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New English Language Curriculum On Track For Use In Primary Schools

Source: Vientiane Times

The new English language curriculum for Grade 3 primary students will be rolled out at the start of the next school year, with a focus on using language for communication and interaction.

The new curriculum will help children to develop their listening and read speaking skills so they can communicate and are more easily able to learn to reading and write, a currirculum writer team said.

The Ministry of Education and Sports, with support from Australia, is currently preparing the new Grade 3 English language teaching and learning materials.

Australia asked international students to record lively English audio files for the new Ministry of Education and Sports Grade 3 English language curriculum.

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The audio material will enable Lao students to learn English in an entertaining way and expose them to the diversity of native accents in English spoken language.

Australia, via the Basic Education Quality and Access in the Laos programme (BEQUAL), invited Vientiane International School to collaborate in the production of audio materials that will come with the new English Grade 3 textbooks.

International students aged 10 to 12 volunteered to assist in recording the material during the school holidays.

The students played a range of roles, including the four main characters who feature in the new Grade 3 textbooks.They recorded simple monologues and dialogues as well as some songs and chants.

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The students recently met with curriculum writers and experts from the Research Institute for Educational Sciences and BEQUAL, roles were allocated, and students practised the audio scripts. They went to the studio at the Institute to make the recordings.

An official involved in the BEQUAL programme said the English curriculum writers at the Institute were very pleased with the final result and the addition of audio materials, which is a new resource for the primary school English language curriculum.

The audio material will be a great resource for teachers and students and provide plenty of opportunity for linguistic input, which is essential when learning a new language.

The new English curriculum has been designed using a communicative approach which focuses on using language for communication and interaction.

Another new addition is the use of phonics to develop reading and writing skills by teaching students sound letter relationships and how to apply this knowledge to read and write simple words.