Trends in Doctoral Research on English Language Teaching in Turkey

Creative Commons License

ÖZMEN K. S. , CEPHE P. T. , Kinik B.

EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES-THEORY & PRACTICE, vol.16, no.5, pp.1737-1759, 2016 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.12738/estp.2016.5.0069
  • Page Numbers: pp.1737-1759


This review examines the doctoral research in Turkey completed between 2010 and 2014 in the area of English language teaching and learning. All of the dissertations (N = 137) indexed in the National Theses Database have been included in order to analyze dissertations' subject areas, research paradigms/techniques, and research contexts as well as scopes, validity/reliability concerns, and piloting. The subject area categorization is based on a cyclical reading process resulting in three major categories: Teaching English as a foreign language, foreign language teacher education, and second language acquisition. Grant/funding opportunities, the rate of international students, and certain demographic characteristics of PhD students are also addressed in order to clarify the contextual factors. In addition, detailed sub-subject areas were identified so as to be able to categorize all of the dissertations, and 57 dissertations representing the major subject areas are reviewed briefly to offer a closer look. The examination of the doctoral research reveals, in general, 12 potential problems, divided into two levels -6 macro levels (systemic) and 6 micro (departmental). Macro level problems include the heavy pressure of rapid graduation and international publishing. The present study is expected to provide a holistic portrait of the doctoral dissertations for the programs, supervisors, and students concerned.