Yunus Emre Institute has taken the first important step in Turkey to develop an exam that evaluates Turkish language skills based on the relevant standards. Turkish Proficiency Exam (TPE), developed by Yunus Emre Institute and applied since 2013, has been certified (Q-Mark) by Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE) and became the first and only language test of Turkey that has international validity. Thus, the measurement and evaluation standards of Yunus Emre Institute's Turkish Proficiency Exam were certified.
An award ceremony was organized on December 29, 2021 at the Institute's center in Ulus for the award of ALTE Q-Mark by Association of Language Testers in Europe to TPE developed by Yunus Emre Institute.
In his speech at the ceremony, the Yunus Emre Institute (YEI) President Prof. Şeref Ateş emphasized that it was an important day for Turkey, Turkish language, people of culture and every individual who spoke Turkish.
Prof. Şeref Ateş mentioned that it was a great honor for them that Turkish Proficiency Exam developed by the Institute became the first and only exam that had international validity and stated that the Turkish language learners' problem of certifying Turkish language was finally resolved.
"WE OPENED THE DOOR OF TURKISH FOR MILLIONS OF PEOPLE"
Prof. Ateş emphasized that until Yunus Emre Institute was founded, little effort was made in the past 80 years to make Turkish a wide-spoken language internationally and enter the language curricula of other countries as a foreign language. Prof. Ateş mentioned that they have taught many people Turkish since the foundation of the Institute and said, "We have opened the door of Turkish for millions of people throughout this time, and we have enabled people all around the world to think in Turkish and see dreams in Turkish, just like Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu said in his poem, 'You should at least speak three languages.' We are not 'the children of a nation that had missed the bus' like Bedri Rahmi said metaphorically at the end of the same poem. We now create the bus stops ourselves. We determine our destination and the stop that we will get off."
Prof. Ateş: There are more than five million people of Turkish origin, especially in Europe. Not only that, but there was also no language certificate for Turkish that had international validity even though there are more than 250-300 million Turkish speakers in international organizations and all around the world.
Prof. Ateş reminded that TPE was an exam that measured the individuals' mastery of four language skills when learning Turkish and said the following:
"For Turkish to have international validity, it had to have an international accreditation. Because there are more than five million people of Turkish origin, especially in Europe. Not only that, but there was also no language certificate for Turkish that had international validity even though there are more than 250-300 million Turkish speakers in international organizations and all around the world.
It is a great honor for us that ALTE, the international language test accreditation center, certified Turkish Proficiency Exam as the first and only Turkish language level certification exam."
"HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE ARE LEARNING TURKISH AS SECOND OR THIRD LANGUAGE"
Ateş mentioned that hundreds of people were already learning Turkish as second or third language and said, "Thankfully, through a certificate with international validity, we are now resolving the problem of Turkish language learners in certifying what they learned."
Prof. Ateş: Turkish Proficiency Exam has been accredited as Turkish language's first and only international valid language exam by ALTE thanks to Yunus Emre Institute. For us who are engaged in culture and language, this development is as important as entering the G20.
Emphasizing that ALTE accredited 19 language exams until today and six of the same were only for the English language, Ateş said, "Turkish Proficiency Exam has been accredited as Turkish language's first and only international valid language exam by ALTE thanks to Yunus Emre Institute. For us who are engaged in culture and language, this development is as important as entering the G20."
Prof. Ateş mentioned that the Turkish language's mathematical structure made it the most suitable language for the digital age and said, "Yunus Emre Institutes are not just a course center or a training center that teach Turkish abroad. Yunus Emre Institutes also do not work to create a perception or image. Yunus Emre Institutes are centers that are opened to a giant world, that crack open the doors of skill and truth for people through Turkish. Yunus Emre Institutes create trust and do not engage in creating perceptions and images."
Prof. Ateş mentioned that they have been working hard for especially the past three years to acquire international validity for TPE and that it was quite meaningful that this process corresponded with the 2021 Year of Yunus Emre and Turkish Language.
The President of Yunus Emre Institute Prof. Ateş presented the certificate to all who spoke Turkish and lived Turkish.
"WE VALUE EVERY LANGUAGE VERY MUCH"
After the speech, the signing ceremony started. Prof. Ateş spoke during the signing ceremony and said Turkish language exhibited a production for union and humanity's benefit throughout the history. Ateş highlighted that Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk emphasized the importance of language by establishing the Turkish Language Association (TDK) and said that they must bring the Turkish language to its deserved level.
Prof. Ateş said, "We are never obligated to transfer our culture to any culture, looking down on them. We value every language very much."
TPE ACQUIRED ALTE Q-MARK
As a result of the reviews and evaluations carried out by ALTE, TPE, developed by the Institute for the purposes of measuring and evaluating the Turkish language competencies of individuals who learn Turkish as second or third language, has earned the ALTE Q-Mark. TPE proved its validity and reliability by earning the ALTE Q-Mark and thus became the first and only Turkish language exam that had its international validity certified. With such success, Yunus Emre Institute became part of the institutions that are ALTE Full Members.
THE BEST PRESENT FROM THE INSTITUTE TO OUR COUNTRY IN THE YEAR OF YUNUS EMRE AND TURKISH LANGUAGE
2021 was listed in Commemorations and Anniversaries by UNESCO since it was the 700th death anniversary of Yunus Emre, one of the most important personalities of Turkish language and culture. With the Circular published in the Official Gazette dated January 30, 2021, the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey declared 2021 the Year of Yunus Emre and Turkish Language. Therefore, the certification of TPE by ALTE in this special year was cause for double joy. Yunus Emre Institute is proud to present the ALTE Q-Mark to our country which attested great importance to language throughout its history.
Yunus Emre Institute will continue its works in relation to the measurement and evaluation of Turkish language skills and Turkish language teaching in case of cooperation with ALTE.
ALTE SETS THE STANDARDS OF MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION
Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE) carries out important work in the field by gathering the organizations and institutions throughout the world that operate in the field of measurement and evaluation of language skills. ALTE, who is regarded as the umbrella organization that sets the standard in the field of measurement and evaluation of language skills, is an organization that both carries out the reviews regarding the international validity of language exams and has the authority to certify such exams.