[lg policy] Malta:

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Fri Sep 12 20:11:20 UTC 2014

 Raising the standards in English language use in Malta – Education Ministry

by Gozo News · September 11, 2014
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[image: Raising the standards in English language use in Malta - Education
Ministry]A programme of the Ministry for Education and Employment announces
strategic collaboration with Cambridge English, UK, to strengthen the
teaching of scientific literacy through English

The Ministry said that the English Language has a special status in
bilingual Malta and plays an important role in a number of economic,
educational, cultural, and professional contexts. There are persistent
concerns about the standards in English Language use, within the school
system, the media and beyond.

The Ministry for Education acknowledges these concerns and said that it is
embarking on an ambitious and rigorous programme and campaign for the
maintenance and the raising of standards in English Language use in Malta.

In the first instance there will be a structured and focused enquiry into
the multifaceted and complex situation of English language use in Maltese
schools. In conjunction with Cambridge English, UK, a review of the current
levels of English Language proficiency of Maltese school age students is to
be conducted. The purpose of this review is to report on the levels of
English language competence of learners according to international

Cambridge English Language Assessment, UK delivers over 4 million language
assessments every year and has worked with governments and organisations
around the world, including commonwealth countries, on similar projects.

A reliable evaluation of the current standards in English Language
proficiency in Maltese schools will be conducted to enable the Ministry to
set realistic and achievable targets for future English learning and
teaching in the National Language Policy in Education.

An integrated solution is being sought in order to raise standards and
enhance student learning outcomes. Through a well-defined language policy
and strategy as well as an analysis of baseline diagnostics, a number of
important sectors will be reviewed and a clear implementation plan drawn
up., the Ministry said.

This will include English curriculum design, actual teaching and learning
of English in schools, materials and resources, teacher preparation and
development. Emphasis will also be put on institutional capacity building
in order to allow Malta to maintain the special status of English and to
ensure high levels of proficiency which provide it with a cutting edge in
its international dealings.

The Ministry said that positive attitudes towards both English and Maltese
are to be encouraged systematically. Specific consideration will be given
to improving communicative competence and how the English Language could be
better activated in a variety of contexts.

“For Malta to strengthen its economic position in the world market, it
needs to continue developing a world-class quality education system. The
attainment of scientific literacy must be viewed as central to education
reform in Malta. This is to be considered as a way of empowering citizens
towards economic gain.”

A scientifically-literate Maltese public can enhance Malta’s market
position, the Ministry said. “Extensive science knowledge is written in
English and needs to be readily accessible. Therefore Malta is to
strengthen the imparting of science education through English as the Medium
of Instruction (EMI). English and scientific literacy must be core elements
of both school education and teacher education if economic advancement is
to be a national focus for international engagement.”
Permalink: Raising the standards in English language use in Malta –
Education Ministry


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