A proposal for improving the teaching of English in the lower primary grades in Jamaican schools

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This study attempted to look at the causes underlying the poor performance of Jamaican students in the English language. Based on interviews with nine Jamaican educators, it identified factors that were hampering the teaching and learning of Standard English in Jamaica, including the influence of the home and peer groups, and the low-grade type of instruction received in the primary schools, from teachers whose academic and professional preparation did not meet the minimum requirements for teaching in most Western countries. The study attempted to reconceptualize the language arts curriculum for the teacher in the first three grades of the Jamaican primary school. A proposal was made to teach English as a second language using the oral-direct method as the approach to be used for the first three years of the child's schooling. The major areas of language difficulties were discussed and categorized to serve as a ready reference for the teacher. A broad outline of study designed for the first three years was included, which was intended to serve as a guide from which a language arts programme could be designed for the appropriate grade level. Inherent in the proposal for improving the status of the language arts was inservice education for teachers. A broad outline of an inservice programme was presented, dealing with methods and materials in the language arts, as well as the teacher's concept of himself--academically, professionally, and socially in relation to the student as a person


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