|A study of the Zambia primary English course|
Chanda Peter Chishimba
Uploaded by: Pocket Masters
Pockets: Gottesman Libraries Archive, Historical Dissertations
Tags: English language, Study and teaching (Primary), Zambia
During the 1960Ăs there were two major forces shaping developments in education and curriculum in Zambia. In the first place, Zambia attained its independence from Great Britain on October 24, 1964. Second, there occurred the world-wide curriculum reform which originated in the United States of America and other developed nations. The attainment of independence in Zambia was followed by demands for changes in different institutions, including education. Thus curriculum change began taking place locally largely for social, cultural, economic, and political reasons, and also because of a world-wide curriculum reform movement emanating from the more developed nations of the world. The introduction of the Zambia Primary Course (ZPC) in the primary schools in 1967 partially met these demands for change in Zambia. The ZPC was an experimental curriculum based on the New Peak Course, an English medium program in use in Kenya. The New Peak Course, sometimes referred to as the New Primary Approach, embodies modern primary teaching methods such as ˘learning through doing÷ and group-work, while using English as the medium of instruction. Details of the ZPC can be found in the background of the study in this Chapter and in Chapter IV of this report. In this study, we will review only the English component of the ZPC.
The Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to review the pupilsĂ texts and the teachersĂ handbooks of the Zambia Primary English Course in order to make recommendations for revision. In order to do this, the sub-purposes were as follows:
1. To determine the consistency between objectives, content, learning activities and teaching methods;
2. To determine the validity of objectives compared against ideal objectives for teaching English as a second language;
3. To determine the validity of content, learning activities and teaching methods compared against ideal content, learning activities and teaching methods for teaching English as a second language;
4. To determine the compatibilities of content, learning activities and teaching methods for the socio-cultural content of Zambia;
5. To determine the readability of passages for the appropriate grade levels.
Limitations of the Study
Only those aspects of the areas considered with direct implications for English as a second language were examined. Further, the implications were confined to and expressed in the form of objectives, content, learning activities, and teaching methods. The ideal objectives, content, learning activities, and teaching methods together from the Teaching of English as a Second Language (TESL) and also the ideal socio-cultural factors and readability formula form the ideal for reviewing the Zambia Primary English Course texts. This study is limited to the printed instructional materials which are examined herein and it is also limited to Zambia, although it may have value to other countries too. It is limited to English as a second language as well.
Assumptions of the Study
The validity of the ideal established in this study as a reviewing tool has been assumed; no empirical testing of its workability was attempted. One of the major goals of the Zambia Primary English Course is the development of communication skills in terms of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Opportunities have to be provided in the curriculum for their development. It has been assumed that the writers of the course being investigated in this dissertation provided these opportunities through the various activities and exercises in the texts. Further, it has been assumed that the activities and exercises in a curriculum are the best means of developing language communication skills. Finally, it has also been assumed that the Zambia Primary English Course was still experimental and that its instructional materials were being used in this form in the primary schools.
Definition of Terms
The following terms which are frequently used in this dissertation need