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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? English has always been in the curriculum
At what age do students begin EYL?  Year 1 in the National schools
Year 3 in the National-type schools (where the medium of instruction is the vernacular)
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; English is introduced at pre-school level
How many hours a week/school year are officially allocated for EYL? 8 x 30minute periods per week are given over to English in Lower Primary, 9 in Upper Primary.
How many EYL teachers and students are there in the public education system? Statistics not available
Who does the EYL teaching? • The class teacher (35%)
• An English optionist (not a specialist) (55%)
• Another qualified teacher (not an optionist) (20%)
Who is qualified to teach EYL in the public education system? • An established primary teacher who has passed a local test of English
• An established primary teacher who has passed an internationally recognised test of English
• A primary teacher who has successfully completed a special in-service training course in English and/or EYL methodology
• A teacher who has had pre-service training at college or university and who is qualified to become a teacher at primary level
• A secondary teacher who is willing to teach in a primary school
• A university graduate of English
Nationwide are schools able to recruit enough eligible EYL teachers? No. The teacher shortage is being addressed through in-service training
What official guidelines exist for EYL teaching? Teachers are given the syllabus, the curriculum specification for the year, the text book and a teacher's guide.
Do EYL teaching materials have to be approved? Yes, and they must be within the school budget
What materials are typically used? • Original teaching materials devised by teachers themselves
• Materials adapted by teachers from several published sources
• International coursebooks
• Locally published coursebooks
• Newspapers and magazines.
What other foreign languages are taught at primary level? Tamil and Mandarin
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? 10%
What differences in EYL provision exist from public sector primary schools? Some private schools follow the British curriculum
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? Not stated
How many hours of English do they typically offer? Not stated
Is there any perceived conflict between public school and private language school provision in EYL? Not stated
What materials do they use for EYL?  Both local and international materials are used


Private tuition for Young Learners

Is there private tuition for primary age children? Yes
How many Young Learners are involved? 60%
What is the typical starting age for private tuition? Before mainstream education
Why do parents use private tutors? They want their children to have a good foundation in English

Date information collected: 1999


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