Sustainable development goals in the English language high school curriculum in Turkey

Sezen Arslan, Samantha Curle

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The study on which this article reports examined the representation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the English language syllabus and English language senior high-school textbooks in Turkey. The learning objectives associated with the SDGs were also investigated. The syllabus and the textbooks including Teenwise, High School English 10, Silver Lining and Count Me In were examined. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with eleven high-school English teachers to gain further insight into the place for SDGs and their related learning objectives in the English language high school curriculum. We found that the syllabus has a low frequency of engagement with SDGs. Also, that there is a tendency in the textbooks to include the theme of health that is related to the SDG of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The learning objectives set for ESD were mostly cognitive-oriented. Interviews revealed that teachers favour the incorporation of a variety of SDGs in textbooks. They believe that prioritising sustainability in textbooks can help secure a more sustainable future for learners. Implications of this for pedagogy include, among other, that extending teaching and learning activities to activate socio-emotional and behavioural development would benefit learners and would allow for a more balanced engagement with SDGs in English language teaching.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-695
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Education
Issue number4
Early online date29 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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