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ERIC Number: EJ785623
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar
Pages: 23
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 75
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0267-1522
Negotiating What Counts as English Language Teaching: Official Curriculum and Its Enactment in Two Singaporean Secondary Classrooms
Kramer-Dahl, Anneliese
Research Papers in Education, v23 n1 p85-107 Mar 2008
In his 1996 essay on curricula in an age of globalisation, Kress points to the role of the state and its educational system as determining actors when it comes to responding to the effects and pressures of the heteroglossia, hybridity, multilingualism and plurality of semiotic forms that characterise a global era. What is needed, he argues, are "relevant and productive curricula", which teach "quite new kinds of dispositions, attitudes and skills", going beyond the teaching of static forms. In order to give students access to the ways and modes of communication which will be essential in the future, language curricula would have to make it their priority to raise students' awareness of the relative value of linguistic resources and to provide them with the dexterity to act relevantly in and through language in a wide variety of continually shifting social and geographical spaces. This article describes how the 2001 English language syllabus in Singapore schools, though with its foregrounding of students' ability to negotiate language in a wide array of contexts an enlightened response to Kress's call, has run the danger of being undermined in favour of a back-to-basics agenda. Looking at classroom observation and interview data from two representative Secondary 2 teachers, it provides an account of how they assemble and negotiate the objectives of the official curriculum of the syllabus as they understand them. The article shows that the lack of congruence that emerges between official and enacted curriculum is the result of an array of factors, among which competing demands and discourses around teaching English, inadequate systemic support, and rather anachronistic ways of theorising text and text-type or genre, appear the most obvious. (Contains 4 endnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Singapore