THE Department of Education's rationale for including English as
part of its curriculum from first to twelfth grades is extensive. Some
of the reasons are:
The island's economic, political and social ties with the mainland require the use of the English language for the island's growth and economic development. Likewise, in-dividual, economic, and professional progress are closely related to the ability to speak and write English.
Furthermore, in the last decade different segments of the Puerto Rican population have migrated to the United States for many reasons. Those who migrate in search of job opportunities need to learn English for their progress on the continent. Puerto Ricans also need to know English because migration has developed strong ties with the United States. Almost every island resident has either immediate family members, relatives or close friends living perma-nently on the mainland. Migrating school children need to know English to adjust to English-dominant school settings and cope with the demands of a different culture. Simi-larly, the island's returning migrants require English instruction which will meet their needs. it is likely that Puerto Ricans for years to come will continue to migrate to and from the United States whether to seek job opportuni-ties or to be with family and friends.
Finally a very important point is that a command of the English language is a worthwhile educational goal in and of itself. English is one of the languages most spoken by literate people in the world. Much of the wor1d's literature in the arts and sciences is either originally written in En-glish or is readily available in English. To acquire an ad-equate command of the English language, is to have ready access to a vast body of knowledge and thought. English then, is potentially one of the greatest resources of the edu-cated person in Puerto Rico.
Since the department is committed to meeting the needs of all its citizens, this curriculum guide aims to meet the needs of the department's divergent student popula-tion. Not only must the English curriculum meet the needs of urban and rural school children, it also must address the needs of the potential migrant to the United States and those students who come to the island from the continent.
In an effort to improve the teaching and learning of English in Puerto Rico, the English program of the Depart meet of Education has revised the curriculum based on the present needs of our society and on recent research findings in second language acquisition. This revision aims to develop learning activities within a critical thinking and value-oriented framework.