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photo Tara Benwell Listen to News with Tara Benwell - Instructions:
1. Preview the vocabulary and read the gapfill text.
2. Play the news report and try to fill in the blanks.
3. Answer the comprehension questions by writing full sentences.
4. Use the discussion question to write an essay or discuss the story with other students.
5. Click "show Answers" to see the full text.
6. Pretend to be a news anchor by reading each story out loud.

dateline: 23 August 2017

Turkey Dropping Evolution From Curriculum

Listen to the news in English with Tara Benwell

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • drop: to no longer have or use
  • evolution: the scientific theory of the gradual development of living things
  • curriculum: a set plan of topics to study and learn
  • pious: devoted to one’s religion
  • jihad: an Arabic word understood to mean a “holy war” against non-believers, also means internal struggle to be a good Muslim
  • patriotism: love and honour for one’s country

Turkey Dropping Evolution From Curriculum

A new school curriculum is going into in Turkey for 2017-18, and it will no longer include the subject of evolution in grade nine. The for state-run schools in Turkey is set by the government. representatives say that Charles Darwin’s theory is above the students’ level of understanding and should not be taught until university level. Critics fear this is part of President Erdogan’s attempt to raise a “pious generation.” Other curriculum changes include spending less time on Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (the of modern Turkey) and more time on traditional Turkish culture and religious studies. All new schools will be required to have a gender-separated prayer room. schools will also begin teaching the word “jihad” as a positive term related to patriotism and spirituality.

Comprehension Questions

  1. What is the report mainly about?
  2. Why does the report mention Mustafa Kemal Ataturk?
  3. What are all new Turkish schools required to have?

Discussion Questions: Do you think religion should be taught in schools? Why or why not?

show Answers

Written by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.

Teacher's Notes

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4 Comments on Turkey Dropping Evolution From Curriculum

  1. Muhammad Ammar says:

    Dear Tara,

    Thank you for publishing this report and I entirely agree with Mr. Erdogan that Charles Darwin’s theory is above the student’s levels of understanding.

  2. Bijan says:

    Hi Tara,

    First, thank you for this short audio news report.

    Second, as far as I know in many countries of the world, the governments interfere for the above subject (Especially in Asia, Africa and Latin American).

    Third, as you have explained in the news report, Turkey has not dropped evolution from curriculum generally because government representatives say that Charles Darwin’s theory should not be taught until university level (because the theory is above the students’ level of understanding at school).

    Fourth, I’m surprised about other curriculum changes include spending less time on Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (the founder of modern Turkey) because as far as I know Turkish people like him.

    I don’t know, maybe, I’m incorrect.

    Best wishes and have a great weekend in Canada, Tara,
    Bijan from the Persian Gulf,

  3. O'Reilly Marie-Danielle says:

    I completely agree with Alberto.

  4. Alberto says:

    From my point of view religión shouldn´t be taught at shools. It should be taught in churchs, mosques…

    In my humble opinion State and religious things must be separated in order not to influence the consciousness of the citizens.

Let us have your ideas: