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A VISIT TO CHARACTER EDUCATION IN A LANGUAGE CLASSROOM

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Abstract (2. Language): 
The importance of a better educated youth in the coming decades can not be ignored. This is mainly because in line with the scientific and technological developments going on in the world, different societal and moral problems continue arising. Thanks to recognition of this fact, the importance of social and emotional learning and character education has started to be emphasized as much as academic learning in education. ―Findings point to new advances in understanding the human brain not as a purely cognitive information processing system, but as a system in which affective functions and cognitive ones are inextricably integrated with one another ― (Picard et al. , 2004, p.253). Language education has its share in this matter because emotions accompany all cognitive processes including teaching and learning (Fogarty, 1998; Hargreaves, 2000). So, language teachers should be well equipped with these valuable ideas to better serve their students. This study is a try to achieve this goal. It is an 8 months story of a language class at YADIM, the Preparatory School of English at Çukurova University, located in Adana,Turkey during 2008-2009 academic year. For the purpose of this study, some core virtues of character development such as honesty, responsibility, respect, understanding, caring, citizenship, etc. were infused into the daily routine of the classroom in order to facilitate language learning and teaching. These ideas were mostly shared through students` mother tongue in the first four months, but later on as their level of English improved, the students were involved in different reading, writing tasks and discussions in English. This helped them not only understand and apply these virtues in their daily lives as students but learn and practice more English as well.

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