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Public sector primary schools

Is EYL taught as an official part of the curriculum in public sector primary schools? Yes
When was it introduced? 1920
At what age do students begin EYL? 9 (Grade 4)
Have any significant changes in teaching EYL taken place since 1980? No
Is there any widespread teaching of English before the official starting age for compulsory EYL? Yes. Schools are permitted to offer English from Grade 1, if resources are available.
How many hours a week/school year are officially allocated for EYL? 5 hours per week x 32 teaching weeks = 160 hours per year
How many EYL teachers and students are there in the public education system? 150 teachers
30,000 students
Who does the EYL teaching? A specialist teacher of English who teaches in only one school (100%)
Who is eligible to teach EYL in the public education system? • An established primary school teacher with the local equivalent of FCE

• A teacher who has had pre-service training at college or university and who is qualified to become a primary teacher of English
• A teacher accredited from outside Bahrain
Nationwide are schools able to recruit enough EYL teachers? Yes. (The availability of teachers from outside Bahrain may help.)
What official guidelines exist for EYL teaching? There is a detailed specification of content with, e.g., word lists, structure lists, examples of phrases and sentences to be included in the teaching
Do EYL teaching materials have to be approved? Yes. There is only one approved book, published specially for use in Bahrain.
What materials are typically used? In addition to the above -

• Original materials devised by the teachers themselves
• Materials adapted from published sources
• International published coursebooks
• Local published supplementary materials

What other foreign languages are taught at primary level? None
Are any changes in the provision of EYL planned or anticipated? Lowering the starting age is under discussion

Private sector primary schools

Is there a significant number of these schools? Yes
What percentage of primary age children attends them? 6%
What differences in EYL provision exist from public sector primary schools? Earlier starting age; English medium education
What materials do they use for EYL? Not stated

Private language schools

Is there a significant number of these schools? Yes
How many Young Learners take private language school classes? 15 - 20%
How many hours of English do they typically offer? 3-4 per week
Is there any perceived conflict between public school and private language school provision in EYL? The higher levels of private students' English cause compatability problems with students in public schools. Public schools are often compared unfavourably with private schools.
What materials do they use for EYL? British and US materials

Private tuition for Young Learners
Is there private tuition for primary age children? No

Date information collected: 1999

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