chapter  6
30 Pages

The Language Curriculum

The aim in this chapter is to give some indication of the kinds of experiences provided for the children with the intention of improving their capacities in the use of language.

Detailed records were made of all the target children's work in language throughout two terms. Additionally observations were made of 205 tasks assigned to the target children. The majority of these tasks was centrally aimed at the development of writing skills. Thus, 54 of the tasks demanded topic writing, 39 creative writing, 10 news writing and 8 copy writing. The major distinction between topic writing and creative writing was that in the former, consequent upon observing a demonstration or listening to an account of some process or event (either from the teacher or the television), the child had to reproduce as much of the facts of the matter as he could. Creative writing tasks demanded that the child indulged in fiction. News writing, presumably, occupied a midway position on the fact/fiction dimension. Comprehension tasks were observed in 30 instances and 34 tasks focused on phonics or spelling. The bulk of the remainder of the tasks emphasised the enhancement of reading skills.