Teaching English Literacy to Standard One Students Requirements Determination for Remediation Through ICT
English, though not being the native language, is the language of instruction across the schooling years in Mauritius. Indeed, English literacy is introduced to young students at the pre-primary level as it is a pre-requisite for all other subjects, except French language in Standard One of primary level. In consequence, it is imperative that students acquire English literacy skills at pre-primary level. Students face difficulties in shifting from their mother tongue to English and they fail lamentably at the very outset to follow English instructions given to them orally or in text. Therefore, the aim of this research is to investigate on the difficulties faced by students in their learning of English language. Moreover, the requirements of relevant learning activities are investigated in order to identify the functionalities that will help develop a supporting remedial ICT tool for the primary level students. As methodology, for the requirements determination, an intensive analysis of the literature, an analysis of the existing tools and the administration of a questionnaire to the educators of Standard 1 enabled the understanding of the difficulties and needs of lower primary school students.
Instructional designing as well as online pedagogy will serve as guidance to design an educational software with appropriate learning strategies and learning activities. Results highlighted the difficulties and weaknesses found in the teaching and learning at primary level of the educational system. The requirements obtained spelt out the importance to update the actual system in order to adapt to the needs of the digital natives.
The educational system in Mauritius is divided into four main subsectors namely pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary. The pre-primary subsector being at the forefront is the foundation of formal education, hence, the need for a strong foundation. This sector caters for children from the age of 3 to 5 and is regulated by the Early Childhood Care and Education Authority (ECCEA).
One recent development brought by the ECCEA is the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) for pre-primary sector with a vision of providing quality preschool education. ‘Communication, language and literacy’ is one of the six learning areas targeted at pre-primary level. At this stage, children are expected to communicate their feelings through language. Therefore, emphasis is laid on activities that help in the development of oral and written skills which are listening, speaking, reading and writing.