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PHILOSOPHY AND RATIONALE

Language is the basis of all communication and the primary


instrument of thought. Thinking, learning, and language are interrelated.
Language is governed by rules and systems (language conventions) which
are used to explore and communicate meaning. It defines culture which is
essential in understanding oneself (personal identity), forming interpersonal
relationships (socialization), extending experiences, reflecting on thought
and action, and contributing to a better society. Language, therefore, is
central to the peoples intellectual, social and emotional development and
has an essential role in all key learning areas.
Language is the foundation of all human relationships. All
human relationships are established on the ability of people to communicate
effectively with each other. Our thoughts, values and understandings are
developed and expressed through language. This process allows students to
understand better the world in which they live and contributes to the
development of their personal perspectives of the global community. People
use language to make sense of and bring order to their world. Therefore,
proficiency in the language enables people to access, process and keep
abreast of information, to engage with the wider and more diverse
communities, and to learn about the role of language in their own lives, and
in their own and other cultures.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES
The K-12 Language Arts and Multi-literacies Curriculum are anchored
on the following language acquisition, learning, teaching and assessing
principles.

All languages are interrelated and interdependent. Facility in the


first language (L1) strengthens and supports the learning of other
languages (L2). Acquisition of sets of skills and implicit metalinguistic
knowledge in one language (common underlying proficiency or CUP)
provides the base for the development of both the first language (L1)

and the second language (L2). It follows that any expansion of CUP
that takes place in one language will have a beneficial effect on the
other language(s). This principle serves to explain why it becomes
easier and easier to learn additional languages.
Language acquisition and learning is an active process that
begins at birth and continues throughout life. It is continuous
and recursive throughout students lives. Students enhance their
language abilities by using what they know in new and more complex
contexts and with increasing sophistication (spiral progression). They
reflect on and use prior knowledge to extend and enhance their
language and understanding. By learning and incorporating new
language structures into their repertoire and using them in a variety of
contexts, students develop language fluency and proficiency. Positive
learning experiences in language-rich environments enable students to
leave school with a desire to continue to extend their knowledge, skills
and interests.

Learning requires meaning. We learn when we use what we know


to understand what is new. Start with what the students know; use that
to introduce new concepts. They use language to examine new
experiences and knowledge in relation to their prior knowledge,
experiences, and beliefs. They make connections, anticipate
possibilities, reflect upon ideas, and determine courses of action.

Learners learn about language and how to use it effectively


through their engagement with and study of texts. The term
text refers to any form of written (reading and writing), oral
(listening and speaking) and visual communication involving
language. The texts through which students learn about language are
wide-ranging and varied, from brief conversations to lengthy and
complex forms of writing. The study of specific texts is the means by
which learners achieve the desired outcomes of language, rather than
an end in itself. Learners learn to create texts of their own and to
engage with texts produced by other people.

Successful language learning involves viewing, listening,


speaking, reading and writing activities. Language learning
should include a plethora of strategies and activities that helps
students focus on both MEANING and ACCURACY.

Language learning involves recognizing, accepting, valuing,


and building on students existing language competence,
including the use of non-standard forms of the language, and
extending the range of language available to students. Through
language learning, learners develop functional and critical literacy
skills. They learn to control and understand the conventions of the
target language that are valued and rewarded by society and to reflect
on and critically analyze their own use of language and the language of
others.

An effective language arts and multi-literacies curriculum satisfies


the following principles

1. develops thinking and language through interactive learning;


2. develops communicative competence and critical literacy;
3. draws on literature in order to develop students understanding of their
literary heritage;
4. draws on informational texts and multimedia in order to build academic
vocabulary and strong content knowledge;
5. develops students oral language and literacy through appropriately
challenging learning;
6. emphasizes
narratives;

writing

arguments,

explanatory/informative

texts

and

7. provides explicit skill instruction in reading and writing;


8. Builds on the language, experiences, knowledge and interests that
students bring to school;
9. Nurtures students sense of their common ground in using language/s for
communication as present or future global citizens to prepare them to
participate in school and in civic life, and;
10. Assesses and reflects the students
communicate in the target language

ability

to

interpret

and/or