1 The importance of the English language programme in the Curriculum
The study of English offers attitudinal, cultural, social and educational advantages for the individual and for society. Learning English can help learners to develop positive attitudes to other cultures as well as increase awareness of their own culture.
Learning English through modern, communicative methods provides opportunities for learners to develop interactive skills and to learn through interaction with others thus becoming good communicators. The learners who emerge proficient in English and with good communication skills will contribute positively to Kazakhstani society.
An ability to communicate in English is crucial in the modern world of mass global communication. Young people should be able to read, write and communicate in English as well as understand their teachers and peers at the high level. English is the language frequently used in communication, science, business, entertainment, travel and sport. A good knowledge of English provides young people with access to these areas and enables them to continue their educational, economic, social and cultural development.
English is the international language of business and one of the main languages of the OSCE and UN, so as Kazakhstan becomes more connected with the Western world, English becomes increasingly important. As routes become more travelled, Kazakhstan’s historical and natural sites will attract more visitors and more foreign investment and, as the tourist industry grows in Kazakhstan, English will be the medium through which Kazakhstanis will communicate with visitors from overseas in both formal and informal settings. Kazakhstanis are also travelling more and as they travel around the world, they will be able to acquaint English speakers with Kazakhstan and its culture. As members of this more international global community it is vital that Kazakhstanis and Kazakhstani learners are able to communicate proficiently in English.
A knowledge of English can:
increase learners’ confidence in communicating in different situations
encourage learners to learn about different cultures and so foster international relations
become lifelong learners, building on skills, learning strategies and knowledge learned in school.
Learning English in primary school awakens children’s interest in the world. Children are able to acquire language in a variety of ways such as active games, songs, poems, project works etc. English teachers at primary level can help children in their early years to develop an awareness of language and encourage an enjoyment for language learning. This will also increase children’s confidence and lay the foundation for continued development in later years.