The English Together Project was publicly launched on 9 December 2020 by the Ministry of National Education, the British Council and the Sabancı Foundation. The launch was broadcasted live and reached an audience of over 15,000 viewers. 

Some key messages from the speakers:

Ziya Selçuk, Minister of National Education: 

‘We have had to break the prejudices in foreign language teaching and improve our students' self-confidence. To communicate in a foreign language, you need to be exposed to the language, listen, speak, not be afraid of making mistakes, get lost in that language and make discoveries.’

Sir Dominick Chilcott, British Ambassador to Turkey: 

‘Because of its importance to thousands of teachers and millions of learners in Turkish schools, I see this project as a highlight of the bilateral co-operation between the UK and Turkey’. 

Güler Sabancı, Chair of the Sabancı Foundation Board of Trustees:

‘The presence of the British Council, which works in the field of education and culture in many countries around the world and is undoubtedly accepted as an authority in English teaching, gives this project confidence and strength. I believe that this is the biggest project with the biggest impact, compared to other projects we have supported before’.

Adnan Boyacı, General Director at Teacher Training and Development Department at the Minister of National Education: 

‘In the first phase of our project, we completed nationally and internationally accredited face-to-face and online professional development training programmes in cooperation with the British Council to support the continuing professional development of our English teachers working at secondary schools in Ankara. Our seminars for English language teachers were viewed over 256,700 times’. 

Ayşen Güven, Director Education British Council: 

‘At the British Council in most of our fields of activity, especially in the field of English bringing in UK expertise, sharing experience gained from large-scale projects in different countries all around the world, not only focussing on what worked well but also on what could have been done better, openly and sincerely, is one of our most important principles.

Within the English Together project we acted under this principle. Together with the Ministry of National Education we aimed to develop a model to support the professional development of our teachers to respond to the needs of our students. Together with UK experts we set out to create a national model, bringing in a global perspective which is suitable for the culture of our country, which meets the needs of our English teachers and is applicable in our classrooms. We listened to the voices of our teachers at every stage.’

Aslınur Okay, English language teacher: 

‘We shared our experiences with each other through the Professional Learning Communities we established, tried new ideas, methods and techniques, we lit each other’s way and guided each other. This made us more successful but perhaps more importantly, happier teachers. Our success and happiness was visible on the faces of our students in our classes, and in their shining eyes. It was clear from the sincere thanks we got from our parents.’