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The Discourses and Displacement of English in Turkey

Edited By Eser Ördem

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Preface

Preface

Extract

This book attempts to problematize the spread of English and English language teaching in Turkey. It has been taken for granted that English provides prestige, internationality, modernity, progress, political privilege, economic development, superiority, mobility, globalization, individuality and scientific maturity. Therefore, Turkish education system from A to Z has been effortlessly drifted into the sphere of English. The deep-rooted problem emanating from the origins of the English language in the British Colonialism, Anglicism and Orientalism has been largely ignored. Instead of questioning and resisting the expansion of English, English-related departments have outnumbered Turkish-related departments. I believe that this issue is a scandal in the history of Turkey. The existence of Turkish culture cannot be dependent on the existence of a colonial, imperial and neoliberal language. The dominance of nation-state ideology is not an answer to this denial. Nationalism is another facet of Westernism to manage and own Other/East. Non-essentialist political and cultural ground can enable us to reconsider the discursively constituted divisions and classifications so that space for freedom can be opened and inclusive practices can be encouraged. The Anglicist perspective perceives itself as Self and non-Anglicist cultures as Other. This perspective needs to be totally displaced and opposed to reconstitute the forgotten Self. Resisting the metastatic growth of English is also opposing the uneven geographical development of neoliberalism. As English is spreading disturbingly in the world, so are the violations of human rights. The absence of participatory democracy, critical theory, radical pedagogy and critical human rights in English language teaching...

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