Concept-Based Instruction in English: Issues and Challenges

Clarinda Choh

The twenty-first century requires learners be equipped with the ability to understand and apply synergistic thinking to solve problems involving different disciplines. The contextual placement of English standards gives rise to the readiness and necessity that can make this a distinct reality in English Language classrooms across Singapore. This chapter is a call for teachers to implement a concept-based English Language curriculum.

A concept-based curriculum is encapsulated by Erickson (2002) when she indeed calls it ‘teaching beyond the facts’ (p. xi). It is an attempt to move beyond the level of facts, of information where students employ skills on the lower rung of Bloom’s Taxonomy. A concept-based curriculum is an attempt to push the yardsticks of standards to demand a learning environment where ‘... students will demonstrate complex thinking, deeper understanding, and sophisticated performance’ (Erickson, 2002, p. xi). It is meant to push the boundaries of expectations in light of the different capacities our students will have demanded of them in the twenty-first century.

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