SL-TeDOL: Arts Integration in Foreign Language Instruction

SL-TeDOL: Arts Integration in Foreign Language Instruction

Tuğba Yıldırım Kumbasar

We are delighted to share an update about the "Teacher Education and Development through Online Learning (SL-TeDOL): Arts Integration in Foreign Language Instruction (AIFLI)" course, which was offered for the first time this semester at the Sabancı University School of Languages. This course was designed to introduce language instructors to the concept of arts integration, a creative approach that combines various art forms with language instruction.

Over the course of 7 weeks, participants developed an understanding of arts integration and its practical applications in language instruction. They critically evaluated different forms of art for their potential to meet specific language learning objectives, created innovative instructional materials that blend arts-based activities with language teaching goals, engaged in reflective teaching practices to allow for continual improvement and adaptation of their methods, and collaborated with peers, sharing insights, experiences, and resources, fostering a supportive community focused on creative teaching approaches.

TEDWe had 12 course participants who are foreign language instructors from 10 different universities all around Türkiye. They worked on asynchronous tasks, which mainly provided the theoretical foundations of this creative approach, on the course platform. Additionally, they attended three online sessions of two hours, where the participants actively participated in visual, literary, and performing arts-integrated learning experiences. This allowed them to gain firsthand experience before bringing these ideas to their own classrooms, transforming the language learning journey for their students. Two of these sessions were co-led by art therapist Seren Pehlivanoğlu İlkdoğan, and art-based researcher and performing artist Burcu Ertürk Kılıç, demonstrating an effective collaboration between a language instructor and professionals from related disciplines.

As the course instructor, I’m incredibly proud of the dedication and creativity displayed by all participants. My hope is that our collective efforts will not only enhance our own teaching practices but also extend the benefits of the arts integration approach to more learners in their language learning experiences.

SLTeDOL Arts Integration in Foreign Language Instruction Acknowledgment

Züleyha Tulay

Upon completing the course, I believe I have a portfolio of many ideas and artful activities to be implemented in different periods throughout a semester. I cannot wait to try out some improvisation activities, erasure poetry and encourage learners to create a self-portrait through an art form and plan the formative assessment tools. The readings and sessions were very thought-provoking, and I believe I have developed a more sophisticated understanding of many art forms. Whenever I attend an arts event from now on, I think I will consider ways of bringing them back to my classrooms in the form of arts-integrated activities. The training also made me think about how giving more voice to learners has so many repercussions in the world and reinforces the power dynamics within and beyond the classroom. As language teachers, we do more than just teach the language. Through arts-integrated lessons, we can prime ourselves and our students for the rich discussions beyond the walls of our classrooms. Finding new channels and tools to make meaning through arts is empowering as all these tools help us survive the daily challenges we have as learners, educators, adults and so on. In this course, we made meaning through many forms such as visual arts, poetry, and drama. We clearly saw that meaning transcends words and each form of art is replete with opportunities to make meaning.

Gorica Stevanovic

Before the course, I used to think of arts integration more as a collection of activities rather than as an approach. Plus, I was concerned about the feasibility of arts integration when working in a fast-paced environment with a packed schedule. However, the articles we were assigned to read were thought-provoking and inspiring, and together with practical assignments, they opened up a new world for me. It turns out that arts integration is all about consistency and quality rather than the quantity of activities and that a lot can be achieved when activities are designed to meet planned objectives through art.

I found other people’s presence and work in this course very motivating. Everyone produced good work and shared thoughtful reflections, and it was such a treat to be a part of that community. I am really hoping that the course has paved the way for some collaborative planning and work in the future.

Ayşegül İnce

My experience in the Arts Integration in Foreign Language Instruction course has been very rewarding and full of inspiration, thanks to the enthusiasm of the course instructors and the collaborative spirit of the participants. The course helped me clearly understand what arts integration truly entails and how it can foster creativity, as well as feelings of community and freedom in a language class, while simultaneously working towards a variety of objectives in both arts and language. The articles, tasks, online sessions, and collaborative activities all flowed together seamlessly, leading to a renewed understanding and appreciation of arts integration among us participants. I love that we also focused on practical aspects, such as the assessment of arts-integrated activities. Throughout the weeks, we were introduced to a wide array of resources and activities that can be used while designing artful lessons. I have already started to put some of my takeaways from the course into practice and look forward to continuing to do so in the upcoming semesters. The course has motivated me immensely to continue reading, researching, and learning about arts integration. I hope to have further opportunities to collaborate with like-minded colleagues and explore all the possibilities presented to us with the integration of arts into our language classes.