Aims To Analysis The Syllabus Of Hong Kong Education Essay

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Drawing on a number of recent research studies, this report aims to analysis the syllabus of Hong Kong English language. This article presents an analysis of the various stages of the curriculum decision making process and what the teachers teach and the learners learn. The reason for doing this report is evaluating the process of implementation of the curriculum to the language teaching to the learners to learn English. And the purpose of this report is access to the syllabus materials that are used in implementing this curriculum, and concludes with some implications for teaching, teacher education and curriculum.


Currently, there are an increasing number of students who want to study an additional language, and many learners focus on the lessons which related to the syllabus of teaching. The teachers need to have the notion of how to conduct the lesson. This notion is designed based on the syllabus. "A syllabus is an expression of opinion on the nature of language and learning; it acts as a guide for both teachers and learners by providing some goals to be attained" quoted from Hutchinon and Waters (1987). Through the communicative curriculum, the various syllabus types are very important. They are used to organize classroom pedagogy efficiently. Moreover, a communicative syllabus is either an attempt to develop a framework for a general language course, or focuses on communication within a restricted setting (Richards. 2001). In Hong Kong, from the first year of primary school, most Cantoness-speaking students study English as a second language. During the history of education in Hong Kong, the activity approach was then replaced by the notional-functional communicative approach in the early 1980s, which in turn gave way to task-based learning. Task-based learning was formally introduced through the Targets and Target Related Assessment scheme in 1990, which subsequently evolved into the Target Oriented Curriculum (TOC) in 1993. The TOC task-based framework was then adapted and incorporated into the Syllabus for English Language (Primary 1-6) (Curriculum Development Council 1997). The current curriculum guide for the English language subject in Hong Kong, drafted on the basis of wide consultation with key stakeholders in 1999-2000, has entrenched the concept of task-based learning as the core conceptual framework for the curriculum (Adamson & Davison, 2003). The Hong Kong English language syllabus like English Language Curriculum Guide in primary 1-6 is one of the series prepared by the Hong Kong curriculum Development council for use in primary schools. The Curriculum Development Council is an advisory body giving recommendations to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government on all matters relating to curriculum development for the school system from kindergarten to sixth form. It is written in support of the English language education key learning area curriculum guide, which puts forth a coherent, flexible English language education curriculum framework that meets the varied needs, interests and abilities of learners and sets the main direction for the learning and teaching of English language for the nine years of basic education in Hong Kong. The syllabus not only can help the teachers to set up opportunities to interact with the learners for learning the target language efficiently, but also can assist teachers to improve outline in the communicative curriculum frameworks and in order to create the interests for the students. The teachers can understand the weakness of the students through the study. The syllabus of English language teaching in Hong Kong is a modern, speaking-centred and to help the learners use English naturally and give them confidence to use English effectively. It provides in detail the Learning Targets and Objectives for Key Stages 1 and 2, and elaborates pedagogical principles and recommendations conducive to learning English as a second or foreign language. This curriculum guide contains the learning objectives: language forms and communicative functions involving vocabulary, communicative functions, text types and grammar items and structures; language skills which contain listening, speaking, writing, reading skills and language development strategies; attitudes specific to English language learning; generic skills and values and attitudes. It also aims to provide guidelines, teaching ideas, suggestions and models to promote effective learning, teaching and assessment practices, and to help primary school principals and teachers plan, develop and implement their own school-based English Language curriculum.


Position of English language education in the school curriculum

English language education is one of the eight Key Learning Areas- in the school curriculum. As a Key Learning Area, English Language Education aims to provide primary school learners with a wide range of contexts and learning experiences to develop their English language proficiency, improve their personal and intellectual development and extend their understanding of other cultures through the English medium. Most of people in Hong Kong speak Cantonese, most primary school teachers teach in Cantonese, in the universities, mainly in English as medium of instruction. Contemporary school curriculum reform in Hong Kong could be seen an innovation, the main theme is the implementation of curriculum objectives. They develop the potential of every child in the future become independent-minded and social-aware adults, so that they have the knowledge, skills and attitudes to lead the whole life, and make positive contributions to the society. The TOC Program of Study for English Language (Curriculum Development Council 1994:4) set out the aims for the subject as follow: The English Language curriculum in primary schools aims to help the learners lay a good foundation in learning English, paving the way for independent and lifelong learning and effective communication of knowledge, ideas, values, attitudes and experience. It is built on existing good practices, with emphases on learner-centered and task-based learning, promoting a balanced use of approaches appropriate to the needs and interests of second or foreign language learners. For example, Adamson & Davison (2003) mention that task-based learning was seen as requiring a significant shift of pedagogy 'from teacher-centered to student-centered, from textbook-based to task-based teaching and from summative assessment to formative assessment'. In the current primary English syllabus in Hong Kong, teachers are advised to make use of different genres in conducting dictation lessons and a number of interactive task-like activities are recommended such as focus spelling, missing punctuation, and picture dictation. The development of a school-based English language curriculum may include re-adjusting the learning aims, varying the organization of the contents, adding optional studies or adapting learning, teaching and assessment strategies. School-based curriculum development involves the collaboration among all stakeholders in the process of designing, implementing and continuously improving learning, teaching and assessment, in line with both central policies and the needs of the schools and their learners. This curriculum is taught within a mainstream environment. Teachers are encouraged to enhance learners' experience through: providing ample opportunities and a conductive environment for the learning and practice of language forms, communicative ability, and language skills in meaningful contexts; making extensive use of a variety of text types to develop critical thinking and promote the development of learning and language development strategies, values and attitudes to enhance effective, independent and lifelong learning.

Analysis the main organizing principles underlying the English curriculum

This curriculum was dramatic contrast to the previous syllabus which had focused on the four skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking. The TOC syllabus was organized around tasks which were designed to meet the needs of individual students the target and task-based approach was develop to encourage a leaner-centered, process-oriented constructivist view of learning, exemplified by the five cross-curricular principles of learning promoted by TOC: problem-solving, reasoning, inquiring, communicating and conceptualizing.(Adamson & Davison, 2003). They found the communicative approach promulgated in the 1981 English Syllabus (Curriculum Development Council, 1981) had not been developed on the basis of any research on language teaching and learning in the local context. This curriculum establish English teaching guidelines and outline the range, depth and general process in English teaching and teaching method. They design this syllabus by planning a serious of communicative activities with certain criteria. Markee (1997:46) argues that 'curriculum innovation is a managed process of development change whose principal products are teaching materials, methodological skills, pedagogical values that are perceived as new by potential adopters.' Adamson & Davison (2003) mentions that curriculum innovation is particularly problematic, given that it is clearly a complex and interactive process with different levels of implementation required (see Figure 1 below; Tong, Adamson and Che 2000: 146, adapted from Johnson 1989).


According to the diagram, in the curriculum innovation in Hong Kong primary school, the three key stakeholders in curriculum decision-making other than the policy-makers and curriculum developers are the textbook writers, the teachers and the learners (Adamson & Davison, 2003). Teachers play an important role of class activities, language resource person, materials developer and assessor. The teacher must have the ability of using facilities which can support learning through interacting with learners, and provide guidance to help them construct knowledge, and develop skills, positive values and attitudes; they also have the mind of innovation that can initiate innovative curricular changes and contribute to the development of a school-based English language curriculum. Students are the key players in curriculum reform. "In Hong Kong students are renowned for their hard work and long hours toiling over their books. It is a very stratified and elitist school system in which students compete ferociously for secondary school places and only a small minority are permitted to qualify for university entrance (Adamson & Davison, 2003)". The students need take activities in the class, motivate and keep their independent that can set meaningful goals for their own learning, follow the teachers' instruction and interact with classmates and teachers, evaluate their own learning experiences and take risks in the language learning, at last they should review the learning process and active participation in peer and self assessment. Overall, The design of the English language curriculum as a rising continuum provides a picture of the total span of students' schooling, facilitating a developmental and integrated approach to curriculum planning, teaching and learning. It provides the basis for continuity and coherence in the students' English language education.

The theory related to the language learning underpins

This curriculum is designed by planning a series of communicative activities with certain criteria, the teachers can collect the data and feedback from the learners during the testing the material. They discover the needs of the students through a series of group work and record the data to analysis and determine the curriculum units, modules and standards to enable the students to integrate frequent language into their language framework. In the syllabus, it contains the content to help the teachers apply some efficient methods to organize the program like: design different topics and themes in different activities, expand vocabulary and practice the pronunciation, enable the students to speak English frequently. This section proposal emphasizes the importance of accuracy in second language teaching and the use of structure-based or form-based approaches. In the study guide topic 5 mentions that three views on language acquisition: the behaviourist model that is linked to a structuralist view of language as sentence patterns; the innatist model that hypothesizes the existence of an innate cognitive structure enabling; and the cognitivist approaches that study the cognitive processes involved in language learning. During the process of workshop, the students communicate with the students and work together. interaction with the students is very significant in language learning. At the meanwhile teachers communicate with the students. In fact, at the beginning, let the learners communicate with the others that would allow them to make errors, and the teachers can collect the feedback from the students immediately to prevent these bad habits. 'Interactionist theorists believe that language learning takes place when language in the environment interacts with the learner's internal mechanisms. Interactionism led to studies of the input the learner receives, and thence to studies of interactions in which the input occurs' (study guide, p.2). Input which is what sets the entire model in motion (see Figure 2 below; Gass, 2000: 3, The IIO model of SLA).

Moreover, the interaction in classroom takes place between learners, the effect of this interaction on learner language development. Long (cited in study guide, p.2) maintains that modified input in the interaction is thought to be necessary for language acquisition. In the apperception stage is the priming stage during which the learner notices incoming data, relating them to past experience and then parsing them into meaningful units for further analysis (Gass, 1998). Next is comprehended input stage, this is comprehensibility for student, it is of critical importance in second language acquisition. Boulima (1999) demonstrates that linguistic input which is understood by the learner. During the language learning in classroom it is necessary for learners to have access to comprehensible input through conversational interaction with teachers and the other students. In second language acquisition, input is provided different from the target language as normally used between native speakers (study guide, p.4). According to Long (1983a; 1983b) mentions that modifications of the interactional structure of the conversation that make unfamiliar linguistic input comprehensible. In Corder's (1967, 1978) terms 'intake', constitutes primary data for SLA. Input refers to the language which the learners hear or read. Krashen (1980b) says that in order for acquisition to occur, the input the learner receives has to be comprehensible at the i+1 level, where i stands for the learners' current linguistic competence and i+1, the stage just beyond. Therefore, according to Krashen, acquisition takes place "when we understand language that contains structure that is a 'little beyond' where we are now" (Krashen, 1982a: 21). At last, at the stage of output, it can serve as part of a feedback loop to the intake stage. The learner tests hypothesis by producing spoken language which in turn takes the learner back to the process of assimilation changes to their grammar system, besides that output can force syntactic rather than semantic analysis (Block, 2003). This IIO model is in essence the most tangible result of over thirty years of increasingly more intensive research into how individuals learn second languages.


The theoretical approach to language of pedagogical grammars

During the teaching of English, it should not ignore the grammar. How to teach grammar is a problem, which have been plaguing people since the 21st century. Pedagogical grammars occupy an important position in foreign language teaching, whatever good or bad pedagogical grammars will directly affect the entire foreign language teaching; to enable students to understand the rules of grammar and structure. Comprehensible to the learners enter the syntax to address the learners in the Context of grammar in actual choice of model is desirable. Emphasis on student to use English to obtain information, processing information, analyzing and solving problems, students with special emphasis on English thinking and presentation skills training; actively trying to encourage students through self-exploration, self-discovery and active learning practices, etc. This is because that can help the students to become an efficient process and method of learning English.Pedagogical grammar relies on the one hand on material extracted from one or more linguistic grammars, on the other hand, uses foreign language teaching methodology as a basis. Therefore, pedagogical grammar functions as a filter between theoretical language descriptions provided by linguistics, foreign language pedagogy principles and practical applications at classroom level. The following figure highlights the filtering function of pedagogical grammar. The meaning of pedagogical grammar is redefined in this dissertation in order to be able to better serve a more functional and meaning-based teaching of grammar. ( see Figure 3 below; 2006,Pedagogical grammar as a filter model)

In the language teaching, the teachers should select the basic and useful grammar to teach first. The grammar should not be taught exhaustively, and do not trace the source requirements. If the teachers teach the grammar more deeply, the more extensive view of the grammar will be involved, and mistakes will inevitably during the language teaching. They should try to use simple and effective method to teach the students some basic grammar rules, so that they can master these rules in order to the language communication. The students' proficiency in the use of grammar, will be strengthened in the future. The teachers should notice the real situation of the students, especially in learning a grammar is more important grammatical items, it have to plan arrangements for review and repeat the exercise. During the project of teaching grammar, referred to the practical application as far as possible, and to the extent possible put it in the context of teaching. In English pedagogical grammars, the teachers sometimes should be necessary for some grammar comparison and analysis of similarities and differences, hence the students can understand and grasp the knowledge better. In the pedagogical grammars, the teachers should check the syntax of the students to grasp the situation, notice their ability to use grammatical rules, and cultivate the ability of students to use grammar. In this point of view, the dissertation attempts to reinterpret the process of grammar teaching and learning from an English teacher's point and find relationships between teachers' beliefs in grammar teaching and their practice. Drawing on work on several fields such as linguistics, psychology and second language acquisition theory, pedagogical grammar is of mixed nature. It usually means grammatical analysis and instruction designed for the needs of second language learners. It involves decision making processes on behalf of the teacher which require careful and time-consuming interdisciplinary work in its expanded view. This process is influenced by the teachers' cognition, beliefs, assumptions, and attitudes about the teaching of grammar. Overall, pedagogical grammar is part of the content which involving courses and materials and part of the process which including teachers' belief systems of grammar teaching and learning (Lívia, 2006).

Comment on assessment of this curriculum

Assessment refers to the collection and interpretation of information about learners' knowledge, skills, strategies and attitudes. This chapter discusses the role of assessment in English Language learning and teaching, the principles that should guide assessment of the subject and the need for both formative and summative assessment. It also provides guidance on internal assessment and details of the public assessment of English Language. Finally, information is given on how standards are established and maintained, and on how results are reported with reference to these standards. General guidance on assessment can be found in the Senior Secondary Curriculum Guide (2007). Assessment is the practice of collecting evidence of student learning. It is a vital and integral part of classroom instruction, and serves several purposes and audiences. During the various tasks and activities in the compulsory and elective parts of the curriculum can be used for formative assessment to monitor the students' process. These activities can range from low to high in cognitive complexity, in this content, they conclude oral tasks like presentation, group work, listening tasks involving gap-filling, diagrams and comprehension of a conversation, reading tasks which have summarizing, analyzing and open-ended questions encouraging informed and creative responses, writing tasks such as elections, narratives, arguments and expository essays, these tasks involving an integration of skills, etc. During the process of the curriculum, first of all, it gives the feedback to students, teachers and parents on the effectiveness of teaching and on student strengths and weaknesses in learning. Second of all, it provides information to schools, school systems, government, tertiary institutions and employers to enable them to monitor standards and to facilitate selection decisions. The most important role of assessment is in promoting learning and monitoring students' progress. In Hong Kong, there is an suitable example to describe this situation, The Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) provides a common end-of-school credential that gives access to university study, work, and further education and training. The university entrance examination is an assessment for the students. It summarises student performance in the four core subjects like English Language text and in various elective subjects, including both discipline-oriented subjects and the new Applied Learning courses. It needs to be read in conjunction with other information about students shown in the Student Learning Profile (English Language Education Key Learning Area, 2007). In addition, assessment for learning is focus on obtaining the feedback on learning and teaching, and utilising this to make learning more effecient and to introduce any necessary changes to teaching strategies. For instance, Formative assessment should take place on a daily basis and typically involves close attention to small "chunks" of learning. Summative assessment is normally undertaken at the conclusion of a significant period of instruction such as at the end of the year, or of a key stage of schooling and reviews much larger "chunks" of learning (English Language Education Key Learning Area, 2007). Internal assessment practices should be aligned with curriculum planning, teaching progression, student abilities and local school contexts. The information collected will help to motivate, promote and monitor student learning, and will also help teachers to find ways of promoting more effective learning and teaching. For instance, when assessing learners' performance on projects, teachers should assess the process as well as the product, through observation, conferencing and reviewing learners' drafts. These feedback need to stimulate learners' critical reflection and help them to improve their language learning. At last, The public assessment for English Language encompasses the four skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking and also includes a school-based assessment component which aims to encourage extensive reading and viewing (English Language Education Key Learning Area, 2007).


To sum up, it is a key point of helping the learners to develop proficiency in English, the English language curriculum in Hong Kong aims to offer every child the right to a second language which provides further opportunities for extending knowledge and experience of the cultures of other people, including opportunities for further studies, pleasure, and work in the English medium; and to enable every child living into the twenty-first century to be prepared for the changing socio-economic demands resulting from advancement in information technology, including the interpretation, use and production of materials for pleasure, study or work in the English medium (English Language Education Key Learning Area, 2007). The globalization of education has become a trend, in order to keep pace with the educational development of the new time, As be a teacher in the future, the role of teachers and professional quality of the knowledge structure in the context of globalization should be adjusted and enrich. More and more teacher begin to learn the new pedagogy to have lessons for students, they talk with the students freedom like talk with friends and they are not any longer serious to the students. Education and the curriculum play an important role in shaping students' values (Khalideen, 2006). This is because curriculum is typically reflective to the values, attitudes, and beliefs of the .particular culture and institution, forcing students to assimilate to an unfamiliar learning culture is unlikely to be successful and may negative impact on their sense of identity. Therefore, if I will be a teacher in the future, I need to learn multicultural and creative thinking, and have diverse cultural and ideological sensitivity. I also should good at learning multicultural to achieve the combination of their own culture of innovation. Teachers influence the students to a large extent. A good teacher should be on the internet and information system changes in the field of education to take efficient measures immediately. We need to learn new teaching model and design new curriculum for the students. This English language curriculum for primary school in Hong Kong is very classic to teach the student second language which can provides further opportunities for extending knowledge and experience of the culture of the other people, helpful for the further studies, work, etc.