EACH of the different programs offered by the Department of Education
aims to achieve the department’s overall Objective of developing students'
personalities and talents. The English lan-guage arts program has identified
three general goals to be focused throughout the curriculum.
The most important goal in the English program is to prepare all students to realize their potential through the development of the ability to communicate in English. By developing students' capacity to speak and write English they can compete more effec-tively in the job market both on the island and in the continent. Also, students are able to express their ideas, feelings and emo-tions in more than one language. This is an excellent means of helping learners understand themselves and others better. Finally, through listening and reading, learners are exposed to effective models of communication which they can imitate in their own speech, and writing. This emphasis on communication requires a focus on fluency and clarity in all grades.
Communication based language programs are appropriate for all age levels-whether the students are first graders responding physically to simple instructions, third graders learning geography concepts in the target language, ninth graders keeping a diary in a second language or advanced students reading literary works in the target language.
The English Language Arts curriculum also aims to prepare all students to function effectively in the world of work. In this age of technology, Full participation in the work force requires the ability to speak and write effectively. Furthermore, the ability to communicate well is fundamental to develop lifelong learning strategies.
These skills will permit people to become versatile and to adapt to jobs in the twenty-first century which require sophisticated techni-cal, scientific and managerial skills.
A third goal of the English language arts curriculum is to prepare all students to function as informed and responsible citizens in our democratic society. By being exposed to the English lan-guage and culture learners grow to appreciate and value democratic institutions. They also learn to assume the responsibilities which accompany living in a democracy.
The Department of Education's mission and goals together with a strong theoretical base taken from the Natural Approach, The Communicative Approach and Whole Language Approach have served as a bases for this curriculum revision. curriculum develop-ment and textbook selection. All of these factors have contributed to the design of a curriculum which has key features which should be emphasized by all teachers in order to successfully attain the aspirations of our government and the goals of our program.