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The Language and Cultural Integration of Refugees and Social Media

Prof. Dr. Yasemin Kirkgöz
Cukurova University
“The Language and Cultural Integration of Refugees and Social Media”



Yasemin Kırkgöz is a professor in the English Language Teaching Department of Çukurova University, Turkey. She is the co-editor of the book Key Issues in English for Specific Purposes in Higher Education, published by Springer in 2018. She completed her Master and PhD in Applied Linguistics at Aston University, England. She has previously been a vice director and director of the Centre for Foreign Languages, curriculum coordinator, and teacher trainer. Her main research interests focus on foreign language education policy and its implementation, curriculum renewal and innovation management, integrating technology in language teaching, teaching English to young learners, English-medium instruction in higher education, pre-service and in-service teacher education. She has published in a number of international journals including Teaching and Teacher Education, Educational Policy, Teaching in Higher Education and Current Issues in Language Planning on these topics. She received the 2013 IATEFL award for her work on Initiating and Managing the Process of Curriculum Innovation from the IATEFL’s Leadership and Management Special Interest Group.



The importance of language and culture in the context of mass movement of people across national boundaries is unquestioned. With the huge increase in refugee migration, particularly from Syria, the neighbouring country, Turkey has recently been facing with the language and cultural engagement of refugees. The problem becomes even more acute when the bulk of refugee population is constituted by children under the age of 18. The Turkish Ministry of National Education is taking various measures for the refugee integration; yet, use of new methods and technologies is needed to facilitate language learning and cultural integration. This study explores how social media applications can be used to facilitate the problem of refugee integration in Turkish schools. Building on the results of the effective applications of social media in a number of European countries and practitioner best practices, a model for the use of various social media applications will be presented appropriate for the Turkish context to help refugee children acquire language and cultural competences.


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