Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education




Dr. Shelley Taylor



Different aspects of adult English as a Second Language (ESL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL) programs have been a subject of interest for teachers and administrators in various international contexts. The need for English proficiency in countries where English is now a prerequisite for employment has led to a proliferation of schools with a variety of approaches to foreign language (FL) or second language (L2) teaching. This study compares two programs in Canada and Turkey, and explores underlying reasons for their similarities and differences from a Community of Practice (CoP) perspective. A historical overview of FL/L2 teaching in the two countries sheds light on the processes that led to the development of two distinct CoPs. I highlighted socioeconomic, sociopolitical, and sociocultural aspects of Turkish and Canadian society, analyzed how these aspects shape EFL and ESL programs and practices in the two settings, and identified strengths and weaknesses in both settings.

A case-study methodology was used in this study, including interviews with six research participants: one teacher and one administrator from each program, and two specialists in the field from Turkey and Canada respectively. To triangulate the findings, along with the interview data and literature review, I have also used my own experiences from these CoPs as I have worked at both schools. To analyze how these CoPs have been shaped, it is important to understand the influences of broader sociocultural, sociopolitical, and socioeconomic factors in each society. The findings indicate that a successful CoP has been developed in the Canadian program. The development of this CoP has been easier in comparison with the CoP in Turkey because of the influences of several macro-level factors. The program in Canada has financial support from the government, and CoP members have worked in the institution long enough to develop the expertise to participate actively and effectively in the CoP. However, in the Turkish context, the lack of financial support from the government necessitates a focus on profit making at the expense of a quality education. The development of a solid CoP has been hindered by cultural and political factors in society which affect the work of teachers and administrators. The implications of this study include suggestions for the development of effective communities of practice.



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