English is taught as a second language in all Malaysian primary and secondary schools. The mastery of English is essential for pupils to gain access to information and knowledge written in English. In line with the government’s policy on strengthening English, the curriculum has been designed to produce pupils who will be proficient in the language. The goal of the English language curriculum is to help pupils acquire the language in order to help them use it in their daily lives, to further their studies, and for work purposes.
English which is also the dominant language used in Information Communications Technology (ICT) needs to be mastered to enable our pupils to have easy access to information that is available on the electronic media such as the Internet.
This curriculum stresses the development of critical literacy. Teachers will provide opportunities for pupils to question and evaluate texts that they listen to, read or view. These opportunities are essential for achieving personal growth and confidence in functioning as an effective and productive member of our society. This is in line with the goals of the National Philosophy of Education which seeks to optimise the intellectual, emotional and spiritual potential of pupils.
The English Language Curriculum for Primary Schools aims to equip pupils with basic language skills to enable them to communicate effectively in a variety of contexts that’s appropriate to the pupils’ level of development.
By the end of Year 6, pupils should be able to:
i. communicate with peers and adults confidently and appropriately in formal and informal situations;
ii. read and comprehend a range of English texts for information and enjoyment;
iii.write a range of texts using appropriate language, style and form through a variety of media;
iv.appreciate and demonstrate understanding of English language literary or creative works for enjoyment;
v. use correct and appropriate rules of grammar in speech and writing.
UNDERLYING PEDAGOGICAL PRINCIPLES OF THE CURRICULUM
The approach adopted in the Standard-based curriculum is underpinned by the following principles:
i. Back to basics
It is essential for teachers to begin with basic literacy skills in order to build a strong foundation of language skills. Basic listening and speaking are introduced in order to help pupils enrich their understanding of the language. The strategy of phonics is introduced in order to help pupils begin to read and a good foundation in penmanship will definitely help pupils acquire good handwriting.
ii. Learning is fun, meaningful and purposeful
Lessons, which emphasise meaningful contexts and the integration of language skills, allow pupils to learn by doing fun-filled activities. Contextualised as well as purposeful activities will promote the fun element in language learning.
iii. Teaching is learner-centred
Teaching approaches, lessons and curriculum materials must suit the differing needs and abilities of pupils. It is important that appropriate activities and materials are used with pupils of different learning profiles so that their full potential can be realized. The mastery learning strategy will ensure that pupils master all learning standards in order to help them acquire the language.
iv. Integration of salient new technologies
In line with growing globalization, technology is used extensively in our daily communication. As such, emergent technologies can be used in language learning in order to enhance communication. Information available on the internet and other electronic media will be vital for knowledge acquisition. Networking facilities will be useful for pupils to communicate and share knowledge.
v. Assessment for learning
Continuous assessment is an integral part of learning which enables teachers to assess whether pupils have acquired the learning standards taught. Formative assessment is conducted as an on-going process, while summative assessment is conducted at the end of a particular unit or term. A range of activities can be utilised in order to assess pupils’ performance orally or in writing. Formative and summative assessments will be used to gauge pupils performance.
vi. Character-building infused
An important principle which needs to be inculcated through the curriculum is character building. Lessons based on values have to be incorporated in teaching and learning in order to impart the importance of good values for the wholesome development of individuals.
Full text available at http://www.moe.gov.my/bpk/kssr_docs/03%20Bahasa%20Inggeris/02%20DSK%20English%20Y1%20-%20SJK.pdf