By Laura NolteBy Laura NoTeachers are using an approach to teaching English to preschoolers that can be controversial, with some saying it’s not teaching children basic concepts and others saying it can’t teach basic grammar.
While the curriculum has been in use for about a decade, there’s no guarantee that students will know how to pronounce “noun,” “adjective” and “verb” as they learn to read.
The curriculum was originally developed for English-only classes, but the province has now added language-learning content to the program, including a lesson on how to write a book.CBC News asked the Canadian Teachers’ Association (CTA) for comment on the new content, but a spokesperson declined to provide details.
The CTA also says it’s reviewing how the curriculum is taught.
The organization is not commenting on the curriculum itself, but did say it wants to ensure that the program has the “necessary content” to meet its mandate.
The new curriculum includes lessons on “How to Read” and a lesson in “How To Write a Book,” according to the CTA.
The first lesson is titled “A New Generation of Writers.”
It teaches students how to identify, write and read prose, and also asks them to work on writing and reading sentences and paragraphs.
It’s an excerpt from a book called “Writing the Perfect Story,” written by former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.
It says students should “read the text with a dictionary or a computer, and to read with an open mind.”
It says the lessons will be used in classes at schools and universities.
“I think it’s a great thing to try to do in terms of making sure the curriculum can be easily accessed by the Canadian public,” said John Hildebrand, a professor of literature at the University of British Columbia.
The second lesson is on “Writing for Television.”
It says teachers should use “common sense” and avoid using jargon, using words that might not be appropriate in a classroom setting.
It also asks students to write short stories.
The third lesson is called “The Best of the English Language,” and says students need to “learn to use common words and grammatical constructions to write an entertaining story.”
It also includes a lesson called “How Long is an Hour?”
The fourth lesson is a “Thesis,” and it asks students “how long are you going to keep your mouth shut for?”
It also contains an example of “What to Do When You’re on the Verge of Getting Shot” written by the late Stephen Harper.
The fifth lesson is “The Art of Being a Writer,” and asks students how they should write “a poem.”
It has a lesson about the “three main kinds of writing,” and suggests students learn how to create their own words, using “simple adjectives and pronouns,” and that students should avoid “grammatical forms.”
The CCTA says the curriculum doesn’t have to be used for classes at all, as long as it meets its mandate and is clearly communicated.
“The curriculum is not meant to be a substitute for regular classroom instruction,” said the CCTI spokesperson.
The association also says the program’s curriculum should include “some form of reading comprehension.”
The new materials are “not intended to substitute for the regular curriculum or to replace any previous material in the curriculum,” according the association.