Learning Area Outcomes Framework
|Introduction to the Learning Area Outcomes|
A definition and description of the purpose of learning within the learning area:
Malta is a bilingual country with Maltese and English being the two official languages, occupying prominent roles in language learning in schools. Maltese, apart from being one of the official languages, is also the national language used by the greater majority of the population, making English the second language for most people, the first language for a significant proportion of the population and the main foreign language for an increasing number of migrants from the EU and the rest of the world. There are also a number of languages, such as French, Italian and German, that occupy the status of ‘foreign’ languages. The number of hours devoted to the teaching of each language is a clear reflection of the status occupied by the two official languages on the one hand and the foreign languages on the other.
Learning a new language introduces learners to diverse cultures and a range of ways of expression and communication with other speakers of the foreign language in a variety of contexts. It also enhances literacy development in both the official language(s) and the foreign language. The study of a foreign language involves learning about the culture of others thus making learners more open minded and tolerant citizens and reducing ethnocentricity. Being able to communicate effectively in both official and foreign languages is also key for the development of the economy and provides young people with opportunities to improve their employability in business and leisure through the skills they acquire from learning a foreign language.
The Learning Outcomes Framework for official and foreign languages aims to ensure that all learners become confident and competent in communicating with speakers of their own official languages and other foreign languages. When learning the official languages, the need to develop meta-language awareness will be of fundamental importance. Another distinctive feature of learning the official languages is the literary component. Both Maltese and English have a strong literature component and literature and language can provide a dynamic interplay that sustains the teaching and learning of both throughout Primary and Secondary education. Literature helps learners grow as individuals and as members of the human community. Moreover, engagement with the aesthetics of linguistic expression strengthens the learners’ knowledge, appreciation and use of the official languages.
The languages learners learn at school should be relevant to their present lives and future careers. They will progress from using simple languages centred on their own personal situations and relationships to more complex language structures relating to a variety of topic areas which reflect society and the wider world and which can be used in a wide range of contexts and with different audiences. Learners will learn the language of description, negotiation, discussion, narrative, reporting and presentation, which can be transferred to the workplace after they leave compulsory education. They will be able to use different tenses with increasing accuracy and demonstrate meta-cognitive skills so that they are able to see connections between languages, developing problem solving skills which help them to make sense of and be creative with language.
Learners will learn how to transfer previous learning to new contexts and deal with communication challenges. Learners will become knowledgeable about pronunciation and language systems and will be able to identify patterns in language and pronunciation which they can then use to develop their language learning independently. Learners will demonstrate their progress through increasing fluency and accuracy in the four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing, as they develop communicative competence at different levels. Learners will have the opportunity to develop a rich resource of language expression along with an understanding of the language structures in order to achieve communicative competence.
|Learning Area Outcomes:|
I feel confident when I am in the language class and when using my language skills.
I understand the importance of speaking a foreign language and that learning a different language provides insight into other people’s ways of life and their thinking, allowing me to appreciate the differences and acknowledge the similarities with my way of life.
I understand and use language to communicate information and opinions about my personal situation and daily life and to find out about others.
I know that different languages have different structures and rules and I can use this to help me to construct meaningful expressions which ensure that I am understood and that I understand others.
I can demonstrate understanding of patterns of language through correct use of gender, tense, agreement, exceptions and other grammatical markers.
I know how to meet challenges to communicating in another language and can use techniques and tools to aid understanding.
I can demonstrate development of listening skills by moving from listening for a single focus to holistic listening and listening for gist and to listening for wider understanding.
I can demonstrate progress in listening skills by moving from decoding simple short predictable utterances with few distractors to demonstrating understanding of longer, less predictable utterances involving complex sentence structures and language with more distractors.
I can demonstrate progress in speaking skills by taking part in social interaction and by moving from using simple language in prepared predictable contexts, demonstrating development by moving to more complex ‘real’ communication in a variety of contexts.
I can demonstrate my development of reading skills by moving from reading simple sentences with a single focus to demonstrating understanding of texts containing complex sentences with distractors and by moving from interpreting factual information to understanding of more complex, abstract material.
I can organise my writing so that it is coherent and expresses my thoughts in an ordered, logical manner.
I can demonstrate development of my writing skills by moving from writing simple sentences using simple language structures to using more complex ways of expression.