity, Pre-Service Teachers, Teacher Education