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Public sector primary schools

Is EYL taught as an official part of the curriculum in public sector primary schools? It is not compulsory. Schools have the option of teaching up to 70 hours per year.
When was it introduced? December 1993
At what age do students begin EYL? 5/6 (Year 1 Basic)
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? No
How many hours a week/school year are officially allocated for EYL? Optional up to 70 hours per year. 1-2 x 45 minutes per week.
How many EYL teachers and students are there in the public education system? Not stated
Who does the EYL teaching? • A specialist teacher of English who works only in one school
• A specialist teacher of English who gives lessons in more than one school
• A person who is not a qualified teacher but who knows English and who works in only one school
• A person who is not a qualified teacher who knows English and who gives lessons in more than one school
• In some cases a person who is totally unqualified
Who is eligible to teach EYL in the public education system? • An established primary teacher who has passed a local test or exam (various unofficial proficiency tests)
• An established primary teacher who has passed an internationally recognised test or exam (UCLES First Certificate, TOEFL)
• A primary teacher who has successfully completed an in-service training course in English language and/or EYL methodology (but there are no official courses)
• A teacher who has had pre-service training at college or university and is qualified to become a teacher of English at primary school
• A teacher who is qualified to teach English at secondary school but who is willing to work in a primary school
• A university graduate of English who has not taken courses in Education or Teaching methodology
• A native speaker of English who has no recognised qualifications as a teacher
• A non-native speaker who has lived some time in the USA, for example
Nationwide are schools able to recruit enough EYL teachers? No. No steps are being taken.
What official guidelines exist for EYL teaching? There is a general description of aims for EYL but no specific advice about content
Do EYL teaching materials have to be approved? There is no school budget for books, so teachers must make all their own materials or ask students to buy from a range of published materials (local or international)
What materials are typically used? • Lesson materials adapted by teachers from several published sources
• International published coursebooks
• Locally published coursebooks
What other foreign languages are taught at primary level? Some 20% of public primary schools are bilingual, with indigenous languages being L1 and Spanish L2
Are any changes in the provision of EYL planned or anticipated? No

Private sector primary schools

Is there a significant number of these schools? Yes
What percentage of primary age children attends them? Approximately 30%
What differences in EYL provision exist from public sector primary schools? Hours per week of English: this varies from 4-10. A very small number of schools teaches other subjects in English.
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? Approximately 10%
How many hours of English do they typically offer? 5 per week
Is there any perceived conflict between public school and private language school provision in EYL? The methodology is different: there is more emphasis on conversation skills; English levels are more advanced; these schools generally don't focus on school exams.
What materials do they use for EYL? Internationally published books


Private tuition for Young Learners

Is there private tuition for primary age children? No

Date information collected: 1999


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