In the new Grade 3 English primary curriculum developed by the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES), with support from Australia through the BEQUAL program, and being launched this school year, students will learn to read and write English using a phonics approach.
Phonics instruction is an internationally recognized method that helps students understand that there is a relationship between the sounds in spoken language and the letters and spellings that represent those sounds in written language. It helps them develop their reading and writing skills faster.
Students will learn 21 English sounds in Grade 3. Each sound has an action to help young students remember the sound in a fun and interactive way.
When teaching phonics, it is important to pronounce sounds accurately. But learning to pronounce the sounds in English will be a new skill for most teachers in Laos. Without any modelling, teachers won’t know how to pronounce the sounds correctly and thus won’t be able to teach them. Furthermore, the English alphabet is different to the Lao alphabet, so it is important to model how to write each letter in the right direction and with the correct proportions.
To support the Grade 3 teachers and students with the new English curriculum, the Research Institute of Educational Sciences (RIES) with support from Australia has just released a new video and over 100 audio tracks on the ດີໂອສໍາລັບການພັດທະນາຄູ Teacher Development Videos YouTube channel.
The video models the correct pronunciation, the action and the letter formation of the 21 sounds and letters that students will learn in Grade 3 English. Like previous videos, the “Demonstration of the 21 Grade 3 English Phonics Lesson” video was filmed in a Lao classroom to show real examples from educators and students using the new primary curriculum. Live classroom demonstrations and live sound are key to help teachers better grasp the Phonics technique. The video is also dubbed in Sign Language to be more accessible to all.
More than 100 English audio tracks have also been produced and uploaded to the You Tube Channel
ວິດີໂອສໍາລັບການພັດທະນາຄູ Teacher Development Videos. The audio tracks have been specially designed to support the new Grade 3 English curriculum. They have been recorded by young native English speakers and are very lively. The audio tracks provide the pronunciation of each sound and the mini stories that introduce the sounds in the Grade 3 textbooks. There are also songs and chants. The Grade 3 English teacher guide includes instructions about which audio tracks to use as well as transcripts of the audio tracks in both English and Lao. Using the audio materials will enable Lao teachers to give their students plenty of authentic language input, expose their students to a range of English accents and make lessons more active and entertaining.
“Primary teachers and trainers use the videos and the audio materials for lesson preparation and self-learning on the new curriculum teaching techniques and on active learning. They also play the audio tracks directly in the classroom. The YouTube channel proved to be very useful during lockdown and with the COVID-19 restrictions; it allowed teachers to continue practicing and improving their skills even when schools were closed or teacher training postponed” explains Mr Outhit Thipmany, Deputy Director general of RIES. “We have now reached over 1.2 million views on the dedicated “ວິດີໂອສຳລັບການພັດທະນາຄູ Teacher Development Videos” YouTube channel; this high audience score proves that the teachers highly appreciate the videos.”
While schools are still closed, and teacher training postponed in some provinces due to COVID-19 restrictions, new materials and many other videos and audio tracks are available under the YouTube Channel: ວິດີໂອສໍາລັບການພັດທະນາຄູ Teacher Development Videos. All new videos are dubbed in Sign Language to be more accessible to all. Teams from the e-learning, information media center and curriculum writing departments of RIES with support from the Australian Government through BEQUAL are producing these videos and audio materials to help primary teachers develop their skills in using the new National Primary Curriculum and the new pedagogical approach of active learning.