English Task Force Convenes Its First Meeting
(EMU) – St. Kitts, December 03, 2012: Coordinator of the English Task Force, Mrs. Dorothy Warner, reported to officials at a Ministry Planning Meeting on November 28th that a number of concerns raised in relation to student performance in the English Language would have to be assessed to determine their validity prior to moving forward with the recommendations.
The Task Force Commissioned by the Ministry of Education held its first meeting early in November.
Mrs. Warner, who is also Acting Director at the Curriculum Development Unit, reported on a number key areas in which issues were identified including Reading, Writing, Curriculum and Teachers. A number of other miscellaneous issues were also identified.
One of the main concerns regarding reading was that reading for pleasure had become “extinct” among students. As far as writing was concerned, comprehension appeared to be a major downfall. Students use the lift and drop method,” Mrs. Warner stated, “They select chunks of the reading material that contain words that appear in the questions and use it as their answer with the hope that these would give them a fair chance of getting it correct.” It was also noted additionally that students’ vocabulary was extremely limited.
Mrs. Warner also mentioned that there appeared to be a disconnect between the primary and secondary level English Curriculum.
It was determined that teachers need to place greater emphasis on the use of proper English in speech and writing in the classroom.
Other factors mentioned included a high student-teacher ratio; poor attitudes exhibited by students as well as limited time for students to practice.
The next step is to develop a National Action Plan with input from stakeholders and the community in general. She concluded that further information would be forthcoming.