Education theories and their application to the Saudi system
Learning a second language can be an exciting as well as a daunting challenge, for people of any ages. The particular case deals with the Saudi example, in which it has been decided to teach Saudi students, English language as a foreign language (EFL). The language is being taught in state schools since 1927, on the intermediate and secondary levels. Previously, there was a controversy that whether or not it was appropriate to teach English at all, to the students on the primary level. The controversy, however, was resolved and English is now being taught as a compulsory subject of the curriculum of the primary schools systems in Saudi Arabia. This is in line with the dynamic and farsighted vision of king Abdullah's academic Endeavour, known as “Tatweer”.
The teaching of the English language, according to this program, starts from the fourth grade in a phased manner. Apart of this program is the ETL initiative that put forward a project that will develop a competitive curricula of the teaching of English language, in the elementary, intermediate and secondary schools. Initially the competition to design these curricula was limited to American and European companies. Slowly different curricula that were developed by different publishers were chosen to be tested. The basic purpose of the curricula selected was that it applied a modular approach to teaching, which equips the students with appropriate communication skills.
This expansive reform of the English education system then makes it important for the educators, to recognize and understand the needs of the learners. The learners in this case, are school students whose ages range from nine to thirteen years. It is thus important, for the educators to design the learning curriculum that keeps in consideration the limitations of the school children and their mental abilities. Designing a curriculum for adults learning a foreign language is much different form designing the one that will be taught to young students.
The vision to move forward should keep in mind the young learners and their needs and wants. In order to design an appropriate curriculum, it is imperative that a situational and need analysis is conducted, so that an appropriate curriculum can be designed. The situational analysis will focus on the teaching analysis, institutional factors and other societal factors. In the needs analysis, emphasis will be placed upon the needs and abilities of the young learners, who are being taught in the schools of Saudi Arabia.
Approach by Larry Selinker
Larry selinker in his book identifies that the teaching of English language requires a proper and methodological approach. Any approach to teach the English language should take into account the role of the mother tongue, or the native language, in the early development of the child. The writer presents analysis, and contends that the initial approach of the child towards the language is shaped by the behaviourism. The child receives a stimulus and associates a word with that ...