Language expresses identity
Language is essential for living in society
English programmes should be responsive not only to individual needs but also to the community and society. Language learning is lifelong and students should develop the skills they will need to participate confidently in the wider community. They should develop increasing understanding of the different functions, contexts, and varieties of English, and the skills for using English for different purposes, audiences, and situations. Competence in information and communication technologies is becoming increasingly important.
Language programmes should be learner-centered
Learning programmes should affirm the value of the learner’s own language and experience. English programmes should match each learner’s needs, learning styles, and current level of knowledge, and make connections between the learner’s own world and that of school.
Language development is fostered by an environment which encourages creativity and experimentation
Students should be encouraged to experiment and take risks with language to explore ideas. Trial and error and approximations in written and spoken English are part of the learning process and give opportunities for well-focused teaching to develop students’ knowledge and skills.
Language learning is dynamic and progressive
Language development is spiral, and involves building on previous learning, and using and responding to specific functions of language at increasingly complex and sophisticated levels. The curriculum statement for English recognises that language itself varies and changes according to time, place, and purpose.
Language learning requires interaction and active participation.
Language is best developed when students understand and control the learning processes.
Students should increasingly take responsibility for their own learning, work independently, and transfer their skills and knowledge to new learning.
Language and knowledge about language develop principally through use
Students learn best when they are engaged in purposeful tasks and have a variety of satisfying experiences. The focus of programmes should be language in use within authentic contexts which are relevant to the learner and which include the learner’s own experiences. Students’ knowledge about how language is patterned and organised should be an integral part of the whole English curriculum.
Thinking critically is important for learning and language development
All learners should develop the ability to discriminate and respond critically to a wide range of written, oral, and visual texts, including imaginative literature. Literary texts with established critical reputations and from different periods and places have a central place at all levels.