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  1. Chúc Mú'ng Năm Mó'i

  2. Picking from Gump’s box of chocolates: Transforming an ESL Curriculum: The Malaysian Experience Dr Lee Boon Hua Curriculum Development Division Ministry of Education, Malaysia Representative for the University College of St Mark & St John (MARJON), Plymouth, United Kingdom

  3. Department of Language & LiteratureCurriculum Development DivisionMinistry of Education email address:

  4. The Agenda • Transformation of the English language Curriculum

  5. A Brief Background • National curriculum for all national and national-type (public or private) schools • English as a second language taught in primary (6 years) and secondary (5 years) • English used to teach Maths and Science • Curriculum review every 5 years (last review in 2003) • Current review (started in 2007) to transform curriculum to meet challenges of the 21st Century

  6. INTEL’s Essential 21st Century Skills • Accountability and Adaptability • Communication Skills • Creativity and Intellectual Curiosity • Critical Thinking and Systems Thinking • Information and Media Literacy • Interpersonal and Collaborative Skills • Problem Identification, Formulation, and Solution • Self-Direction • Social Responsibility Source: Partnership for 21st Century Skills (

  7. CONSIDERATIONS • Involvement of stakeholders • Changes outside the school • Language Model – standard or non-standard • Teacher Capacity and Readiness • Resource Development • Teaching Module • Learning Module • Curriculum Compliance/Fidelity • Assessment Strategies – high vs low stakes

  8. Resist & mitigate the impact of : • The tyranny of theory • The tyranny of assessment Through the empowerment of teachers in the ESL classroom

  9. HOW CAN THE CURRICULUM HELP? • Clarify purpose • Set clear goals/standards and direction • Re-distribute priorities • Provide opportunities for creativity and innovation • Bridge classroom life and the outside world

  10. CURRICULUM GOALS By the end of the language programme, the curriculum aims to produce a learner who is: • articulate • confident • of good character

  11. General Aims Primary ( exit after Year 6) Pupils will be able to use, understand, respond to, and enjoy oral and/or written language effectively in a range of meaningful contexts. Secondary (exit after Form 5) Pupils will be able to communicate effectively, read and respond to texts independently, produce well-structured written texts, enjoy and respond to literary works and make confident presentation

  12. PRINCIPLES • Back to basics • building a strong foundation of competencies in basic literacy skills; reading through phonics, penmanship, basic listening and speaking • Learning is fun, meaningful, purposeful • activities are contextualized, meaningful and purposeful; fun-filled activities • integration of language skills in meaningful contexts • Teaching is learner-centered • learner’s needs and salient learner factors (environment, family, language use contexts, entry behaviour) • emphasis on mastery learning

  13. Integration of salient new technologies • exploiting ICT to and facilitate and encourage meaningful language practice • has as much to do with what a teacher does as what learners do with the new technologies • Character-building infused • inculcating moral values • promoting more instructional conversation in the classroom

  14. PRIMARY ENGLISH 2001 Educational Emphases Multiple Intelligences Thinking Skills Contextualism Constructivism Social skills Listening World of self World of stories Grammar Sound System Vocabulary Writing Speaking Reading IT skills Values and Citizenship World of knowledge

  15. Curriculum Transformation – A proposal • Modular approach • Curriculum Standards • Content Standards (skills & knowledge; scope and coverage) • Learning standards (sub-set of above) • Assessment – school-based, authentic • Learning Components • Language Arts • Phonics • Grammar • Language Skills

  16. A Modular Configuration Theme 2 Theme 3 Theme 4 Theme 1 Theme 5 Theme 7 Theme 8 Theme 9 Theme 6 M1 M2 M3 M4 M5 LISTENING & SPEAKING READING WRITING GRAMMAR LANGUAGE ARTS

  17. CONTENT STANDARDS(Primary Stage 1) - Examples SPEAKING AND LISTENINGPupils are able to talk with peers and adults in informal situations and structured activities using familiar topics READINGPupils are able to read and comprehend short texts on familiar topics. WRITINGPupils are able to write simple sentences using basic grammatical features and punctuation LANGUAGE ARTSPupils are able to participate and enjoy in shared reading and make simple oral presentations

  18. CURRICULUM PROPERTIES • COHERENCE • more than the sum of the parts • wider goals • COHESIVENESS • interrelatedness • complementary parts • COMPATIBILITY • with learner needs • teaching-learning environment

  19. IMPERATIVES Successful implementation of the curriculum is contingent on the following imperatives: • curriculum compliance • teacher capacity building • resource development • strategies for sustainability

  20. Curriculum implementation is a change process. Cám o'n. Chúc Mú'ng Năm Mó'i