Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 19

Topic X Language

4 Curriculum
and Literacy
Development
LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this topic, you should be able to:
1. Explain language and pre-school curriculum in Malaysia;
2. Identify language component in the curriculum;
3. Identify learning objectives and outcomes in a lesson;
4. Plan language activities;
5. Describe approaches to reading instructions; and
6. Identify ways to develop writing in children.

X INTRODUCTION
Discussion in this topic continues on language curriculum and literacy
development. In relation to that, issues discussed are language component,
learning outcomes and objectives and also language activities. As for literacy
development, approaches to reading instructions and development of writing are
dealt with.

Copyright Open University Malaysia (OUM)


36 X TOPIC 4 LANGUAGE CURRICULUM AND LITERACY DEVELOPMENT

ACTIVITY 4.1

Discuss the importance of literacy development in children during your


tutorial.

4.1 LANGUAGE AND PRESCHOOL


CURRICULUM
Children begin to build the foundations for English fluency through the
development of listening, speaking and early literacy skills. With this in mind,
the Malaysian Preschool English Language curriculum aims at enabling children
to actively communicate with others in their immediate environment as well as
develop an enjoyment of the language through the use of stories, rhymes, poems,
songs and games. Through language play, they will also imagine and recreate
experiences.

In the next subtopics, we will discuss further on the elements of the curriculum
such as the language component, the learning outcomes and objectives and also
the activities.

4.1.1 Language Component


The Malaysian Preschool Curriculum exposes children to reading, writing,
listening and speaking skills by developing language through the use of context
including objects from the real world, pictures, puppets and other props so that
language experiences will be meaningful.

Apart from the skills above, vocabulary development is facilitated through


exposure to and use of language related to familiar experiences and things in the
environment as well as simple selections from childrens literature. English is also
taught through meaningful interactions with others. Listening and speaking will
include verbal and non-verbal communication including the use of body
language, facial expression and eye contact.

The emergent literacy is facilitated by language activities using a variety of


materials. Children will be exposed to written language through materials such
as word cards, books including big books, charts, labels, signs and posters.

Copyright Open University Malaysia (OUM)


TOPIC 4 LANGUAGE CURRICULUM AND LITERACY DEVELOPMENT W 37

4.1.2 Learning Objectives and Outcomes


The objectives of the Malaysian Preschool Curriculum are to enable children to:

(a) Listen actively with understanding;


(b) Express themselves orally in simple English;
(c) Read common words and simple sentences independently; and
(d) Write words and simple sentences.

Table 4.1 shows the content and learning outcomes in the curriculum.

Table 4.1: Content and Learning Outcomes of Malaysian Preschool Curriculum

No. Content Learning Outcomes


1 Listening Skills
1.1 Listen to and recognise similarities 1.1.16 Identify words with the same
in the sounds of language beginning sounds
1.1.17 Identify words with the same
ending sounds
1.2 Listen to and recognise differences 1.2.1 Discriminate words with different
in the sounds of language beginning sounds
1.2.2 Discriminate words with different
ending sounds
1.3 Listen to and understand meanings 1.3.1 Listen to words said aloud and
of simple words identify objects named in the
environment
1.3.2 Listen to words said aloud and
match them with pictures
1.4 Listen to and follow simple 1.4.1 Listen and carry out simple
instructions instructions
1.4.2 Listen and perform actions based
on instructions in games
1.5 Listen and respond to simple songs, 1.5.1 Listen to songs and rhymes and
poems, stories and dialogues respond to the rhythm
1.5.2 Listen to songs, rhymes and
stories and perform actions
according to their meaning

Copyright Open University Malaysia (OUM)


38 X TOPIC 4 LANGUAGE CURRICULUM AND LITERACY DEVELOPMENT

2 Speaking Skills
2.1 Communicate with peers, teachers 2.1.10 Use body language such as
and other adults socially gestures, eye contact and facial
expression with appropriate
language responses
2.1.11 Carry out simple functions of
language orally e.g. to greet, to
thank, to ask
2.1.12 To carry out simple conversations
2.2 Use simple words 2.2.13 Name parts of the body
2.2.14 Name members of the family
2.2.15 Name things in the environment
2.2.16 Name things in familiar stories,
poems and songs
2.3 Use simple statements 2.3.7 Talk about familiar experiences,
favourite things and activities
2.3.8 Talk about the weather
2.3.9 Say out repeated sentences in
stories
2.4 Ask simple questions 2.4.4 Ask others about favourite things
and activities
2.4.5 Ask questions based on
observations
2.4.6 Ask questions based on stories
they hear
2.5 Sing songs and recite rhymes and 2.5.1 Sing songs and perform
poems appropriate actions
2.5.2 Recite simple rhymes and poems
2.6 Tell simple stories 2.6.1 Tell stories about familiar things
2.6.2 Retell stories using visual props
2.7 Dramatise familiar situations and 2.7.1 Role play familiar daily situations
stories
2.7.2 Dramatise familiar stories

Copyright Open University Malaysia (OUM)


TOPIC 4 LANGUAGE CURRICULUM AND LITERACY DEVELOPMENT W 39

3 Reading Skills
3.1 Recognise letters of the alphabet 3.1.7 Link sounds to letters
3.1.8 Name and sound the letters of the
alphabet
3.2 Hear and say initial and final 3.2.10 Recognise and say the initial
sounds, and short vowel sounds sound in words and know which
within words letters represent some of the
sounds
3.2.11 Hear and say vowel sounds
3.3 Read simple words 3.3.1 Recognise and sound simple
words
3.3.2 Point to letters, words, labels and
read or name them
3.3.3 Recognise some familiar words
3.4 Read simple sentences 3.4.1 Show interest in illustrations and
print in books and the
environment
3.4.2 Read a range of simple sentences
independently
3.5 Knowledge of print and ethics in 3.5.1 Read print moving from left to
reading right and top to bottom
3.5.2 Identify the features of a book
3.5.3 Handle books carefully
3.6 Develop interest in reading 3.6.1 Talk about books being read
3.6.2 Read different texts
4 Writing Skills
4.1 Pre-writing skills 4.1.1 Engage in activities requiring
hand-eye coordination
4.1.2 Draw lines and circles using gross
motor and fine motor movements
4.1.3 Draw anticlockwise and up-and-
down letter movements
4.2 Writing skills 4.2.1 Form recognisable letters
4.2.2 Write simple words
4.2.3 Write simple sentences

Source: Malaysian Education Ministry (2001)

Copyright Open University Malaysia (OUM)


40 X TOPIC 4 LANGUAGE CURRICULUM AND LITERACY DEVELOPMENT

SELF-CHECK 4.1

1. List down the objectives of the Malaysian Preschool Curriculum.

2. What are the three skills covered in the preschool curriculum?

4.1.3 Language Activities


A developing preschool child needs to be fed with fun language activities.
Language activities stimulate literacy development. One of the ways to stimulate
language development is through language games. Language games can be very
useful to introduce children to rhymes, alliterations, parts of a sentence and
vocabulary. Language games can be a fun way to prepare a preschooler for
kindergarten. It can equip the preschooler with the necessary tools to become
more confident in language skils.

Among the language games or language activities that could be promoted for
preschool literacy development are as follows:

(a) Picture Sentence


Picture sentence is used to talk about the basic structure of a sentence of
who is doing what. It is an excellent way to help children put words
together to create simple sentences as most preschoolers are not able to read
yet. You can draw pictures of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs on cards
and use them to construct sentences that can be stimulating and fun for
children.

Figure 4.1 shows you examples of picture sentence that can be used.

Copyright Open University Malaysia (OUM)


TOPIC 4 LANGUAGE CURRICULUM AND LITERACY DEVELOPMENT W 41

Figure 4.1: Examples of picture sentence


Source: www.spectronicsinoz.com/product/picture-sentence-key

(b) Reading Detectives


Children could be indulged in reading in a fun way. Make them listen to
interesting short stories. After listening, they can be asked to be a
detective whereby they are asked about what the main character in the
story did and how the problem was solved. This activity helps young
children listen attentively.

Figure 4.2 shows the example of reading detectives that can be used.

Figure 4.2: Examples of reading detective


Source: www.criticalthinking.com/series/015/index_p.jsp

Copyright Open University Malaysia (OUM)


42 X TOPIC 4 LANGUAGE CURRICULUM AND LITERACY DEVELOPMENT

(c) Rhyme Time


Rhymes are great for young children to learn to recognise speech patterns.
Rhymes can help preschoolers recognise speech patterns. Teach rhyming
words with a set of flash cards either from a store or make your own with
rhyming pairs. Children will enjoy pairing rhyming words.

Figure 4.3 shows examples of rhyming words.

Figure 4.3: Examples of rhyme cards

4.2 LITERACY DEVELOPMENT


Children literacy can be developed using various approaches. These approaches
may be different depending on the aspect or stage of literacy that we want the
children to master. For example, the approach we use to develop reading skills
may vary from the first time we want them to recognise the alphabets to
recognise the words and finally to be able to read.

Thus, in this subtopic, we are going to further discuss the approaches to reading,
word recognition, word attack skills and strategies and also phonics approach.

Copyright Open University Malaysia (OUM)


TOPIC 4 LANGUAGE CURRICULUM AND LITERACY DEVELOPMENT W 43

4.2.1 Approaches to Reading Instructions


Developing reading skills should be done gradually as it cannot be developed all
at once. A teacher has to give special focus on different things at different times.
In developing reading, four stages are involved:

(a) reading readiness;


(b) early reading; (a)-(c) is known as stages of learning to read

(c) developmental reading; and


(d) mature reading. known as stage of reading to learn

Reading readiness is mainly of concern to the preschool teacher. A child who


learns to read has to develop his or her knowledge of the English language in
order to understand what he or she reads. The child must be motivated to read in
English and be able to discriminate the letters of the alphabet. The beginner
reader also has to understand that just like talk, print too has meaning.

Early reading involves motivation. It would be impossible to teach a child who is


not interested to read. A pre-school teacher has to create interest and a positive
attitude towards reading among children. Teachers have to plan interesting
activities to promote reading. Many interesting books with pictures have to be
provided to motivate children to read.

In teaching reading, we have to teach children print conventions of English. In


print convention, children should be taught the following:

(a) Which is the front of a book;


(b) Which is the right way up for a book;
(c) What tells the story: the print or the pictures in the book;
(d) What is the difference between words and pictures;
(e) Where to start reading: whether to start from right to left, left to right or top
to bottom;
(f) Why there are spaces between words; and
(g) When to stop, pause and exclaim.

Copyright Open University Malaysia (OUM)


44 X TOPIC 4 LANGUAGE CURRICULUM AND LITERACY DEVELOPMENT

4.2.2 Word Recognition Skills


To teach word recognition skills, a teacher has to use a well loved and familiar
book. Get the child to name each letter of the word in the line. After that, read the
words to the child while pointing to the words. Allow the child to read with you
if he/she wants. In case there are certain words that the child does not remember,
respell the word. Reread the sentence and ask the child to reread too. Using the
same way, you should progress throughout the book. This method not only
contributes to early reading, but is also a contributing factor for children to
progress on their own to read further.

After finishing the book liked by the child, follow through using another book.
You may find any other interesting books. Always look for books that have
adorable pictures and good storylines to motivate reading. This process of
teaching reading through word recognition skills is a natural way of teaching
children to learn reading and it promotes speaking as well. Word recognition
skills integrate previously learnt skills at the application level in a realistic and
familiar context. What happens is that you weave in word recognition skills to
yield a subtle, yet powerful, process in learning to read. When reading is taught
in an isolated manner, it is artificial and isolated. Children find it problematic and
tend to avoid them.

4.2.3 Sight Word Skills


Sight words are words that do not follow the general rules of phonics and
therefore cannot be "sounded out" because of their irregular spelling. They must
be learnt and remembered by sight and so they are referred to as "sight words".

The term "sight word" is also often used interchangeably with the term "high
frequency word". A high frequency word is a word that is found frequently in
most text. High frequency words do not necessarily have an irregular spelling.
For example, the words "the" and "jump" are both high frequency words, though
"the" has an irregular spelling and "jump" can be sounded out phonetically.

High frequency words are also often referred to as "sight words" because learning
to recognise these words by sight improves reading fluency and comprehension
skills. A reader with well developed sight word recognition skills can read text
without having to sound out many of the words, and will become a better reader
and find reading more enjoyable and rewarding.

Copyright Open University Malaysia (OUM)


TOPIC 4 LANGUAGE CURRICULUM AND LITERACY DEVELOPMENT W 45

Table 4.2 shows an array of simple and practical ideas to teach sight words that
can be used to develop early reading skills. You may check out the URL at the
bottom of this table for more ideas.

Table 4.2: Ideas to Teach Sight Words

Teaching Idea Materials Description


The Head Chair Group size cards Mark one chair in the circle as the "Head Chair".
Play begins when you flash a card to the person
in the "Head Chair".

A child can stay in his chair only until he misses


a word. When he misses a word, he goes to the
end chair and all the children will move up one
chair.

The object of the game is to try to end up in the


"Head Chair".

Around the Word cards All the students sit in a circle. (Or they can
World remain at their desks).

One student stands behind a student who is


sitting. The teacher flashes them a sight word.

Whoever says it first moves on to the next


student. The student that makes it back to his
own desk or starting point is the winner.

This is a pretty popular game, and the little ones


love to try and stop someone from making it
"Around the World"!

Erase Relay Words list on the Write two columns of words on the chalkboard
chalkboard that are approximately equal in difficulty. Write
as many words on the board as there are
children in the relay.

Children are divided into two teams, and stand


in two lines at right angles to the chalkboard.

At the signal, the first child in each line points to


the first word in his respective column of words
and pronounces that word. If his pronounces it
correctly, he is allowed to erase that word.

The game is won by the side that erases all the


words first.

Copyright Open University Malaysia (OUM)


46 X TOPIC 4 LANGUAGE CURRICULUM AND LITERACY DEVELOPMENT

Team sight word A group size of The children are divided into two teams. Each
race set of sight team takes a turn attempting to pronounce a
words word turned up from a pile of sight words.

If one team misses, the opposite team then


receives a chance to pronounce that word in
addition to their regular turn.

Score is kept on the number of words each team


pronounces correctly.

Do not have members sit down when they miss


a word, but have each team member go to the
back of the line after each try, whether successful
or not.

This enables all members to gain equal practice


and does not eliminate those people who need
practice the most.

Which word Newspaper, Sit with your child and look at a newspaper to
wins? highlighter, see just how often sight words pop up in print.
word list
Ask your child to choose a sight word from the
list and an article from the newspaper.

Look for the word together. Highlight and count


the word each time it appears.

Try the same thing with a second sight word.


Which word appears more often?

Jump on it Copy sight words on index cards (one word per


card). Make a second set of the same words.

Scatter one set faceup on the floor, leaving about


a foot between each card. Place the other set in a
stack facedown.

Turn over the first card in the stack. Have your


child read the word (offer help as needed) and
then jump on the corresponding card on the
floor.

Turn over the next card and have your child


read it and jump to that word. Continue until
your child has jumped on all of the words.

Mix up the cards and play again!

Adapted from: jmeacham.com/docs/word.work/sight.words/Activities

Copyright Open University Malaysia (OUM)


TOPIC 4 LANGUAGE CURRICULUM AND LITERACY DEVELOPMENT W 47

4.2.4 Word Attack Skills and Strategies


Word attack skills have to be developed in order to help beginner readers. The
skills are the ability to convert graphic representations into intelligible language.

Some examples of word attack skills are as follows:

(a) Seeing the component parts of words;


(b) Blending these parts into new words;
(c) Recognising syllable patterns;
(d) Recognising symbols for consonant sounds;
(e) Recognising symbols for vowel sounds;
(f) Recognising symbols for tone and other suprasegmental features;
(g) Recognising capital letters (upper case) and knowing when to use them;
(h) Recognising punctuation and how it affects reading for meaning and
expression; and
(i) Recognising the use of space to mark word breaks and paragraphs.

Now, how do you think you as a teacher could develop all those skills in
children? May be you could use any of the word attack strategies below:

(a) Picture Clues


By looking at the picture, we can get clues about meaning of words. There
might be familiar objects or actions that may make sense and aid
understanding.

(b) Letter Chunks


There might be letter chunks consisting of sounds/symbols, prefixes,
suffixes, endings, whole words or base words in the sentence that make
sense. Read each chunk before blending them all together to sound out the
word.

(c) Connecting to a Familiar Word


When faced with an unfamiliar word, the teacher can teach children to
associate the unfamiliar word with a word that is familiar. By doing this,
children may understand the meaning of the unfamiliar word to a certain
extent.

Copyright Open University Malaysia (OUM)


48 X TOPIC 4 LANGUAGE CURRICULUM AND LITERACY DEVELOPMENT

(d) Rereading the Sentence


Rereading a sentence several times sometimes aids in understanding.
Children can be told to reread the sentence and try to infer the meaning.

(e) Keep Reading


When faced with an unfamiliar word, children should be taught to go on
reading the next words and not be too disturbed by the unfamiliar ones.
Sometimes, there would be clues in the sentence that can help in aiding the
comprehension of the difficult word.

(f) Using Prior Knowledge


Prior knowledge can assist children in comprehension. Children should be
helped to trigger their prior knowledge. Thinking about the topic and relating
it to their prior knowledge about the topic can facilitate understanding.

(g) Using the Dictionary


Once children have learnt the letters of the alphabet, and mastered enough
words to comprehend, they can be taught to use the dictionary to find
meanings of words.

SELF-CHECK 4.2

1. What are some of the word attack strategies?

2. Why should we develop word attack skills? Discuss with your


coursemates.

4.2.5 Phonics Approach to Reading


Another method to teach early reading is through the phonics approach. In this
approach, children are taught the sounds of the alphabet. The teacher exposes
children to simple words such as ball, bus, and car at the beginning. The letters in
the words are sounded one by one.

The phonics approach exposes children to a multitude amount of vocabulary


from an early age. Exposing children to reading through this approach enables
children to read widely both at school and outside. Being able to read widely is
most rewarding for children.

Copyright Open University Malaysia (OUM)


TOPIC 4 LANGUAGE CURRICULUM AND LITERACY DEVELOPMENT W 49

The phonics approach come with two general methods:

(a) The Synthetic Method


The synthetic method teaches children the sounds of letters in isolation.
Children are taught that each letter has an individual sound. For example,
the letter b sounds buh. Children are taught to blend the different
sounds that form words.

(b) The Analytic Method


The analytical method teaches children sounds of letters as part of a word.
For example, the sound b in the word bat. Both these methods are
different but they have the same objective; that is to enable children to
become independent readers.

There are disadvantages of the phonics approach though. One of the


disadvantages is that some children have difficulties combining and blending the
sounds to form words. The other disadvantage is that some children tend to focus
too much on the pronounciation and neglect the comprehension of the sentence.
However, children who are beginning to read can reap the benefits of using this
approach as it supports other reading approaches.

4.2.6 The Big Book Approach


The Big Book Approach is a reading approach that can be used with a learner of
any age to engage them in reading comprehension and learning text features. In
this approach, we use a big book to model how to read a book, how to use
picture clues, and it allows the students to follow along while you read. It
consists of three readings: focusing on comprehension, choral reading, and on a
particular text feature. This can be done as a whole class and will work with any
age group, depending on the book that you choose. However, the Big Book
Approach is more engaging for lower level learners.

In using the Big Book Approach, the teacher has to gather all children in the class
and share a copy of the big book (see Figure 4.4). The pages of the book must be
large enough so thet every child can visibly see the pages. In each page, the
number of lines will usually be only between one to three with a large picture.

Copyright Open University Malaysia (OUM)


50 X TOPIC 4 LANGUAGE CURRICULUM AND LITERACY DEVELOPMENT

Figure 4.4: Using Big Book Approach in a classroom


Source: greendaleprimary-english.blogspot.com/2010_02_01_archive.html

Usually, children will sit on a mat with the big book placed on a stand. The
teacher talks about the picture or talks about a story related to the picture. Then,
the teacher or a pupil who is able to read will read the story by pointing to each
word. The teacher needs to slow down the reading and explain the pictures or
use gestures and mimes to facilitate better understanding if necessary.

At the second reading, the teacher reads but the task of pointing to the words is
done by pupils in turn. Pupils who are able to read are asked to volunteer first to
avoid frustration among those who cannot read. The reading may be carried on
as a group or in pairs.

SELF-CHECK 4.3

1. Explain the term The Big Book Approach.

2. What are the disadvantages of the phonic approach?

4.2.7 Development of Writing


Writing development in children begins by scribbling on paper. This usually
begins once children are able to hold a writing tool such as a pencil or pen.
Children who are not supervised will most often scribble on any available
surface. Children slowly develop their scribbles into handwriting.

Copyright Open University Malaysia (OUM)


TOPIC 4 LANGUAGE CURRICULUM AND LITERACY DEVELOPMENT W 51

The developmental stage of a childs writing is as shown in Table 4.3.

Table 4.3: Development Stage of Childrens Writing

Performance Task Age Level


Scribbles on paper 10-12 months
Initiates horizontal, vertical and circular marks on paper two years
Copies a horizontal line, vertical line and circle three years
Copies a cross, right oblique line, square left diagonal line, left
oblique cross, some letters and numbers and maybe able to write four - five years
own name
Copies a triangle, prints own name, copies most upper and lower
five - six years
case letters

A childs handwriting readiness depends very much on a number of sensorimotor


systems. Letter formation requires the integration of the visual, motor, sensory and
perceptual systems. Sufficient fine motor coordination is also needed to form letters
accurately.

There are six prerequisites that children must have before handwriting begins:

(a) Small muscle development;


(b) Hand-eye coordination;
(c) Ability to hold utensils or writing tools;
(d) Capacity to smoothly form basic strokes such as lines and circles;
(e) Letter perception, including the ability to recognise forms, notice likeness
and differences, infer the movements necessary for the production of form
and give accurate verbal descriptions of what is seen; and
(f) Orientation to printed language, which involves the visual analysis of
letters and words along with right/left discrimination.

SELF-CHECK 4.4

1. Why is the visual, motor, sensory and perceptual system important


in the development of early writing?

2. Discuss the writing ability of a five to six year old.

Copyright Open University Malaysia (OUM)


52 X TOPIC 4 LANGUAGE CURRICULUM AND LITERACY DEVELOPMENT

Children begin to build the foundations for fluency in English through the
development of listening, speaking and early literacy skills.

The Malaysian Preschool Curriculum exposes children to reading, writing,


listening and speaking skills by developing language through the use of
context including objects from the real world, pictures, puppets and other
props so that language experiences will be meaningful.

The Objectives of the Malaysian Preschool Curriculum are to enable children


to listen actively with understanding, express themselves orally in simple
English, read common words and simple sentences independently, and write
words and simple sentences.

One of the ways to stimulate language development is through language


games. Language games can be very useful to introduce children to rhymes,
aliterations, parts of a sentence and vocabulary. Language games can be a fun
way to prepare a preschooler for kindergarten.

In developing reading, four stages are involved: reading readiness, early


reading, developmental reading and mature reading. The first three stages are
known as stages of learning to read and the last stage is known as the stage of
reading to learn.

Word attack skills are the ability to convert graphic representations into
intelligible language.

The phonics approach is a method where children are thought the sounds of
the alphabet.

The Big Book Approach is a reading approach that can be used with any
grade of learner to engage students in reading comprehension and learning
text features. In this approach, we use a big book to model how to read a
book, how to use picture clues, and it allows the students to follow along
while you read.

Writing development in children begins by scribbling on paper. This usually


begins once children are able to hold a writing tool such as a pencil or pen.
Children who are not supervised will most often scribble on any available
surface. Children slowly develop their scribbles into handwriting.

Copyright Open University Malaysia (OUM)


TOPIC 4 LANGUAGE CURRICULUM AND LITERACY DEVELOPMENT W 53

Big Book Approach Sight word skills


Language activities Word attack skills
Language curriculum Writing readiness
Phonics approach

Copyright Open University Malaysia (OUM)