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[Xmca-l] Re: "English" as a school subject


Korean is a mandatory subject in primary schools in Korea, from first grade
through twelfth grade. The curriculum includes grammar, literature, and
even intonation (I attended a smashing lesson on intonation for third
graders a couple of weeks ago).

Chinese is a mandatory subject in primary schools in China, from first
through twelfth grade. The curriculum starts with learning characters,
calligraphy and simple texts, and then the classics by established writers.
Most university students are also required to take at least one semester of

A couple of weeks ago I attended a preschool in Seoul where the children
recited the Jeonjamun every morning--that's the one thousand character
Chinese classic that was written in the fifth century. It functions as a
kind of alphabet song, because although it is one thousand characters long
(it takes about four or five thousand characters to be functionally
literate in Chinese) not one character in the whole rhyming text is
repeated. You could tell how long each child had been in the preschool by
watching to see who nodded off when--only the seven year olds who had been
there three years could recite the whole thing from beginning to end.

David Kellogg
Macquarie University

On Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 8:24 PM, Peter Smagorinsky <smago@uga.edu> wrote:

> Hi, I'm writing mainly to my colleagues who are familiar with public
> school, pre-university (what we call K-12 in the US) education systems,
> with a question.
> In English-speaking nations, there is a school subject called "English"
> that involves the study of literature (much from English-speaking authors,
> rather than "world literature" which may have its own separate course),
> writing (or now, multimodal composing), and language study (of the English
> language, often in the form of grammar instruction). This subject is not
> ESL, EFL, TESOL, or other way of describing learning the language of
> English by speakers of other languages.
> My question: I know that in Russia there are school subjects of Russian
> literature and language; in the Netherlands there is the following:
> The Study Dutch Language & Literature (Dutch: Nederlandse Taal- en
> Letterkunde) can be found at each Dutch university. Formerly you studied
> linguistics and literature, from about 1975 a third component was
> introduced: Taalbeheersing (Dutch for language skills, especially writing
> and argumentation). Nowadays the studies have new names, like Dutch
> Language and culture
> Do other nations dedicate a school subject to this discipline (literature,
> writing, language study in L1 and generally nationalistic in curriculum)?
> If so, what is it called, and what does it comprise?
> Thx,Peter